Tag Archives: light

Seeing the Same Old Thing in a New Light

Touching the video game console sent a chill running up my arm and straight to my spine. It felt as cold as a short visit to Pluto would. I longed to thaw the block of ice on my hand and to feel warmth after touching the machine. Taking a closer look at the console, which I did to sate my curiosity, did not reverse the deep freeze effect it had on me.

I noticed the machine had a clinical appearance; it was spotless, shiny and clad in all white. It worked assiduously and seemed detached from everything around it. The console seemed to run all day as if it was plugged into an outlet that was keeping it alive and feeding it energy. The sight of some thing with all those wires in it made me cringe; it reminded me of my mortality and fears of death. Overall, the machine’s non-stop work and coldness stunned me.

Suddenly, a ray shone through a nearby stained glass window and helped me to see the machine in a new light. The ray was bright red. It stained my hand like some damned spot that would not wash away — no matter how hard I scrubbed it. The red light bathed the console, made it seem warm, and made the machine seem like it had blood flowing through its chips, circuits and plastic. I never looked at the console in the same light again. My vision and my thinking had forever changed.

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Breath of Fresh Light: Video Games and Fun Flashlights

flashlights in video gamesThere’s a cavernous tunnel up ahead, and you have to go through it. The way ahead is so dark that no one could make it through alive.

Wait! What was that?

A blood curdling scream and the sounds of a monster’s faint footsteps behind you. You fumble for your flashlight, as you slowly turn around, to face your fear. But the flashlight emits a sickly light for a mere two seconds.

Then the light dies and darkness surrounds you. The darkness swallows you and the monster gets ready to do the same.

Game over…

***

You’ve probably used a flashlight in a video game at some point. Here are the three “F’s” that I’ve noticed about these flashlights:

Video Game Flashlights: The Three “F’s”

1. Frustrating

The above story may have you pulling out your hair. Your flashlight has a short battery life, has to recharge constantly and doesn’t give you much light. You get more juice when you squeeze an orange in the morning.

2. Frightening

In these games, the flashlight still doesn’t have much juice, which is annoying, but it’s effective in a scary game. I think F.E.A.R. is a good example of this.

3. (and sometimes) Fun

In Alan Wake, your flashlight isn’t frustrating; it’s your best friend. You’ll use it as a basic weapon to take down an enemy’s shield that’s made of “darkness.”

Basic usage of the flashlight doesn’t seem to drain much battery power in this game. But you won’t use it for the usual stuff.

You’ll spend a lot of time “boosting” your flashlight – kind of like a charged up shot – to take down enemy shields as fast as possible. That’s because you want to shoot them in the head before they throw an axe at you. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? However, boosting will drain your flashlight, and you’ll have to replace batteries.

Alan Wake has a flashlight that runs on batteries and is still fun to use. Gee, what a novel concept!

Best Use of Flashlights in a Video Game

The award for best use of a flashlight in a video game goes to… Alan Wake.

Can you think of any other games that use flashlights well? What games use them poorly?

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