‘Parody is a Game’

Far Cry 3, Repetition, Imitation, & Repetition

Since its release in 2012, the critical consensus surrounding Far Cry 3 has been one of mixed praise: on the one hand, it is an entertaining game; on the other hand, it falls thematically flat on its face as the colonial tropes, the tone-deaf treatment of rape, and the rote action hamstring the game’s attempts to make more serious points. When Jeffrey Yolahem, the game’s author, says in an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun that the inclusion of these de rigueur elements are part of an exaggerated satire of the player’s pursuit of entertainment in First-Person Shooters – “This game is about entertainment, and about how far will you go in these loops, and how much entertainment are you actually having from them” says Yolahem – we are nevertheless struck by an inability to distinguish the subject of satire from the satire itself. As John Walker’s reflection on his interview with Yolahem so aptly summarizes, “rather than making us aware of the horrors of the starving Irish when he says they should eat their babies, instead it too often felt like he was publishing baby recipe books to the very hungry.” Continue Reading