Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Pupil

Videogames can become more than entertainment, and you can ensure that it happens.

This topic is 3600 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

(If you'd rather not read all of this, skip down to the last paragraph. It gives the point I'm trying to explain). I see art as creative exspression that can invoke emotions, intrigue us, inspire us, and may change the way we think about the world. I'm sure most of those that come to these forums agree that videogames should be seen as an art,they do put all the arts into one package, they should be seen more than a childish form of entertainment. Nintendo has managed to make the average person become interested into videogames with the Wii and DS, destroying the idea that videogames are for kids. The way they are doing it however, is games for pure entertainment. I do not think this is wrong, videogames were built as entertainment and should continue to be. However, just as games can be purely entertainment, they can also be dramtic tales in a new world the player can become attachted to, like fictional literature and cinema. I do not believe all videogames should be considered an art, games like Tetris and Pacman should remain as interactive entertainment, something to strictly pass the time. There are other games though, that should be seen as an art, something that evokes emotion and inspiration into a player. I consider few games fall into this catergory. The only game I can think of that made me care of the characters, that invoked the emotions books and film can do, is Metal Gear Solid. I'm sure other titles could be named but the list would be small compared to the lists of movies and books that can. This is the problem I present. Videogames need to be more than just a thing to play , and can be. Some videogames should be remembered for the fun you had, and others for the story they told. In my opinion, the industry is very slolwy starting to see this. I think the way some videogames can invoke the emotions true art does, is by learning more from literature and cinema. Videogames already incorperate most the arts(Architecture, Drawings, Painting, Literature, Music, and Theatre)into one , yet they still do not garner the respect that those arts do. The industry has already learned the artisitc side,by creating vast and imaginative worlds, but these worlds, are often bare of the things that stir passion into a player's heart. Turning to Literature and Film can teach the industry and new&upcoming developers(You) to create a world that people can care deeply for. Like the lands of Middle-Earth, the galaxies of Star Wars, the magic of Hogwarts and the realm of Narnia. By learning the lessons of books and film can videogames become as memorable of the lands listed above. In order for videogames to become regarded as art, they must invoke passions and emotions into the player, as any artform should. As stated before, the industry is great at creating beautiful area's to play in, but are often bare of emotion. To give these lands a deep reason the player should care about, is to make these worlds seem real, more than with amazing phsyics, eye popping graphics and realstic sounds in them. Give them an engrossing story with interesting , 3-dimensional characters. Great stories and characters will always give passion from a person. The story is where I believe emotion will be invoked, and it should be obvious, it is the way film and fiction do it. But videogames should not only be focused on story, they are still something people interact with, something people seek enjoyment from. Videogames trying to become art must have fun gameplay that fits the story. Otherwise the game will be a flop. So, what do I think can make videogames more than a shallow experience, made soley for the purpose of entertainment? I think the industry needs more writers to craft a plot a player can care for. Craft, 3-dimensional characters that have strong-points and flaws, and when they die, it will cause grief in a players heart. Craft an intriguing back story the game is based upon. The way videogames will become more than a childs-toy, more than eye candy, more than code, is when it has a great story AND great gameplay. Not all videogames need to be more than entertainment but if a developer wants to have their game seen as art, it must be art. So what do you think? Do you agree that this is the only way videogames can reach art status? Do you think it even matters?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Quote:
Original post by Pupil
Do you think it even matters?


Personally, no. I don't care how people classify video games. They can call them toys, games, or art and it won't change the fact that I enjoy making and playing them.

I also don't believe that I could ever play a game and really "care" about any character in it. Just like any book I read or film I watch, I never actually care about any of the characters. I might like some and dislike others, but when one dies, I simply acknowledge it and move on. Every example you mentioned (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Chronicles of Narnia) falls into this. I enjoy them as entertainment, but I don't actually care about any of the characters. And Metal Gear... I won't even get into how much I think that game is over-hyped in every respect including it's "artistic value".

So for me, I'm happy if my games have interesting plots, good game play, and a decent level of visual polish. I won't ever care about the characters, the worlds, or the events in a video game anymore than I care about them in movies. It's all just entertainment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Videogames, just like movies, novels, and comics, are both art and entertainment, and will always be a mix of the two. Of course it would be nice to see games become a higher quality (i.e. more artistic) type of entertainment, but the problem is that as a multimedia and technological form they pretty much have to be team efforts and require hardware and software tools. An individual can write a novel or draw a picture with next to no supplies and nothing but a burning drive to be artistic, but you can't make a game with quality visual, audio, and gameplay aspects without a budget. So if you want games to get more artistic, you should either raise money to pay for an artistic game to be made, or you should help create better game-maker software to make it easier for a single person to make a high quality game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
"The way videogames will become more than a childs-toy, more than eye candy, more than code, is when it has a great story AND great gameplay." ... "Do you agree that this is the only way videogames can reach art status?"


Answer 1: No, this is not the only way video games can "reach art status".
To be "art" all games need is to be treated like art or put into the context of being treated as a piece of art. This is being done both by game-makers and academics. It'll take years before games are commonly accepted as capital-A Art by most artists as well as the public, but it is happening.

It may be morbid, but maybe all it requires is for everyone to die off who didn't grow up with video games. Movies are Art now, didn't you hear?

It matters because if games are considered "art" then game makers get more money prestige, and the chance to get taken seriously when they make games as something other than 'just a job'.


2: You didn't say it, but in your post might be the implication that video games are made as products made for the purpose of being sold to make money rather than others concerns (eg. art). The form of games is determined a great deal by people who care more about money than about making good games (whatever "good" means, and whatever there is to be said for consumers identifying good games and bad games and making good games commercially successful)... yeah.

This is how the industry works right now and some people think it sucks, some people think it's good, some think that's just how it is. Even if this is not easy to change, the way commercial concerns interact with content can be considered and criticized ... and damned if I don't change what I do to try to make money.


3: As a suggestion, maybe, if you want to think about games differently consider them as a part of a category called "interactive media" rather than restricted to what the word "games" implies. As with literature, movies, and other arts, the point of what we call games is not necessarily "fun" or "beauty" or a narrative or any classical ideals. A game may be about an aesthetic (even an ugly one), an abstract idea, a philosophical point, a feeling, a story, a fictional (or real!) character, it may be about interactions with other people. Maybe there's no story at all!

I'm rambling, but my point is that games are a strange and flexible medium capable of much more than imitating older forms of media like novels or movies. So I think your answer to the question of artistic quality in games requires ... more.

Once I figure out just what 'more' should be I'll make the coolest game ever and get back to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Pupil
(If you'd rather not read all of this, skip down to the last paragraph. It gives the point I'm trying to explain).

I see art as creative exspression that can invoke emotions, intrigue us, inspire us, and may change the way we think about the world. I'm sure most of those that come to these forums agree that videogames should be seen as an art,they do put all the arts into one package, they should be seen more than a childish form of entertainment. Nintendo has managed to make the average person become interested into videogames with the Wii and DS, destroying the idea that videogames are for kids. The way they are doing it however, is games for pure entertainment. I do not think this is wrong, videogames were built as entertainment and should continue to be. However, just as games can be purely entertainment, they can also be dramtic tales in a new world the player can become attachted to, like fictional literature and cinema.

I do not believe all videogames should be considered an art, games like Tetris and Pacman should remain as interactive entertainment, something to strictly pass the time. There are other games though, that should be seen as an art, something that evokes emotion and inspiration into a player. I consider few games fall into this catergory. The only game I can think of that made me care of the characters, that invoked the emotions books and film can do, is Metal Gear Solid. I'm sure other titles could be named but the list would be small compared to the lists of movies and books that can. This is the problem I present. Videogames need to be more than just a thing to play , and can be. Some videogames should be remembered for the fun you had, and others for the story they told. In my opinion, the industry is very slolwy starting to see this.

I think the way some videogames can invoke the emotions true art does, is by learning more from literature and cinema. Videogames already incorperate most the arts(Architecture, Drawings, Painting, Literature, Music, and Theatre)into one , yet they still do not garner the respect that those arts do. The industry has already learned the artisitc side,by creating vast and imaginative worlds, but these worlds, are often bare of the things that stir passion into a player's heart.

Turning to Literature and Film can teach the industry and new&upcoming developers(You) to create a world that people can care deeply for. Like the lands of Middle-Earth, the galaxies of Star Wars, the magic of Hogwarts and the realm of Narnia. By learning the lessons of books and film can videogames become as memorable of the lands listed above. In order for videogames to become regarded as art, they must invoke passions and emotions into the player, as any artform should.

As stated before, the industry is great at creating beautiful area's to play in, but are often bare of emotion. To give these lands a deep reason the player should care about, is to make these worlds seem real, more than with amazing phsyics, eye popping graphics and realstic sounds in them. Give them an engrossing story with interesting , 3-dimensional characters. Great stories and characters will always give passion from a person. The story is where I believe emotion will be invoked, and it should be obvious, it is the way film and fiction do it. But videogames should not only be focused on story, they are still something people interact with, something people seek enjoyment from. Videogames trying to become art must have fun gameplay that fits the story. Otherwise the game will be a flop.

So, what do I think can make videogames more than a shallow experience, made soley for the purpose of entertainment? I think the industry needs more writers to craft a plot a player can care for. Craft, 3-dimensional characters that have strong-points and flaws, and when they die, it will cause grief in a players heart. Craft an intriguing back story the game is based upon. The way videogames will become more than a childs-toy, more than eye candy, more than code, is when it has a great story AND great gameplay. Not all videogames need to be more than entertainment but if a developer wants to have their game seen as art, it must be art.

So what do you think? Do you agree that this is the only way videogames can reach art status? Do you think it even matters?


What do I think of all this?

"But I don't think of you."

Read The Fountainhead to understand what that means.


Make the games you want to play. Period. Chaseing after elusive status is to practice appeasement. Which is insecure and insincere.

Either we bow to some established common critical assesment of what Art is...as you seem to suggest.

Or we do our own thing, letting the chips fall where they may. And maybe the Art critics will redefine thier interpretation of what Art is.

We bow to them...or they bow to us...Which will it be Mr. Toohley?

[Edited by - MSW on July 19, 2008 2:50:25 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What emotions can videogames evoke in players at present?

- frustration - players become angry with themselves for their difficulties playing - they often turn this anger towards the game
- anxiety - players involved in the tactical present of the game become anxious over their progress in the game
- excitement - players involved in the tactical present of the game become excited with their progress in the game
- curiosity - to the extent that a game world engrosses players they remain curious about what lies beyond the next horizon

This is not an exhaustive list. My point is that these emotions are quite a long way away from bringing a player to tears over the fate of characters in the story. I think that when it comes to evoking that kind of emotion, the pacing of videogames puts them at a tremendous disadvantage. The slower pacing necessary to evoke tears of empathy would seem to conflict with the faster pacing necessary to make gameplay engrossing. In this regard, I think videogames could learn a few lessons from anime, which manages to mix action with emotion. There, action determines a character's fate but not his personality. Emotions follow from contrasting a character's background with that character's fate and whether that fate is tragic, ironic or heroic. The Charles and Ray story arc in Eureka 7 illustrates this well, but I'll leave the details for you to check out for yourself. It is worth noting that the better anime series devote plenty of time, sometimes multiple episodes, to character development. This makes sense given that a viewer isn't likely to care about the fate of characters he knows nothing about.

At any rate, it seems to me that in order to even begin to evoke emotions, video games will first need to slow down game play without making game play boring.

And then there's that whole mortality angle too - or rather immortality angle. I think it's difficult to get emotionally worked up over a character that can be reset and resurrected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Getting player to cry over the loss of a game character has already been done...The company INFOCOM...The game Planetfall...The robot character Floyd.

Quote:

Reaction to Floyd's in-game death was hailed at the time as a telling sign of the emotional power of Infocom's games. Many players, it was widely reported, wept openly at the scene of Floyd's "death". Apparently, it was previously unthinkable that "a simple game" could move people to such a degree.


That was in 1983, before some of you may even had been born. Not everything old is Asteroids and Space Invaders. Interactive Fiction has come a long way sense then. If you have any illusions to some greater power of stories in games, you owe it to your craft to start there...

Yeah, To make I.F. you may need to unlearn much of what the mainstream has taught you about video games. Action is pretty much out, but that lets you focus on other forms of conflict resolution. Meaning you, as the writer, get to use your head. You get to forge new worlds and games as YOU see fit...no compromising with programmers, texture and model artist, producers, publishers, and marketing. I.F. is your chance to shine, without the safety net of established conventions.

And so frikkin what if the "cool" kids don't get it, make the game you want to play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by MSW
Yeah, To make I.F. you may need to unlearn much of what the mainstream has taught you about video games. Action is pretty much out, but that lets you focus on other forms of conflict resolution.


Well, it might be quite nice to have an interactive fiction core game with action minigames, which could even include combat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've had emotional responses to video game events. You just have to play the right games. However, I don't cry.

Videogames are no different then any other form of entertainment. You have to build up to a pay-off.

Square-Enix's RPG games give you enough time to get to know and like characters, while a lot of other games don't. Aeris's FF7 death was emotional, as was Rinoa's very near death in the very emotional space scene. Rinoa's scene came at least 20 hours into the game. So it's easy to grow attached to them.

Characters have died in other games, but I haven't gotten the chance to know them yet, either because they haven't been fleshed out, or they haven't been around long enough, so it doesn't have the same emotional impact.

I've played one game that ended with a tough decision you had to make by deciding the fate of a character you have been socializing with the entire game, fallen in love with, and trying to escape from a crazy town with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
Quote:
Original post by MSW
Yeah, To make I.F. you may need to unlearn much of what the mainstream has taught you about video games. Action is pretty much out, but that lets you focus on other forms of conflict resolution.


Well, it might be quite nice to have an interactive fiction core game with action minigames, which could even include combat.


It might be nice to drag a security blanket through life as well. But sometimes its good to reevalute things. Figure out if "I'm doing this because its absolutely necessary" or "I'm doing this because its expected of me".

Action minigames and combat are like security blankets to game designers. We know they work, and we know the kinds of games they produce. This thread is about trying for something more, something that supposedly hasn't been done before...Which just might mean letting go of those security blankets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!