Why Ellen Page's Leaked Nude Images Are Good for Gaming
Beyond: Two Souls is a fantastic narrative about a girl who lives with the gift (or curse) of a spirit named Aiden attached to her at all times. She's able to control or use the spirit in various ways, but while even she doesn't understand why she is connected to Aiden, the world wants nothing but to use her for their own purposes.
The game was created using full-motion video capture with real Hollywood actors Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe. It's received many mixed reviews, ranging anywhere from being terrible to amazing, but one thing is for sure: the game is receiving world-wide attention, and not just from gamers, and the reason is quite simple.
You can see Ellen Page naked.
Images were leaked (I won't be linking to them) from a hacker who used a debugged PlayStation 3 unit to dig into the source code and find some video of Ellen Page's character Jodie fully nude. It is of course an animation of the female body, and not Page's actual body, but that hasn't stopped hordes of gamers, movie fans, and everyday people from flocking to the web to see what all the buzz was about. And whether or not this was an "intentional" leak by Sony or developer Quantic Dream (I'm not claiming it was), they surely can't be too upset about the buzz the incident has generated for the game.
I would even go so far as to say this is good for gaming in general, as Beyond: Two Souls is, if nothing else, a different approach to video games. It is not your standard first-person or third-person game. There are no levels or stats to increase. There are none of the often recycled game mechanics, but rather a story-driven cinematic experience, very much in the vein of 2010's Heavy Rain. These kinds of experiences are rare in the gaming industry, and this creative approach to designing games should be encouraged. A "scandal" like this certainly doesn't validate the success of a particular style of game, but it will surely get more people to check out the game, which means more people will have the chance to experience it than would have otherwise.
Anytime a game can generate buzz that transcends the gaming industry, the developers should feel pretty lucky. Of course they don't want tragedies or horrible offenses to take place, but in this case, while potentially embarrassing for Page, I don't think it will do any damage to her or her career. It seems to me like all parties win here, and that success will spill over into the industry itself, because more people will learn to love this different kind of game and want to experience others like it.
I'm not the kind of person to advocate for nudity in entertainment. In the case of Beyond: Two Souls, the whole game is so elegant, classy, and respectful that it's a bit of a shock that Quantic Dream left these files buried inside the code for hackers to find. But the fact of the matter is that in the end, they're going to be just fine. Page won't suffer as a result of this, and gamers (and maybe even non-gamers) might just discover a new type of gaming experience that certainly deserves their attention.