Tuesday, February 19, 2013

On Berfrois: The Death of Romance in The Shadow of the Colossus

A piece I wrote on the video game The Shadow of the Colossus has appeared on Berfrois, one of my favorite online magazine for lovers of criticism and literature, in all its digital and analog forms. I should probably be embarrassed about how much time and investment I put into this essay, which ended up being about 5,000 words; it took a lot of reading and a lot of craftwork to get it into its current state. Needless to say, I learned a great deal, and every time I think about it, I love the game I was writing about a little more.

Here's a quick excerpt from the meat of it:
Shadow of the Colossus is not the only story to draw on the Promethean myth. It has been repeated many times, by many authors, its metaphor relevant to many circumstances. Among them, Albert Camus and Lewis Hyde, both of whom I'll get to later. We should take note right now, though, that the myth of Prometheus undergoes drastic revisions in Shadow of the Colossus, which only contains a few traces of its original spirit. These Promethean Colossi may be chained to their territories, but they aren't being punished for stealing fire. Here, they are protectors, guardians of some kind of dark essence, which enters Wander's body each time he slays one. They are not the enemies of order, but its enforcers, and Wander is the true transgressor, destroying the matrix of stability that keeps the Forbidden Land in check.

-- The Death of Romance in the Shadow of the Colossus, on Berfrois.com