Extra Lives: Kanye West is making a game

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Last week, Kanye West announced that he’s working on a video game, and I think I’m actually excited to play it. When I first heard of this story, I was fairly skeptical. Kanye West has been exhibiting some strange behavior lately (particularly looking at his antics at the Grammys) so this could just be another publicity stunt.

But, then again, it could not be. West is basing his game on his song “Only One,” which is about his mother. The game reportedly includes scenes such as a hypothetical conversation between North West and her grandmother. Could this turn out to be a great work of art?

I think so. Kanye West is well-known for experimenting and pushing forward the avenue ┬áhip hop music, and video games might just be his next great creative exploit. The subject matter is pretty serious, and West seems to be taking it seriously himself. There’s certainly not much danger of us seeing another “50 Cent: Blood on the Sand.”

It’s that, I think, that makes me hopeful. This isn’t just West exploiting his name to make some quick cash; it’s a legitimate artistic enterprise.

Maybe we need more of this in video games. The industry seems to have become so infatuated with itself that it produces the same kinds of games over and over again. The industry needs more experimentation; it needs more people willing to take risks with the games they make. If that experimentation comes from a hip hop artist, then so be it. It’s not only this experimentation, but the fresh look someone from outside the industry might be able to provide that’s valuable. That’s why I’m excited for Kanye West’s game, no matter how good it turns out to be.

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