Tag Archives: Lorne Lanning

Oddworld and Malcolm X

Lorne Lanning, creator of Oddworld, in an interview with Wired:

I wanted to drive inspiring characters who felt low, like I did, who was in deep crisis, but by just sticking to it, they could prevail through a way that was almost entirely empathetic and not aggressive. We didn’t want the stereotypical musclebound hero with a gun. I was never a big Schwarzenegger or action fan. It never inspired me.

Stranger was a tough character with a different kind of dilemma. The reason he doesn’t like guns is because his whole life he’s been sought after and had to disguise himself. That was inspired by Malcolm X. He was an amazing figure and in the movie Spike Lee does this scene where he’s in prison and straightening his hair with acid. This older guy schools him and say that’s not him, he’s trying to be something he’s not. That’s a pivotal moment, where a strong, brilliant character feels so overwhelmed that he tries to be something else, but when he accepts who he is he becomes something amazing.

Worth reblogging Lanning’s stance on education through media.

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Why video games are more Britney Spears and less Pink Floyd

Why video games are more Britney Spears and less Pink Floyd

The answer for IGN’s Mitch Dyer may lie on the Dark Side of the Moon. However, Toxic is a damn good song.

“Money, means, and the ideas that figure out how to do it without getting dull and standing on a soap box, which quite frankly nobody wants to listen to, and if they do they will go to documentaries. But as we are seeing, the more audiences realize that deeper content reflecting relevant truths can be more refreshing and engaging, [the more] we see documentary films having greater successes than ever in history. This is reflective of an evolving appetite that more people want more meaningful content and want to walk away from their experiences with more lasting impressions that add ‘more value to their lives.'”

– Lorne Lanning, Oddworld CEO

I find it oddly coincidental that two similar arguments on the lasting power of video games were published by two of the largest video game publications on the same day. What is the catalyst?

The bulk of the indies that reach the market are more akin to the early days of gaming. There is much more experimentation; however, indie devs in this evolved market are not making games to turn a profit but express themselves through the means created by gaming forefathers, thus unintentionally shaking gamers out of an empty dark-age before it has time to swallow us whole.

I’m giddy thinking of the ideas and stories Ken Levine could tell without the pressure of sales figures. I can’t be the only one who wished BioShock Infinite were simply an exploration game rather than FPS. Alas, shooters sell. Maybe Cyan could bring him in as a consultant on Obduction?

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