Game Pile: Nier: Automata

After the fold, there are my notes I used to build the audio for this video.

Concept: three loops through the video, with different voice over of the same footage.

Nier Automata is a challenging game to talk about.

I mean, I imagine I say that for a different reason to most. After all, one of the common comments about Nier Automata is that it’s deep and thoughtful and pulls in a wide range of philosophical reference points for its framing and how it’s very memey. The challenge of Nier Automata, in general discourse, is in its vastness, in the way that it is big and grapples with challenging ideas.

These ideas are usually cooked into the question about whether or not it’s okay for the robot to have a really nice butt, of course.

I was asked to approach Nier Automata, and I was excited to do so, back in February, as a possible candidate for a Smooch Month game. This idea interested me, and so did the game, so I picked it up and had a go at it. Finding myself struggling with seeing the smoochiness of this game, I set it aside with an intention to return to the game and play it in June, as part of Pride month.

And… I didn’t.


See, the thing this game makes me think about is the conversation about ‘being a queer game.’

  • I had it suggested to me to check this game out because it was ‘a queer game.’ And it’s not like it’s not a queer game, but it’s … not very queer?
  • In my attempts to dig into this game, I found that there is ‘queerness’ in that there are major characters who do not express much sexual attraction (so, ace rights), that there’s a girl with a girlfriend (go team lesbians) and that there’s a dude named eve (go team GNC I guess).
  • There’s a challenge about ‘queer games.’
    • Browsing itch.io, looking for signifiers
    • Just the idea of what a ‘queer game is’
    • Queer readings
    • Queer voices
  • No, no, that’s not it.

Dub vs Sub vs Dub

  • ‘he’s a conversation away from wearing a red hat’
  • 9s voice and the human music
  • Emotionality as expressed

Games that Comment on Games have to be Games

  • Philosophy Engines
  • Invisible walls
  • It’s philosophical in that it tells you about philosophy