By Jo Taylor
“This game has loads of bloom in it.”
So declared my boyfriend, as he watched me play his new computer game Bioshock Infinite (Irrational Games, 2013). I turned around, somewhat dumbstruck. “Why, yes… it has,” I replied [NB: some expletive expressions of shock have been edited out of this conversation], “I didn’t know you’d been listening to me talk about him.”
Confusion ensued, until we realised we had crossed our wires somewhat. He was talking about bloom, the lighting effect used in some video games to mimic the effect of a bright light on vision as experienced through a camera. I was talking about Bloom – Harold Bloom, the [in]famous theorist whose most well-known academic legacy is the always-contentious theory of the ‘anxiety of influence’ (all poets are influenced by a previous poet, and they’re all unhappy about it) and whose best-known extra-academic legacy is his 1994 publication The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages, and with whose works I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time lately.
|Bioshock Infinite: a potentially Coleridgean vending machine|
When applied to this game, the two ideas are not so disparate as they might at first seem: in fact, …read more