‘Driver: San Francisco’ and ‘Drive’

In my campaign to single handedly push Driver: San Francisco into the critical consciousness I have written yet another piece for PopMatters on the game. That makes 3 total so far. I amaze myself that I’m still able to write about the game from fresh angles after all this time. I knew I was going to write about Driver and how it relates to Drive before I had even the seen the movie. I felt like there could have been a connection, but then I saw it and it’s a phenomenal movie and has absolutely no connection to what Driver is about despite the similar titles.

But a gauntlet thrown must be accepted, especially when you threw it for yourself. So I thought about it and noticed a lot of the criticism about Drive centered on the character and how he is defined by his profession. Wait, video game characters are defined by their profession. In fact it’s really the only way to read them. So there was my angle, but beyond that I had no idea what I could write. I should do that more often. This isn’t an essay so much as a think piece. I have a starting point and I go from point to point seeing where the logic leads me. I don’t know where I’m going to end up or what the writing is going to say until I get there. It’s a fun way to write. Of course it’s also a dangerous way to write if you’re on a deadline and your output ends up being crap.

In looking back on it, I kind of wish I could spend more time with the concept and really dig deep on the details of the movie and examine how the verb defines him. I’ve already spent quite a bit of time on Tanner. If you haven’t seen the movie and played the game (or read my previous criticism) you’ll end up taking a lot of my points and comparisons on faith. It may not be the best way to write, but I also didn’t want to start repeating myself on the basic points to get to the brand new ones.

Of course maybe me wanted to go back and write the longer version is just I want an excuse to think about Drive a bit more and write about despite the fact I work for the multimedia section of the site. That is also a possibility. Seriously though, it’s a shame the Oscars overlooked it, it might just be the best movie of 2011 hands down.

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