Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

January 29, 2009 -

A new off-Broadway production centers around an unusual theme: a romantic triangle involving a pair of gamer pals.

Today's New York Times offers a lukewarm review of When in Disgrace (Haply I Think on Thee). The play revolves around the relationship between teen gamers Ryan and Ben, as well as Caroline, who used to be Ryan's girl but now is with Ben.

Unfortunately, the play appears to evoke the common cultural imagery of gamers as latent powderkegs. From the NYT review:

The play traces Ryan’s spiral into homicidal dementia over Ben’s “betrayal...”

The depiction of Ryan and Ben’s video-game confrontations also overamplifies the conflict. As the boys duel on a sofa, life-size silhouettes battle behind a scrim to twofold effect: thudding as a metaphor for character dynamics, impressive as a glimpse into the role of ultraviolent fantasy in the life of many adolescents. The production is well served by audio snatches of the bands System of a Down and Linkin Park, among others...

 

As the outcast [Ryan] has the juiciest role; he savors his malevolence, maybe too visibly... “When in Disgrace (Haply I Think on Thee)” may falter in its grand designs, but there is something vital in its exploration of generational identity...

A synopsis on Theatermania reports that the production is based on a true story:

Inspired by a true story, When in Disgrace (Haply I Think on Thee) weaves a tale of shattered hope and personal destruction as three close friends are torn apart by jealousy, neglect, guilt, and ultimately, love. Combining rock music, iambic verse, and video games, When In Disgrace explores what leads youngsters to extreme acts of violence, and the eerie similarity between teenage melodrama and classical drama.


Comments

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

This production manages to turn this tale into a bloodless costume drama, and in doing so, it violates the most important rule of tabloid journalism: never be boring. slabire

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

Also it is important to note that the reviewer might be an older person who has got verry little understanding of Videogames and the gamer culture.

I can say that if you looked at teenage life in the 90's, 80's, 70's, 60's, 50's and so on, when it comes to relationship disbutes they do become violent and that is without videogames at all.

Look at adult relationships...and the number of people who are divorced, in some minority and unfortunate cases how they have become violent between the parents.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

I don't see this as a play bashing gamers, it is more of a love triangle similar in a Teen soap opera type of show.

If you see the emotions that are involved in shows like Bold and the Beautiful, some characters litterly try to betray those who they hate. And this is without using videogames at all.

I see this play as using videogames to perform a fantasy type of violence instead of taking it out in real life violence.

The videogame violence seems to be more of a euphenisem or another way to portray the scene of two guys fighting over a girl and the writers have used videogames to make it more central to youth culture.

I know this is only just from my analysis from reading this, but I would rather see the play before I try to judge it in too much detail.

TBoneTony

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

Honestly, this actually seems to be a fairly interesting story. Then again, I like theatre, and I'm getting sick of some of the mushy crap they put up on stage. This is less a story attacking gamers, and it seems more a story of a dispute between friends that gets magnified by the games, which we ALL know is possible.. Whether you like to admit it or not, some games are designed to bring out and amplify our emotions and many succeed in doing just that. The story has promise, but given it's reviews, I'm sure the play didn't quite capture that emotion.

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

"Whether you like to admit it or not, some games are designed to bring out and amplify our emotions and many succeed in doing just that."

Quite true. In fact, the same could be said of many dramatical plays. The point is to make an emotional connection and draw an emotional response. To 'tug at the heartstrings' if you will. In the end isn't most art supposed to be connected to on an emotional level?

I hate broccoli/ and think it totally sucks/ Why isn't it meat?

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

I must admit I got a bit misty eyed at the end of Grim Fandango when

 

(SPOILER [just in case]) 

Glottis can't come on the #9

(/SPOILER [just in case]) 

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

Agreed.

Music affects me quite strongly, it can make me laugh, cry, feel elated or any other of a number of emotions, in fact that is its purpose. Same with all other kinds of media, if they did not evoke an emotional response, they wouldn't be art.

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

Heh, Shakespeare was covering this kind of stuff centuries ago, and anyone who's seen West Side Story knows that it is 100% portable.

I don't have a problem with the idea of the play, though I'm a bit dubious about this whole 'exploring the reasons' thing, it's a story, let it be a story, you don't really have to justify it beyond that point, it's kind of sad that in todays society, everyone seems to think you do.

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

I'd say the reason can be a story within a story..but not many of those called writers can make the story's within a story all that worth while.


Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


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Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

I see alot of sertotypes here teenage,bad wrtiting, love tringle and gamers......

 


Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


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Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

Anyone able to zero in on the story it's based off of?

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

One lame broadway play to pose gamers as the mentally unsettled, Teenage stereotype.

Magic Taco

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

Indeed. I guess this'll continue making gamers look like homicidal people ready to go insane over the loss of a woman. Even silly JT's story of "O.K." killing game developers sounds better... which I feel stupid for saying :(

Someone shoot me for saying JT had a better story.

Anyway, as lame as this broadway play is, we can only hope it performs poorly and that it focuses on the teenage aspect of being susceptible to drama in the teenage years and not the gaming aspect, which they are trying to play -.-

They should've went brokeback mountain with it, probably would've worked better.

 The real gamer stereotype that exists is that we're in the workforce, and have blue&white collar jobs and simply enjoy our hobbies when we get home...

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

...Caroline, who used to be Ryan's girl but now is with Ben.

The play traces Ryan’s spiral into homicidal dementia over Ben’s “betrayal...”

Don't you see?  This play isn't about videogames causing violence, it's about women causing violence.  Clearly we should ban women.

 

 

....wait.

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

Banning is never the answer, they should have age ratings and content summaries

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

Stick warning labels on their asses.

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

But then in New York, we'd have to keep the mature-rated women in glass cases.

...Hmm.

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Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

<pictures all the black eyes to come because guys were staring at women's asses>

...probably not the best location.

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

Stick the label on their chest. That is where guys are staring anyway.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

Not a title that rolls off the tongue, is it. I am reminded of ads for "WTF!?: A Tale Of Online Love" from GTA4

I think the biggest question raised by this story is what game is 100% responsible for turning a 100% passive boy into a brutal psychotic murderer? I'll bet it was that evil Pong!

Also if system of a down & linkin park are the best music this poor bastard had to help ease the pain, it's no wonder he went nuts. If he'd only had real metal...

Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

"off-"broadway must really be hurting...

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Re: Gamer Love Triangle Fuels Off-Broadway Production

I don't know about off-Broadway productions, but I've been involved in the Canadian Fringe scene for quite a few years, and I can tell you most of the theatre business doesn't really have a sense one way or the other about gaming.

Besides which, theatre audiences tend to be a little more discerning, so for the most part they'll probably take the performance with a grain of salt.

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