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click opera
February 2010
Sat, Dec. 27th, 2008 02:49 am
Will the games boom birth a new art form?


Sat, Dec. 27th, 2008 12:48 pm (UTC)
can of worms

The games/art debate that is going on in the games industry is largely a semantic one. It starts in interesting places but always ends in a dictionary, with people trying to define Games and to define Art. We have put forth the notion that video games are not games at all in the traditional sense and tried again and again to take a stand for the expansion and elevation of the games medium. We have called the things that we make games and been smacked down for it. We have also been embraced by the gaming community.

After being involved with gamers/the game industry for going on 5 years now I've learned that it is not yet ready for artists. (the things you are pointing out lately make me think that maybe the day will come soon though.) Artists need freedom and room to roam, need to be able to expand paradigms till they break. The game industry is hugely conservative to spite how things may seem with the GTAs and blood + gore. Those who want to blow shit up are the conservatives. It is a money driven business and not much else. They think that art is a glossy layer which can be smeared on top of their tired shooter game (like Bioshock). Those who want beauty, slowness and simple enjoyment are the radicals. We want to see the game format evlove into something pluralistic, with many voices and activities, and many dreamworlds to inhabit. We are not alone in this, there are millions of people who find games exciting and intriguing for reasons like you mention who WANT to play games but cannot find content of any interest to them.

The console manufacturers are like major television networks lording over lucrative channels.
The big game companies are all sound and fury but with little heart to back it up.
There are few dissenting voices but they are getting louder. The "non-game" game may get its day. To do this the definition of game needs to be expanded, not protected. In the same way that there are no "non-film" films or "non-book" books there shouldn't be "non-games"

At Tale of Tales we are just 2 people with some funny ideas... We're autodidact and independent, we have little money and have yet to perfect our methods. we are terrrible at business apects. But we have written a manifesto ;) because we couldn't help ourselves.

So anyway,
Some games you might be interested in looking at (though not for Wii, unfortunately... except Calling but not much info is out there about it yet.)
- Linger In Shadows, video
- Jenova Chen/thatgamecompany, flOw(theres also a playable web version of this out there somewhere)
- Noby Noby Boy which is sort of Superflat ;)

I wish there were more story driven games that had an artistic slant (Façade springs to mind, not sure you'd like it.) Fatal Frame is a good one, I've always enjoyed that series. I hope that it doesn't lose you when it starts geting difficult to beat the ghosts. It uses a photography paradigm and looks fabulous but at its center its still, just a game.

Sat, Dec. 27th, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)
Re: can of worms

Those who want to blow shit up are the conservatives... Those who want beauty, slowness and simple enjoyment are the radicals. We want to see the game format evolve into something pluralistic, with many voices and activities, and many dreamworlds to inhabit.

Just want to endorse these sentiments entirely!

I'll check out your recommendations now.

ReplyThread Parent
Ayrkain Kaivar
Mon, Dec. 29th, 2008 09:22 am (UTC)
Re: can of worms

I'm a huge fan of thatgamecompany. After fl0w, there's also Flower. I've heard very good things about Braid also, as an indie title. In the same vein as Afrika (Hakuna Matata in the Asian release), there's Aquanaut's Holiday (PS3) and Endless Ocean (Wii). There's a downloadable title for the PS3 called Shikitei that allows you to grow your own garden and take pictures as well. While I'm not on the inside of the development industry, I have frequented a lot of gaming boards on the net, and have seen lots of negative sentiment expressed toward these types of games. They're basically considered "non-games," whatever that means. Hope that helps.

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Sat, Dec. 27th, 2008 02:11 pm (UTC)
Re: can of worms

I Wish I Were The Moon (http://www.ludomancy.com/blog/2008/11/11/i-wish-i-were-the-moon-redux/) could also be something you might enjoy, Momus. It's basically a short little puzzle game, presented nicely. And it's got a photography element, if that is your thing!

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