Killing is Harmless: A Critical Reading of Spec Ops: The Line has today been released, exploring a close bind between player and character.
The game was renowned for having attempted to create serious moral ambuguity around the violence the character and player were made to inflict, eschewing the good vs evil narrative so thickly present in most modern shooters these days.
The book goes on something of a virtual walkthrough through the experience of the player’s journey throughout this turmoil, and is penned by Brendan Keogh, prolific games writer who has been published in PC Powerplay, HYPER, Kotaku, Edge, Paste, Kill Screen and Unwinnable.
Keogh said: “Killing is Harmless is a sort of ‘critical walkthrough’. Using long-form writing to critically analyse a single game in detail is not yet popularised within videogame culture. Killing is Harmless hopes to prove that not only is this form of writing and criticism possible, but that it is greatly needed for the maturing art form.”
Certainly an entire book dedicated to a close reading of a game is a rarity, if not a first. Keogh is based in Melbourne, Australia.
Killing is Harmless is being distributed through Daniel Purvis’ publishing endeavour Stolen Projects, and can be purchased for AUD$2.99 here.
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