Archived

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

Ketchaval

Social Comedy

Recommended Posts

Today I read a critic''s quote from a book blurb, which said that as with many good writers the comedy of the book was used to give deeper insight / depth / understanding of the (social) issues involved, as opposed to avoiding the issues. (The book was the new Nick Hornby one). This is an element that is lacking from (many? 99%?) of computer games / adventures. It seems to be a way in which computer games could be "made more [pseud mode-on] artistic [pseud mode-off] ". Whilst retaining a light, affecting and entertaining tone to the game (ie. avoiding the game dragging or Preaching to the gamers). But how can this be done? Obviously this aspect would be possible to convey via writing, but would it be possible to convey it by gameplay?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Though I''m not an adventure fan, adventure''s the one genre that I know uses comedy effectively. But as far as comedy for social critique? The closest I remember (vaguely) is an adventure game called Normalcy, which (I think) partly incorporated social criticism (of conformity, again *I think*)

This might simply be an unexploited area. Since social critique through comedy relies on the stealth approach, you don''t have the same problem with dramatic critique where you run into the problem of people playing games to have fun. What I mean is that I don''t think your message will get in the way because it''s undercover.

The only potential problems I see are: You''d wouldn''t have a very replayable game, because the same gags twice usually don''t go over well. And you''d have to deal with the dreaded target audience issue / maturity issue.





--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One problem with social criticism comedy in games: much of this type of comedy involves the people being criticized acting in really stupid or irrational ways, which violates the realism which is implied by the fact that you are alive and sane and exercising your agency inside the game.

There are usually elements of comic social criticism in RPGs: the token greedy packrat, the power-hungry chancellor, various bumbling adults vs. competent children, etc.

There''s no point in doing social comedy unless you can do it well and not too cliched - it''s hard to compete with things like dr. seuss and veggie tales.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don''t think that''s an entirely true statement.

Look at the Space Quest games. The comedy in those games was very satirical and commentative, whilst being very enjoyable and funny.

The Longest Journey by FunCom, accomplished much of that humor as well, and still retained a good sense of ''game''.

I think that type of comedy and value is available in games, but most of us aren''t looking at games to provide us with that sort of entertainment. If you spent some time looking closer, I imagine you''d see alot more social value in some games than you think.

Of course most games are completely devoid of any social value whatsoever, and those seem to be the most popular games.

--Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites