Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

ironfroggy

I don't enjoy watching my favorite movie

Recommended Posts

Have you ever seen Requiem for a Dream? This film is my all-time-favorite, and I hate to watch it. The rawness is almost too much for me sometimes, but I watch it anyway. I think its something everyone should have to expirience. Same goes for the book, too, which I couldn''t read for more than thirty minutes without taking a break and getting my mind off it, but, I couldn''t let myself not finish it. What is my point? Entertainment doesn''t necessarily have to be entertaining in the usual sense of the word. Why are games so limited to being, well, games? Can''t they mean something, say something, stand for something? And why must the few that do accomplish such real essence to them have to be disquised in order to get out the door? I''m tired of playing games, I''m ready to be taken to worlds of emotion, humanity, real horror, and everything that makes living worth living, either by being or reminding us that we can escape it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Games for you to check out:

Sanitarium
Myst 3: Exile
Syberia
The Longest Journey
The Dig
Anachronox

If you only check out one of those, check out Sanitarium. It'll be in bargain bins now, and it's one of the most compelling adventure games released in the last several years. Syberia is absolutely beautiful, as is Myst 3. Anachronox is cinematically interesting and pokes a lot of fun at the adventure game genre.


"Sneftel is correct, if rather vulgar." --Flarelocke

[edited by - sneftel on January 22, 2004 8:37:19 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you read Game Matters?

I don't understand what so bad (good?) about Requiem for a Dream. The only character I found even remotely sympathetic was the mother.

I read the book first, so I wasn't surprised by the movie's plot. I also found the book a bit hard to stick with, because I found the way it was written (e.g. no apostrophes) very annoying.

quote:

Can't they mean something, say something, stand for something? And why must the few that do accomplish such real essence to them have to be disquised in order to get out the door?


Examples?

quote:

I'm tired of playing games, I'm ready to be taken to worlds of emotion, humanity, real horror, and everything that makes living worth living, either by being or reminding us that we can escape it.


The games industry cannot compete with the novel and movie industries for the best writers at the moment.

I got Sanitarium for $10 two years ago, so it might even be out of bargain bins and out of print by now.


[edited by - Lysander on January 22, 2004 8:38:48 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I saw it at Fry''s a month or so ago. If you can''t find it anywhere, go for eBay.


"Sneftel is correct, if rather vulgar." --Flarelocke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know there are games out there with some substance to them, I was just saying there aren''t enough. Not to mention, its sad that those games have to stand apart, that they are so rare. Its like when a game with some meaning to it comes out, its something special, which it is, but for the wrong reason. it should be special because they will mean something to the players, not because its so rare we actually see things like that.

just some social commentary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have to say I don''t agree with the fact that games should mean something, and this, in my opinion, goes for books and movies as well. In general, literature (probably the most abundant source of this so called "meaning" people speak of) should not be written to mean something, but to tell a good story. The story, in anything, be it literature, movie, video game should always come first. That''s probably my problem with many modern artistic works, the fact that the authors write stories to convey and emphasize some deep meaning, instead of writing good stories regardless of the meaning. Stories should be written because they are good stories, not because the author has something to say about the world or society. If the story is good, then there probably will be some aspects of the novel that touch on fundamental themes such as the human condition, but the story should not be written for that purpose. So in answer to your question, no, games should not be created to "mean" something, that should never be the purpose.

--BioX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Their point is to entertain if you ask me, and if thinking about symbolism is entertaining to you...then youve found your type of game/movie/book

also, the only game i can think of that has symbolism and meaning per-say (per-se? eh im dumb) that i can think of is "Silent Hill 2" check it out, you might like it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by ironfroggy
Can't they mean something, say something, stand for something?


Can't games just be games ? Something fun, something to do, a way to pass the time, a hobby, a social activity? (More so the others than the last, for many.) You seem to be searching for a deep, englightening meaning for something that was created for fun . That's what games were made for.

Don't get me wrong, it's good to have an interesting game. Drama is a vital part of many different games. A lot of games have a mythical background, which is what interests me the most. But you seem to want to get the same thing out of a game as you would find in a self-help book. Who's going to play a game and see something that's going to change their lives?

[edited by - orionx103 on January 22, 2004 12:12:57 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Most games don''t have even remotely believable characters (living OR dead), so it is unsurprising that they don''t touch on any ''important'' themes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Its a tad difficult for the game industry to figure out a way to combine literature and gameplay. Even when they do find ways to do it (and do it well), the game gets bad reviews for being too linear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IronFroggy,

I agree with you, games ''should'' be more,
but from my experience the average gamer doesnt want to be subjected to such things and could care less about the ''moving experience'', i''ve played a few games that have left a good experience mark on me...

Indiana Jones and the fate of atlantis
Phantasmagoria (1)
Return to zork and zork nemesis
im sure there are a few more, but didint leave such an impression.


Raymond Jacobs,

www.EDIGames.com

www.EtherealDarkness.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Since we seem to be forming a list, I''ll throw out
"Planescape: Torment"



-----------
VenDrake

"When you and a friend are being chased by a King Cheata, you have but one chance, trip your friend."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the definition of "fun" is not universal. For some, their favorite games are RTS, for others RPG, and yet others stories / games with content.

The gaming industry broke the market down across these genres. They determined how many customers belong to each group, how much competition was in each group, and how much it cost to produce the games in the group. I''m oversimplifying here, I''m sure the companies considered other reasons for producing games.

So the reality of the business reflects what companies believe will make them enough money. The same can be said for just about any product, for the computer or otherwise.

I would wager that for really good games with "meaning" you would find these games in the minority because of their economic infeasibility or their unproven market value. Therefore, you''d probably want to direct your search for such games not in the store. Some amateurs don''t care about profits and just make games for the love of making games. I''m guessing if you look hard enough you can find excellent games that the general market ignores. Granted, an amateur designer typically doesn''t have the resources as larger companies, so to expect fancy graphics and/or music would be icing on the cake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by orionx103
But you seem to want to get the same thing out of a game as you would find in a self-help book.

Actually, I don''t think he mentioned self-help books, but rather movies. And I think it''s completely warranted for him to want the same sort of dramatic/comedic effect that he can get from movies.


"Sneftel is correct, if rather vulgar." --Flarelocke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think a better thing to say would be that *stories* should have meaning. There are plenty of games out there without stories; what, you want to turn Tetris into an exploration of philosophy now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Inmate2993
Its a tad difficult for the game industry to figure out a way to combine literature and gameplay. Even when they do find ways to do it (and do it well), the game gets bad reviews for being too linear.


Ah, this may be true, but many games have minor literature references that you may not have noticed. For instance, in Devil May Cry, the names Dante, Virgil, and I think Trish, come from The Inferno, by the poet Dante. (I consider the name "Trish" and alternant form of "Beatrice.") The name Sparda comes from the name of a Greek warrior city-state, the name Alastor comes from Greek mythology, and Ifrit comes from mid-eastern mythology.

Final Fantasy is huge on using references. Take a look at the number of weapons, monsters, characters, and items from different games that come from literature and mythology. Honestly, it''s astounding they can come figures from so many different cultures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you ask me... =D

the ''connective'' test of a game is when you as the player genuinely feel similar if not identical emotions that the main character is feeling.

again this is only for certain types of games (where applicable),crying with the tetris block probably wont happen ;-).
And it takes certain kinds of people, not everyone likes a game where you are playing a story moreso than playing for a ''flat'' 1:1 goal(s)

e.g. killing your husband to rid him of a demon (Phantasmagoria)
e.g. rid the planet of invading demon things (quake/doom)

certain games touch upon issues that hit home, and do it so well that you get sucked into the game and for a while they become your issues.

I personaly have played games where somthing so sad has happened i''ve cried, and yet in other instances was so happy i jumped out of my seat, or wouldnt play the game from extream horror for a while (hated the death screen in return to zork...evil.).



Raymond Jacobs,

www.EDIGames.com

www.EtherealDarkness.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I''m very impressed with the volume and quality of the replies, I was hoping to get some reactions and I''ve accomplished that. I want to explain, however, that I don''t mean that all games should have deep rooted meanings and emotions: I like my tetris simple, too.

What I was trying to get across was that I wish these sorts of games could be more common place, and that they werent so rare and infrequent that we would have to consider it something out of the ordinary, which it is. How many times have you said or heard said of a game that its story line is just unbelievable? How many times have you said or heard said of a game that its story line and watery and weak? Sadly, its the first that we talk about the most, because its the one that surprises us. And, that, ladies and gentlemen, is the crime of our time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
How about a version of Pokemon that would create convincing AI creatures with emotions, loyalty and obvious feelings. and featuring a Pokemon rights movement that would argue that the Pokemon are being ill treated by their teenage owners. Even if nt being a goal of the game, wouldn''t this be a step forward?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AP: I think you have it. Those kinds of step in the direction of depth in our entertainment is what we need. And, those kinds of elements would not alienate the current fan-base of the series. Kids can pay attention to things with complexities in them, even if they don''t understand them, as long as there are other, simpler, layers for them to focus on. And, it exposes them to the more complex issues and ideals, educating them both on the issues at hand, and on the ability to grasp those such issues. Many people today don''t care about the big issues, partially because they don''t know how to properly grasp the scope of such things. They were raised on small ideas and localized issues.

If you saw no artwork but stamps your entire life, how would you react to a murel? Even if you know its great, could you really grasp it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by ironfroggy
AP: I think you have it. Those kinds of step in the direction of depth in our entertainment is what we need.


And how about having RPGs that subvert the genre expectations occasionaly, such as having a quest that has a slightly negative outcome even though you were acting for a good cause. Kind of like starttrek''s no-interference thing. But likewise featuring situations where you decide not to get involved but it shows that you could have helped out and made things better.

Personally I think that these kinds of things are better when they show both sides to an argument and depict shades of grey. Ie. dealing with a war, and showing that the people are in many ways better off without being run by a dictator.. but that the war in itself is just the starting point for peace. There are no ends, only beginnings.

Or using allegorical situations, ie. having evil aliens that people want to kill, (where really they stand for the most evil humans in society). These aliens have the potential to be better than they are, and do they deserve to be rehabilitated into society, can they even be rehabilitated? Can only a few percent of them be rehabilitated? I think that some games have done that before.. ?

On the other hand, I don''t think that making a game about being a heroin etc. addict would work very well, since I don''t think that games would be a good medium to present the negative sides of drug addiction (or the internal feelings and struggle).. and would probably present it in a simplistic way. Ie. A game where you steal to feed your expensive addiction. It would probably just make it seem fun like GTA3. Maybe an allegorical thing would be a better way of examining such an issue. And it would probably be better not to have any control over such a character, but feature them as a background plot line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ketchaval, ever played Deus Ex or Deus Ex: Invisible War? Quite simply, they''re exactly what you describe (Invisible War moreso than the original, story-wise). The original premise was that a James Bond-type character, who sees the world in black and white, is dropped in to a world where everything is shades of grey.

Both games emphasize the shades-of-grey motif. While there are three main factions (in Invisible War) to align with, none of them are clearly better - they all have their good and bad sides. It''s merely a choice of which is the lesser of three evils.

Throw in a helping of modern political hot-topics such as bioengineering and the roles of science and religion, and mix with some fun conspiracy theories, and it creates a very interesting game, and a blast to play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
to extend what was said about a story just being a story ...

I see three types of experience / game / story ...

those in which the author has a point, and makes it - forcing on the audience their insights or views (like fables), note just because I say they are forcing their view or thought onto the audience doesn''t mean it is always bad.

those in which the author has a deep connection to the characters and situations involved, and exposes those raw and clear to the audience, but the audience is left to draw whatever connections they can from the material (this is most like much of life).

those in which there really is no meaning to draw, and instead just an experience to be had. Think of the joy of a child being swung around in their parents arms, or thrill of riding a bike.

All forms of entertainment can be and of the above ... movies can be obvious moral lessons, tales of human situations, or simple a viseral experience to watch. Even poetry comes in all of these flavors, with many thought out and pointed poems trying to convince us, with other true to heart stories sharing with us, and still other poems simple a delight in the words, meter, or rhyme ...

So too are games ... When I play real-time strategy or first-person shooter games, I play the 3rd type of game, sure the authors made a story mode, but I don''t play it, I play the game where you start from the same place every time, even with your enemies, in a competition ... more like a game of tennis, than a story. When I play turn-based strategy games, I plot and analysize, I figure and act ... more like solving math problems than watching a movie (except that results come back more like gambler''s winnings, than math grades ...

not everything should have a point, nor even a story ... but there are many good games that do ...

Also, I agree with the OP that a game experience need not be "fun" to be "good" (read good in this case as VALUABLE) ... I am sitting here this moment writing on this forum, as I often do ... and I am not having "fun" but I am satisfying a human need ... I am rewarded by this experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Interactive Fiction like my old "Choose Your Own Adventure" books?

Well, I have to say I agree with the initial post here. While I don''t have anything against games as mere entertainment, I do wish that designers would look past the semantics of the word "game", and realize that programs can be interactive and entertaining on many levels. Many designers seem stuck on the notion that there is only one model, paradigm, and fundamental raison d''etre for making computer programs that involve the human emotional expression of having "fun".

How limiting.

I think that games of today are stuck in what comics were in the post 50''s Comics Code Approval era. The ironic thing is that comics in their infancy (mid 30''s to early 50''s) were actually more geared for adults...and this actually led to their downfall. In the McCarthy witch hunts for all the bad things that were seducing our mom-and-apple pie loving people of America, it was deemed that comics were warping the naive minds of the youth with racy and bawdy stories, or stories too macabre and dark for those fragile minds. So the CCA was developed in which if the comic did not have the CCA seal, it couldn''t be carried at newsvendors. So the spiral continued where comics were geared ever more towards the 10-18 crowd. As was inevitable, much of the deep meaning of stories and some of the more fertile storyline material were taken away. It was only in the mid 80''s with the coming of Dark Knight Returns, and The Watchmen, that comics returned to their roots, and many titles are geared for adults (most notably, DC''s Vertigo series).

So here we are today with computer games. Many people just want games so they can escape from the world and not have to think about work, school, lovelife, or any other myriad real-world problems. Instead, they just want to immerse themselves in the game and have fun. Ok. That''s your cup of tea.

But basically all games have been about superficial and external gratification (even if it''s a virtual external gratification). What do I mean external gratification? Most players have fun because there is some kind of reward system (i.e. winning) which is very objectively quantified, and immediately empirically observable. In other words, you know what you need to do to win, and the player can tell if he''s winning or losing. Anyone who''s taken any psychology classes though will have heard of the concepts of internalized gratification....which is something few if any games I know of do.

So what is internalized gratification? It is a means of setting your own reward system, rather than an external one, and of your own observation and judgment of whether you are meeting the standards. In other words, the player''s enjoyment comes from taking his own world view, and relating this to the virtual world. Through this comparison, he must make up in his own mind whether he is doing something worthwhile or not (and if the game is good, more players than not will find the game enjoyable or worthwhile on some level). Notice I said "worthwhile", and not "fun". Fun is not the sole goal of creating a game, and I think this in itself deserves it''s own thread. As long as a game makes a player feel that he''s somehow better for having played it, then the program has done its job. Whether it be fun, education, or a sudden enlightenment doesn''t matter...as long as one feels like it was worth his time to play the program.

So what does this have to do about meaning in a game? If a game concentrates less on rules, and more about what (and how) the player interacts with, then the game must be based on internalized gratification...i.e., it should absorb the player and make him reflect on his own standards and judgment rather than the predetermined standards of the author/designer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites