Archive for December 9, 2005

Games as art

Soo-Mahn: a game designer’s blog

Discussed here a rebuttle to Rober Ebert’s game can’t be art. The rebuttal (I didn’t read it all) seems to consist of the response well game designers will have to think of everthing, “he argument goes that since there is a level of interactivity inherent in games, the role of the author is diminished. Is this true? Yes, it most certainly is. Does this make video games a lesser artform than others? No, most definitely not. And here’s why: A designer, unlike a novelist or a screenwriter, must factor in all of the potential choices that a player will make while playing their game.” Well this isn’t really true. I mean meaning isn’t just narrative i.e. linear it’s also experential. We have the possibility to make the experience of exploring choices part of the meaning. What this doesn’t take in same performance art or any of the many different ways that contemporary art has aligned itself in the last few years. Games do actually provide a limited palate of choices and their environments can themselves be a playground for creating meaning with out having to resort to the dictates of essentially forcing the reader to come to an ending with a preset conclusion. I’m surprised to find that Ebert couldn’t see this seeing as how much film has progrssed along similar lines. The fact of the matter is much painting gave way from the reniassance-esque scenes of great meaning to the form being the meaning, games can derive a lot through the process of just making themselves into a form with certian questions indepedent of the actual content of the game. Do es art have to tell a story? No, but the actual art itself the form can contain the meaning. But let’s get off that for a second and realize something: meaning isn’t neccessarily a product of a controlled narrative, perhaps certian games mean certian things to certian people. My point being, games open up the possibility to creating meaning a much complicated manor by allowing the author the reader to vest their own interests in the narrative. Hence the reader becomes just as much a part of the creation of meaning as the authur itself. Games are remarkably lacking in lasting meaning, becuase we have not set down a tradition of churning this mass of feedback based narrative into a form that’s recongized as meaningfull well that and they usually fall into junvenile jaunts through guns, platforming, and romance. The area of pulp fiction is coming to a close, but who will actually realize the potential of making the reader aware of their responsibility to close the narrative and hence make the story whole will be the one to bear the must fruit.

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December 9, 2005 at 2:08 pm Leave a comment


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