As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, April 26, 2004

Commodify Your Assent

The first rule of Fight Club: You do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule? You do not allow spin-off products to dilute the message of your work.

Vivendi first announced in December its intention to give "Fight Club" the console treatment. But don't expect a lot of virtual soul searching when the title arrives in the Fall: "Fight Club is set to deliver a fighting game that will portray the experience of a realistic fighter that incorporates many elements from the Fight Club movie." That from Luc Vanhal, COO and North American president of Vivendi Universal.

The game is being produced in partnership with Genuine Games, who Vanhal gushes, "Has stepped up to the plate to develop a fighting game that will capture the raw intensity of street fighting that will appeal to movie fans, hardcore fighting game fans, and casual gamers alike." On their website, Genuine Games offers up a handy definition of the word "genuine" direct from Mirriam-Webster, which helpfully reminds us that it means "... ACTUAL, TRUE (a genuine improvement) 2: free from hypocrisy or pretense..."

All of this seems odd in the extreme considering the ranting in the film against the obsession with Ikea furniture, and the admonishments that "you are not the contents of your wallet. You are not your khakis." What does recently outed (and come on, he WAS outed) author Chuck Palhunuik think about this? I couldn't find any direct response to the game itself, but in an interview at, Palhunuik spoke of games in general: "When I started writing, I said my goal was to bring people back to reading, people who had given up on reading. So I wrote for people who didn't read at that point. Today, you have to write books that can compete against video games and music videos and professional wrestling and all the other things people can do with their time. And those people want plot. People don't want stasis and description. They want the plot to move, they want lots of verbs. You know, verbs on top of verbs."

Or double-combos on top of double-combos.