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Killing is Harmless: A Critical Reading of Spec Ops: The Line

Killing is Harmless: A Critical Reading of Spec Ops: The Line [Kindle Edition]

Brendan Keogh , Daniel Purvis , Rob Zacny , Benjamin Abraham

Kindle-Preis: EUR 3,84 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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One of the most critically discussed games of 2012, 2K and Yager’s Spec Ops: The Line turns a reflexive lens back onto the genre of the military shooters to ask some hard questions: just what is going on in these games? What does it say about us if we enjoy playing such games? Is virtual violence really harmless? Killing is Harmless isn’t an attempt to answer these questions so much as an exploration of just how the game is able to ask them in the first place. It follow’s the lead character, Walker, in his steps across Dubai to discover just how The Line is able to make so many players interrogate their own complicity in virtual acts of violence.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 5993 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 161 Seiten
  • Gleichzeitige Verwendung von Geräten: Keine Einschränkung
  • Verlag: Stolen Projects; Auflage: 1 (1. Februar 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00B9P2WP6
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #141.866 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  11 Rezensionen
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Thoughtful look at the role of the FPS player 20. Mai 2013
Von N. Affolter - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
I'd heard that Spec Ops: The Line was going to be a different game when I played it, but didn't realize how different. This book does a great job articulating how a game makes you think differently about playing videogames, shooters specifically. As the author states, "I still want to play shooters, but I've been forced to see what my actions in shooters are really signifying." Even if you haven't played Spec Ops: The Line (which I'd recommend doing so first due to spoilers and experiencing anyways), the read is still worthwhile. If you have played the game, you'll find the author dissects aspects you may have missed when playing the game along with reliving thoughts you may have gone through yourself.
5 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A must read for aware gamers 2. März 2013
Von Lord Baruch - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
This book is an amazingly in depth analysis of the 2012 game "Spec Ops: The Line," and it makes me wonder why there isn't more of this kind of work about video games. It goes level by level, discussing what the game represents and what it means to us as gamers. A meaningful look at a meaningful game, and a must read for people who play modern warfare games.
13 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen An Amateur Book Report 28. Juli 2013
Von Marek Kapolka - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Keogh's heart is in the right place with this project. Doing a close, critical reading of a video game could be a very fruitful and useful endeavor, and Spec Ops: The Line seems like a game that could warrant such a treatment. Killing is Harmless, however, provides such a shallow, forced level of insight that I'd swear he was stretching to meet the page requirements of an assignment in an undergraduate literature class.

A vast majority of the book is spent simply describing the events of the game along with some obvious interpretation of the emotional cache of those events. I got the impression that I could have gained about as much insight into the game by simply playing it or watching a Let's Play as I did by reading Killing is Harmless. Keogh has no framework with which to critique the game: he vacillates between a personal, emotionally focused interpretation (when he wants to tell us that killing Americans made him feel sad), a vaguely intersectional approach (to explain why killing Americans might make an American more sad than killing faceless brown skinned bad guys), and a more literary approach (when he feels like interpreting a symbol). He also throws in a lil' token feminist critique whenever a woman dies. Brownie points!

There are a number of places where Keogh just doesn't do his research. He paraphrases snippets of conversations rather than quoting them and he forgets where certain pieces of intel (collectables within the game with expository audio clips attached) are located. They're small problems but they make it very clear that he doesn't hold himself to the academic rigor that he is ostensibly trying to emulate.

Keogh's interpretation of symbols is clueless. I cannot sugar coat that statement. Shortly after telling us about how he spent 12 years at a catholic school (which is how he recognizes the arcane quote "forgive them because they know not what they do") he comes across a significant statue. The statue depicts three angels rising to heaven, but the highest angel has fallen to the ground. He reads this FALLEN ANGEL as a reference to Icarus. Earlier, the game makes a reference to a group of CIA agents known as "Gray Fox", which Keogh claims is a "blatant nod" to the character of the same name in the Metal Gear Solid series. Grey Fox was a (real) code name for a CIA intelligence gathering group. Grey Fox, in Metal Gear Solid, is a cyborg ninja.

Throughout reading Killing is Harmless, I found myself asking the question, "what makes Brendan Keogh qualified to write a critical reading of this game?". Keogh claims that Spec Ops: The Line is a game that seeks to ask questions rather than answer them. Perhaps Killing is Harmless is the same way.
2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Very In-Depth & Observational 4. September 2013
Von Brandon Karratti - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Killing is Harmless is definitely a book designed for a specific kind of gamer. It's written to those gamers who played through Spec Ops: The Line, and were affected by it in a unique way. Keogh is very good about noting all the little details throughout the playthrough, the book mixing what he saw and noticed with his feelings, his thoughts, and his personal experience playing through Dubai.

Keogh rides a really good line between too simple and too technical, which makes for an entertaining read, and his multiple playthroughs and research offer some excellent insights into the decisions behind the game, though he does seem prone to offer his own opinions often, clarifying his personal beliefs about certain design decisions that he doesn't know the reasoning behind.

I'd recommend this book to anyone, especially current and aspiring narrative designers, to look at ways to affect and even manipulate player/audience expectations with visuals, music, and other stimuli (even smell!) to their maximum effect. Spec Ops: The Line was an excellent game and a powerful experience for me, and this study into its minutiae has been immensely helpful in extracting what helped to create something so impactful.

If you've played Spec Ops: The Line, and you'd like to dive into those emotions further and see the "man behind the curtain," this is a great read.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fantastic discourse on Spec Ops 14. März 2014
Von David Hatten - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
If you finished playing Spec Ops and NEED to approach it from a literary criticism point of view, this book is exactly what your looking for. It doesn't cover every theme, but it will absolutely get you thinking about what the game means. Must have for anyone who is still seriously thinking about the game days after they finish it.
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