batman: arkham asylum


Asylum Hopping

Posted by Cha

I'm slightly ashamed to admit to how much I enjoy games featuring mental asylums (and similar locations). I suppose it goes with the territory when you appreciate dark themes, uncertain layers of reality, and an ominous atmosphere.

Pervasive ideas about mentally ill meaning creepy, dangerous, subhuman and so on... those aren't so cool. I know I'm treading through problematic territory on this one. I suppose I find creepiness here which has more to do with how patients are treated than the patients themselves.

Barbaric treatments for mental conditions are some of my top nightmarish-fears, with the additional frightening element that 'barbaric' doesn't always mean 'in the past'. Not having asylums anymore doesn't mean everything's rosy. So, I disturb myself by playing around in virtual asylums, then worry about the treatment of (and respect for) people with mental illnesses in the real word.


Superficial Batman Character Analysis

Posted by Cha

This post was inspired by Mark "Mr Ak" Johnson's recent discussion Danananana Batman! An in-depth case study of archetypes in different media formats. Batman! Batma-an!. Because it's an interesting topic, and sometimes I just can't leave well enough alone.

I agree with Mr Ak that Batman: Arkham Asylum (game) is more enjoyable than The Dark Knight (movie) – less so about his opinions being objectively correct. I (deliberately) don't have as much confidence in my own opinion, and trying to understand why I agree in this case is almost bringing me undone. I'm not sure I should be right – 'should' is the wrong word, since opinions are all valid, but my reasoning and my gut reaction are at odds this time. Can I back up my own opinion, then? I'm going to try.