Serious games - Page 2

Powerful First Person Shooter is uncomfortably timely

As if this weren't bad enough, among their victims is the school's lone African American student, a boy, we come to learn, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the villain Kerry has programmed into the game as a secret (virtual) revenge on the man who murdered his wife.

Kerry's guilt and anxiety are impossible to contain, invading both the haunted dream world where he relives the brutal attack on his wife (scenes impressively rendered in a bold, cinematic style on Melpomene Katakalos's spare stage of toppled chairs and tables, augmented by Brian Degan Scott's excellent two-panel video design and Ian Walker's atmospheric soundscape) and the JetPack offices. Further, the legal and media uproar that results from the killings shakes the tight little team — rounded out by a hip young programmer named Wilson (Sung Min Park) and a forceful MBA named Tamar (Kate Del Castillo) — just as the now notorious and endangered company is set to launch the game's successor. Enter lawyers all around, played by Park and Susi Damilano, who also plays a slain student's well-meaning stepmother. They pursue winner-take-all strategies on behalf of the victims' families and the embattled corporation, respectively, as Kerry and his counterpart on the other side of the battle, a dead student's father (played movingly, in shades of turmoil and dignity, by Adrian Roberts), grope their way out of the dehumanizing machine that's caught them up, toward some kind of contact, some identification, grounded in a shared suffering and understanding. *


Through June 9

Wed.–Sat., 8 p.m. (also Sat., 3 p.m.)


SF Playhouse

533 Sutter, SF

(415) 677-9596

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