- You know, when Jeremy 'Toastyfrog' Parish stops writing about pleasingly frivolous, often Servbot-related things, he can also turn a mean critical eye to today's games, and his recent Gamespite.net post about new movie Children Of Men is a wonderful example.

He notes of the stark, Clive Owen-starring film: "All throughout Children, I was dogged by a single nagging thought: I hope Valve is taking notes, because this movie is basically crib notes for Half-Life 3. Or HL4, if those Episodes are really supposed to be HL3. Whatever. The point here is that Alfonso CuarĂ³n basically created a big-screen rendition of the world seen in Half-Life 2."

How so? Parish notes that it's "...a dystopic future in which humanity has succumbed to an outside force, venturing beyond the confines of a few fascist-run cities is deadly, an underground resistance with a meaningfully Greek symbol has arisen, and no one can have children -- but actually made it interesting. Convincing, even. Sure, the agent of humanity's downfall is different; it's aliens in one case, a flu pandemic in another. But the results are the same."

In some ways, his conclusion is a little depressing: "Games just don't feel dangerous. Even though you're actually more involved in the events of a game, Children was far more harrowing. The hero and his companions seemed vulnerable at every moment. You know how Gordon Freeman's supposed to be this everyman, a nerdy physicist who manages to battle his way through improbable odds through sheer adrenaline-fueled luck? Children's Theo actually is." And heck, HL2 is one of the _more_ nuanced games out there. But... things can only get better?