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Ketchaval

arty games are rubbish!

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Who cares about ''art''? Given the choice of a boring but moving game, or a fun exciting game which would I choose? Are games best left as games instead of pretentious interactive experiences? Galatea is hyped in the IF community but pah, who wants to talk to a computerised living statue? Maybe if this character was runnung around a half-life level with me and being scared of the monsters and giving me advice, then I''d like it. Don''t forget to entertain the player first, then bring in the subtlety... Agree ? Disagree? (yeah I''m overstating the case here for effect. What do you think?)

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I enjoy some of the more artistic games because of their athmosphere and the feeling that the game is more than just entertainment. However, often these games are just far too boring. The problem with art these days, is that everything accessible and clear is labeled popularism. This encourages artists to produce inaccessible egocentric rubbish IMHO.

I think art is at its best when it seems (and feels!) like entertainment, but is in fact art in disguise.

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quote:
Original post by Ketchaval

Who cares about ''art''? Given the choice of a boring but moving game, or a fun exciting game which would I choose? Are games best left as games instead of pretentious interactive experiences?

Galatea is hyped in the IF community but pah, who wants to talk to a computerised living statue? Maybe if this character was runnung around a half-life level with me and being scared of the monsters and giving me advice, then I''d like it.

Don''t forget to entertain the player first, then bring in the subtlety...

Agree ? Disagree?

(yeah I''m overstating the case here for effect. What do you think?)




I think you''re completely and utterly wrong. If something is moving, it''s not boring. I would much rather talk to Galatea or play Photopia than run around shooting things. "Pretentious interactive experiences?" Rubbish. You''d probably argue that all books should be cheap adventure novels, because they''re more fun, right? Who wants this pretentious literature stuff?
It''s thinking like that which is keeping game design from advancing: that games should be THIS or THAT and that everything else is wrong. Why can''t you just accept that some people prefer thinking to shooting and let us make the games we enjoy? It''s not like this will prevent you from playing your action games. Why do you think that there is only one way of making games?

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quote:
Original post by runemaster
quote:
Original post by Ketchaval

Who cares about ''art''? Given the choice of a boring but moving game, or a fun exciting game which would I choose? Are games best left as games instead of pretentious interactive experiences?



Why can''t you just accept that some people prefer thinking to shooting and let us make the games we enjoy? It''s not like this will prevent you from playing your action games. Why do you think that there is only one way of making games?




Some good points well made runemaster. But please don''t mistake me as suggesting that all games should be shooters (did you take my point about Half-Life that way?). Nothing wrong with puzzles, indeed a good puzzle is always good.

And you are right that people should make what they want there is an audience for most things.

I''m just complaining about people who want games to be pretentious so that they can say ''ooh look it is art'' not realising that it isn''t an enjoyable experience. I''m also complaining about people saying they fell in love with the character of Galatea ... bleurgh.

It is all about balance, some people like ''arty'' vapid stuff, and others like meat''n''potatoes gameplay, there is probably a good meeting place in the middle.

Thanks for the response, this thread being a devil''s advocate type thing. (as you can probably see from the title)

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runemaster - what you're talking about isn't a game. It's a (possibly somewhat interactive) movie. Nothing wrong with that - I will probably get a ps2 at some stage just to play FFX, which is very much an interactive movie from what I've heard.

I'm going to give the best definition of a game that I know:
Games are, at their core, collections of rules.
I'd add to that that the modern game is also a piece of scripted entertainment - a movie. The two things are generally separate, although the movie is generally used to explain bits of the game.

Take Pac-Man, for instance - it's a game without a trace of 'movie-ness'. As a result we have no clue why the little yellow guy is in a blue maze with white dots... but it's still fun to play. FFX, on the other hand, from what I've seen/heard, is a movie without a great deal of gameplay. It's great fun to watch... but you don't do a lot of actual playing. In the end, either type of game has it's target audiences. Tetris will never have the storyline of FFX, but then again it's got a hell of a lot more replayability.

[edit: missed a stupid / and formatting wasn't quite right ]

[edited by - fractoid on March 7, 2004 8:52:02 AM]

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I think that video games, as a medium, are about where comic books were a decade or two ago. Filled since their inception with bright primary colors and low-quality dialogue, comics were viewed by the entire population as little more than a vehicle for cheesy superhero fantasies. With comics like American Splendor and Maus, these preconceptions were shaken, but they still hold firm.

In comics, there are two extremes: There are people who can take a book like Maus and say that it''s a silly picture-book for children, precisely because it''s a comic (I use the word "comic" in place of "graphic novel", because i disapprove of political correctness in such matters, and "comics" as a term has long since lost its denotative meaning.) At the same time, there are those who can look at a story about Spider-Man taking on a giant robotic gigolo and term it as literature. Another group is just interested in the visceral thrill of the medium, and they seek out comics that provide a colorful alternate universe. Such people are bothered by "boring" comics, and think that it shouldn''t be painted on panels unless it has someone wearing bullet-proof tights.

Video games are the same way. Some think they''re a childish diversion, but now there is a video games page in many newspapers, and the appeal of games has broadened considerably. No longer are video games played exclusively in the Audio/Video club alongside Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. Video games are enjoyed by a wide cross-section of the population. However, there are still clear stratifications. Some think video games are for children, others deify them as the next great evolution of interactive media. And once again, there are purists who would keep video games in their infancy, who would be offended by the attempt to use the hardware and controls systems of their hobby to do anything other than vaporize aliens or battle ninjas. That''s the tone of Ketcheval''s first post, though I doubt it represents Ketcheval''s true feelings on the matter.

On the whole, I''d say that the phrase "video games" has lost its denotative meaning. Just as "comics" aren''t necessarily funny, "video games" don''t have to be simple diversions, fit only for a few minutes or hours of idle self-indulgence. Computer technology has been pushed forward by the demands of gamers, and many of the innovations they have spurred can be bent to other purposes. In the eighties, video games were simple and crude, like finger-paintings. Over the last twenty-five years, new innovations have been like new tools for an artist. First, we built paintbrushes like anti-aliasing and alpha channel masks. Moving into the third dimension gave us sculpting tools like NURBS models and z-buffering. Now, with this vast array of tools and techniques available, and a broad base of hardware and software to aid in the creative process, it seems lazy to painstakingly construct the same kung-fun aliens that we splattered onto construction paper in the dim, distant days of the medium''s youth.

So go ahead and make "arty" games. Make experiments in AI, and interactive piles of leaves, and fifty-hour interactive movies. By all means expand the horizons of the video game world. Just as Justice League fans bypass the "graphic novel" section, so too will gamers avoid the arty games, and vice versa.

That''s all I have to say about that.

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Iron Chef Carnage: NURBS in games?

Alot of old games where classics. Things like the old rpgs where restricted by the amount of hardware they had and so developers (yes only developers making games) had to be more inventive in making games. With the game boom (started by the psx) players from an ''outside'' environment started to arrive. This is when games started to become about making the best 3d rendering engine with fancy particle effects and less about the art that is the game (if it looks good, it is good sort of philosophy). If a game has no plot or meaning to it I cannot play, I need some sort of meaningful goal.
I have seen the 11 millionth fps where you have one goal (kill the other team) and am sick of it.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Genjix
IrIf a game has no plot or meaning to it I cannot play, I need some sort of meaningful goal.



So you have games which are good fun to play Tetris Quake 3, racing games, purely puzzle driven adventures , but have no meaning (pure entertainment/ mind exercise).
You have games with a plot (which may add to the entertainment factor).
Then there are games with a plot, where the plot actually has meaning and a social / personal relevance beyond being just another justification for whatever you are doing. Is this art?

Which is even better if the ''game'' is good too!

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"A game is a series of interesting choices" is frequently attributed to Will Wright, creator of SimCity and The Sims. "Art" doesn''t give me any choices, so why make it a "game"? Art is beheld and experience (and perhaps consumed - culinary arts), but does it involve choice?

Until that gap can be bridged, this debate will remain unfruitful.

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