Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Midway And Surreal Take Grandma To A Darker Place Than She's Willing To Go

Grandma is fucking freaked OUT. When I got home yesterday, she was playing a game of World Championship Poker. "I'm not playing The Suffering Ties That Bind anymore. It's not going to happen" she told me. Grandma didn't stop playing because she couldn't master the controls. She didn't stop playing blaming boredom or "shitty game syndrome," no, she actually became too disturbed by the elements of the game to continue.

I've started a save of my own now from morbid curiosity. What game could possibly freak her out so much?

The game is highly stylized for one, so it isn't as though the extreme realism; the gore left behind by the creatures proved too much for her to handle. This is a woman who has no problem with the graphics of some of the later Silent Hill series, who can sit in the dead of night with no other sound than that within her headphones and keep playing; the objectives of the game more important than the reluctance to enter the next house or open the next gate. She can handle gore and death.

In her words: "It was like I was... looking into the mind of someone who was crazy. I don't mean just, you know, ...the usual psychopath on a revenge streak, I mean FUCKED UP. All the people he was meeting that were still alive, the setting, it was just... I was actually uncomfortable by what I saw. I couldn't go on."

When she began the game, the flashbacks were acceptable blasts of exposition straight out of an Anton Ckekhov play, but after the story is established, they don't stop. It's the sort of seizure inducing montage of ugly one would expect from a photoplay prepared by a madman. In some ways it's really quite beautiful. To Grandma, however, it wasn't a tired device of storytelling. The flashbacks and static imagery were relentless attacks on her abilities to stay in the game; the comfort of looking away in the predictable fashion of grotesque cutscenes had been eliminated by their frequency and lack of warnings to their occurrence.

The Suffering: Ties That Bind, to Grandma, gave too much of a false hope of eventual sanity and calm; the cereal box UPC deal for a toy that never comes, or comes broken. Grandma sits shoveling the hallucinogenic dry cereal in her mouth, larger spoonfuls than necessary, eager to get that happy Trix Bunny wind up car, but a bad trip and a ride in an ambulance makes her forget all about the shipping and handling charges. The bunny never arrives, and she has a stomach full of rotten drugs, yet to be digested.

That place is where the game leaves you.


  • At 12:14 PM, Blogger HandOverFist said…

    Now I wanna go rent it!

  • At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sounds fantastic !

  • At 1:20 PM, Blogger Leci said…

    That must be one fucked up game, if it was so bad that she can't play it...

  • At 5:01 PM, Blogger hugz n drugz said…

    wow...that sounds like a hardcore game. i'm gonna have to check it out.

  • At 10:38 PM, Blogger Richard MacDonald said…

    I was already interested in this game before, but judging from her reaction I may have to scrape up the cash to buy it. Hopefully she'll be able to muster up the courage to continue on.

  • At 7:40 AM, Blogger Gabbahead said…

    I played it for a while, but the scare-a-minute tactics are stupid and hte cut-scenes interrupt the game far too much. It uses gore because the developers couldn't figure out how to make a truly scary game. But instead of capitalising on this the game has a fairly low enemy count, pretty unsatisfying weapons and quite a lot fo dialogue - more than one would care for in a game like this.

    It is incredibly satisfying beating something to death and watching all the blood splash everywhere, but the game never takes real advantage of this dynamic and it all becomes very old very quickly.

  • At 2:43 PM, Blogger Me said…

    Huh, sounds like my fiance. He's got a mind like that. I showed him both Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, and he is quite worshipful of Dr. Lecter.

  • At 12:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I had been
    Buy GW2 Gold already thinking about the bingo prior to, but judging via the woman's kind of reaction I'll ought to scrape up the income to get the idea. With luck , she will be able to muster up the daring to keep
    Buy RS Gold upon.


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