Max Goes Intellectual
Let's get right to the point on this one. A student (Galen Davis) at Stanford University has written an honors essay entitled "Game Noir: The Construction of Virtual Subjectivity in Computer Gaming". The paper deals with videogames in general, but covers Max Payne in detail. In his own words, this is what he has to say about the essay:
"This essay will demonstrate the transposability of noir storytelling into the gaming medium. The first task is to identify the major characteristics of that noir storytelling and demonstrate its existence in the two games I have selected [MAX PAYNE and Grim Fandango]. Next it is necessary to elucidate the features of the gaming experience and distinguish those that are specific to the medium and not particularly germane to cinema. Finally, with these features in mind we will see what game noir truly is, and how it both conforms to and extends beyond the compositional elements and the goals of film noir."
You can check out the abstract as well as the full thesis by checking out this thread on our forums, where the details and links have been posted.