Evil Lair: On the Architecture of the Enemy in Videogame Worlds (Thanks, Geoff!)
...perhaps the most extraordinary and unearthly of evil videogame architectures are the wandering colossi of Shadow of the Colossus. Great, living structures, lonely behemoths, that stride magnificently across the game world. These sad, shaggy giants of stone and moss must be climbed and slain by the hero, often via use of the surrounding environment of ancient ruins and meticulously designed geological formations. Lairs within lairs.
Of course, monsters are presumably evil, but the reality of the colossi remains ambiguous for much of the game. When the game is up, the player-character suffers a terrible price for destroying these strange, animate monuments. It is one of the few videogames in which the protagonist dies â€" horribly and permanently â€" when the game is over. It is a game where destroying the evil lair might well have been the wrong thing to do. And yet it is all you can do.
Such is the inexorable, linear fate of the videogame avatar.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.