Mirror’s Irony

by Steve Bowler on October 30, 2008 · 2 comments

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Awhile back someone made a paintover (embedded above) of what they thought Faith should look like in Mirror’s Edge, that parkouring game that EA’s releasing later this month.  The demo just dropped on PS3 if you’re interested; I think the 360 one drops tomorrow (actually today I guess, it is past midnight here).  There’s been a bunch of fan response about which one they like better, and Leigh wrote a great piece (which hits home for me on multiple levels) about how stylized characters are important for conveying desire, and real characters are important for conveying value.

As a huge aside to the point of this piece, I think it’s funny that someone felt she needed bigger boobs.  She’s aerobically athletic.  Show me a female marathon runner with a set of C or D cups and I’ll show you some fan art.  The very idea that she’d be thin from running, scrambling, climbing, and parkouring all day almost precludes the ability to hold fat anywhere on the body.  Maybe she just gave birth?  I don’t know.  I’d love to just try and chalk it up to “it’s a videogame” but we all know I’m on board with dismissing that mentality entirely.

But the irony in all of this character and breast discussion is that you can’t see yourself in Mirror’s Edge.  You just can’t.

If you look down, you see your legs (not your boobages).  If you happen to stand in front of reflective glass, you see…reflective glass.  You don’t see your own reflection.  Maybe you’re part vampire?

The only time you see yourself, at least insofar as the demo is concerned (as that’s all we can play at this point to evaluate it) is when there is a cinema playing.  Then they show you a reflection in the glass.

I suspect this has everything to do with rendering (real-time reflections are hella expensive on the GPU), but it kinda makes the title of the game hilarious, seeing as I thought one of its meanings referred to how you were supposed to be running on the edge of these mirrored buildings…which…don’t show your reflection.  I suspect there will be more introspective threads echoing the title in the plot as well.

So, yeah.  Uh, I guess this is kinda like wondering how big Chell’s boobs are?  It’s pretty irrelevant to the gameplay, the story, the character, et all.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t have character discussions and how body types and body images are important;  I’m just finding it hilarious that after all of this awesome discussion you can’t even see the point of contention in the subject matter at hand.

Also, just in case you were wondering:  I’m less than thrilled with the demo.  It’s nothing more than the same level you’ve seen in the videos a hundred times by now, and it’s so linear you might as well just go watch the video again.  If this is an indication of what the final game is going to play like, I’ll pass.

But the subject of making a great demo to sell your game is a post for another time.

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