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Lawnboy360
29th Jul 2003, 22:53
In the September issue of PCGamer which is out this week (Vampire the Masquerade : Bloodlines on the cover), there's an interview with Warren Spector, mostly about where DX/RPGs/games are heading in general. I would sum it up for you if I wasn't so lazy ;) . Maybe later...

Catman
30th Jul 2003, 13:13
It's a nice little interview.

BrainPrawn
30th Jul 2003, 17:47
If one of the little punks at my local Publix would hurry up and open one of the PCG bags, then I could read the darn thing!

;)

Lawnboy360
1st Aug 2003, 23:44
As pointed out by Picasso in another thread, you can read the interview here http://www.ionstorm.com/forum/viewthread.asp?forum=AMB_AP619612110&id=19569 . To avoid you the effort to click on the link and find the right reply, I'll copy-paste:

============================================

PC Gamer: Action/RPGs, "interactive entertainment" -- with games like Deus Ex, are we now mvoing past pixies and elves and into modern settings to generate involving experiences?

Warren Spector: The most I'd say is that we're moving toward more of a mass-market approach, and, with the exception of Lord of the Rings, high fantasy has never been mass-market. I think you'll always see some pixie and elf games (hey, I just created a new genre!), but it seems clear to me that more modern settings are going to be an increasingly important part of this business -- emphasis on "business." The move isn't a result of some artistic need to create "more involving experiences." That's just a nice side-benefit. The key is reaching the largest possible audience to offset frightening increases in development costs.

PCG: RTS games now have RPG elements, action games now have RPG elements, even sims have been adding RPG elements...How does DX:IW further evolve with "leveling," "stats," and the other accoutrements of typical RPGs cropping up in various games?

WS: I think the evolution you see in Invisible War is toward greater focus and intensity. It isn't a question of stats orlevels or other old-school RPG tropes. One of the things [lead designer] Harvey [Smith]'s been championing, and which I support, is that we want fewer traditional RPG elements. Games are about action -- not in the "bang, bang" sense, but in the "what does the player do" sense. Traditional RPGs are more about character development than player choice. Deus Ex probably incorporated more of that than Invisible war will -- DX games are all about YOU, at least at their best. I think that's a significant difference.

PCG: Has there been an RPG "revolution" post-Deus Ex?

WS: I wish I could say there was a flood of Deus Ex-like games after we shipped. Certainly, some folks are thinking about genre-busting and simulation-driven gameplay and all, and I like to think maybe we had something to do with that, but truth be told that probably has as much to do with the success of GTA III as it does with Deus Ex!

PCG: What would you do with the Half-Life 2 engine? (Apparently after seeing it, you "went back to the booth and cried...")

WS: Actually, I think what I said to Gabe Newell after seeing the Half-Life 2 demo was "Congratulations on Game of the Show. Now I'm going to bo back to my booth and despair." The two big things that killed me about HL2 were the ability to create large, believable city scenes -- that was super-impressive -- and the character stuff. At Ion we're going to tackle some emotive NPC limitations in our future games, and Valve is ahead of the pack on that. But, as far as your question, probably something not unlike what we're doing at Ion now!

Hannibal
4th Aug 2003, 11:51
"Warren Spector: The most I'd say is that we're moving toward more of a mass-market approach"

(groaning loudly)

:(

BrainPrawn
11th Aug 2003, 14:30
So my question is this. Did E3 cause DX:IW to get delayed?

I mean if you went to a trade show and saw something really cool, it might give you a few good ideas and then of course you would want to implement them yourself into your own designs...

Trollslayer
11th Aug 2003, 14:57
Originally posted by BrainPrawn
So my question is this. Did E3 cause DX:IW to get delayed?

I mean if you went to a trade show and saw something really cool, it might give you a few good ideas and then of course you would want to implement them yourself into your own designs...

Thats usually a bad idea if a game is already halfway or beyond half of its production. Good ideas usually work better when introduced first and not halfway trough, as it tends to lead to have them better developped than cool ideas which get thrown in in a hurry and fall underdeveloped.

One of the E3 things that probably made a hit on DX:IW were the gamer's crossed reactions about the ammo. It was the one thing i remember being criticized a lot, and if they were very close to implement it, then it might lead to signigicant backtracking.

Picasso
11th Aug 2003, 17:49
Originally posted by Hannibal
"Warren Spector: The most I'd say is that we're moving toward more of a mass-market approach"

(groaning loudly)

:(

So if a lot of people like it, it won't be as good?

W.C. Duck
11th Aug 2003, 18:34
So if a lot of people like it, it won't be as good?

exactly, just like Britney Spears.

Trollslayer
11th Aug 2003, 20:56
Originally posted by Picasso
So if a lot of people like it, it won't be as good?

Thats the tendency to believe so. The fear people have is that videogames, while not as long and extensive in time, context and values, are treated as art, in its wrong places. Videogames aren't art - but they are beginning to become increasingly more and more "mainstream" (for lack of a less mainstream word :p ). The problem is the same as art had - for many years it was only available to a select few. Common people could netheir afford neither understand it. There used to be a more specialized philosophy behind art. With things like Andy Warhol tromping about, art became an imitation and distortion of life, with very little thought to back it up. Most people will just stand at stare at Picasso or Dali's works and won't understand the lines, the colours, the ideal which it portrays or the segment of society it criticizes. But when they look at Warhol's cans of instant soup and Marylin Monroe in several colours (or Liechestein's "Mmmmaybe"), it speaks to them in such a simplified dialect that its instantly more recognizable and acceptable than previous art examples.

So the fear is basically that games - in this case DX:IW - will lose its value, significance and context in order to please the masses. Then again, as much founded as this fear is, its inevitable. Sociological structures are bulit on the destruction of old values, and on piling them back together with new views, new signs, new meanings, mixing the old and new.

In the case of videogames, take a quick look at how the RPG genre has become bastardized - almost everything is called an RPG. From Harvest Moon to Zelda to GTA3 (yes this is true, you should see some claims flowing about several sites). On one hand its a good idea - dillution of a genre so it can include new aspects previously not used (or not even considered in itself) so it can grow as a genre itself, and having those new elements introduce something new which may even strengthen it - on the other its bad because people are very much like sheep which can only live when shepperd and told how things are, leaving the identification of said genres an enormous mess. If you look at CRPGs, they'll never be able to emulate PnP, and are not true RPGs in the sense of gameplay; yet, the great CRPGs we love are a bastardization of PnP - is this a problem that stops us from enjoying them? No. Another example, Deus Ex. It combines the most used type of game genre with the least used style of gameplay (also adding character management). It breaks the conventions and introduces something new (like Thief did). But still people all DX and Thief FPSs, or RPGs (when the gameplay of both revolves around not behaving like those genres, specially not RPG).

So at the end of the day, its all for the best.

Trollslayer
11th Aug 2003, 21:06
Originally posted by Hannibal
"Warren Spector: The most I'd say is that we're moving toward more of a mass-market approach"

(groaning loudly)

:(



Originally posted by Picasso
So if a lot of people like it, it won't be as good?

Originally posted by W.C. Duck
exactly, just like Britney Spears.




Warren Spector

What we want is, as many people as humanly possible to experience the kind of gameplay we provide. I mean, anyone who says "Yeah, I want a smaller audience. I don't want a lot of people to see my work." Go back to Greenwich Village and put on a beret and whatever.
http://www.gamespy.com/interviews/f...x2/index4.shtml

So, no. Acceptance of someone's work by many people doesn't mean its bad, it means the work is well received.

W.C. Duck
12th Aug 2003, 13:38
I was just kidding.

in fact, I never met anybody who after playing DX said he disliked the game.

Trollslayer
12th Aug 2003, 13:55
Originally posted by W.C. Duck
I was just kidding.

in fact, I never met anybody who after playing DX said he disliked the game.

I did. God save their souls...

Hannibal
12th Aug 2003, 15:51
Andy Gibb and David Cassidy were "well-received" in the 70's too, if you catch my drift.

More people buy the Toyota Camry than buy Corvettes. That doesn't mean that the Camry is a better car than the Corvette.

Random
12th Aug 2003, 15:55
I believe Camrys are cheaper.

Hannibal
12th Aug 2003, 15:59
Originally posted by Random
I believe Camrys are cheaper.

Yes, that's true. They have a lot less features so that they can be mass-marketed.

Sound familiar?

Le`Sauveur`De`Ces`Dames
12th Aug 2003, 16:08
hmmm a lot of people prefer Victor Hugo to Marguerite Duras.
Hugo has sold a lot more books than Duras, and they where better (a LOT better).

sometimes, the fact that most people prefer something CAN mean it is better. and sometimes, the fact that only a few people love something only means it's crap.

(remember the story "the emperor's new clothes"? (no, not the disney movie, the real one) only ONE boy to say "the emperor is naked" that makes him a minority, but he is still the only one to be right)

(for those who don't know who Duras is, don't worry, you don't miss anything. for those who don't know Hugo, go read his books)

Hannibal
12th Aug 2003, 16:19
Originally posted by Le`Sauveur`De`Ces`Dames
hmmm a lot of people prefer Victor Hugo to Marguerite Duras.
Hugo has sold a lot more books than Duras, and they where better (a LOT better).

sometimes, the fact that most people prefer something CAN mean it is better

(for those who don't know who Duras is, don't worry, you don't miss anything. for those who don't know Hugo, go read his books)

True, very true. My point is that "mass-marketing" means broader appeal to more people, but at a lower level. Niche marketing means deeper appeal and higher satisfaction, but to less people. Pointing this out doesn't make you a snob.

One isn't necessarily better than the other, but if you are part of the niche, then you probably aren't going to be as pleased with the mass-marketed product. It might be inevitable, but it doesn't mean that you have to like it.

Trollslayer
12th Aug 2003, 16:47
Originally posted by Hannibal
True, very true. My point is that "mass-marketing" means broader appeal to more people, but at a lower level. Niche marketing means deeper appeal and higher satisfaction, but to less people. Pointing this out doesn't make you a snob.

One isn't necessarily better than the other, but if you are part of the niche, then you probably aren't going to be as pleased with the mass-marketed product. It might be inevitable, but it doesn't mean that you have to like it.

Quite the truth. My point all along has been pretty much this. The advantage of going mass-market (or to try and reach out as many people as possible, if you will) is that it has to include something for the people its trying to reach, ideas which have the potential to strike a positive acceptment of their inception. A repetitive formula might please a niche market, but would it necessarily make the product better? Not necessarily. It will probably please those that prefer if little to no change were applied, and it will succeed on that level only. Those outside the niche market would have harder times to accept it. Meanwhile a product designed to include characteristics which appeal to several layers of the market has a higher acceptance ratio. The act of breaking away with older ideas and presenting new ones doesn't necessarily mean it's going to stop pleasing the old market. But breaking away with old rules will inevitably anger some of the old-schoolers. Though i guess its a calculated risk - if i were in IoSt's position i'd probably go ahead and jeopardize the loss of a small number of fans who prefer to deal in the old, in order to gain a medium to large number of fans who prefer inovation over stagnation.

Hannibal
12th Aug 2003, 18:01
Originally posted by Trollslayer
Quite the truth. My point all along has been pretty much this. The advantage of going mass-market (or to try and reach out as many people as possible, if you will) is that it has to include something for the people its trying to reach, ideas which have the potential to strike a positive acceptment of their inception. A repetitive formula might please a niche market, but would it necessarily make the product better? Not necessarily. It will probably please those that prefer if little to no change were applied, and it will succeed on that level only. Those outside the niche market would have harder times to accept it. Meanwhile a product designed to include characteristics which appeal to several layers of the market has a higher acceptance ratio. The act of breaking away with older ideas and presenting new ones doesn't necessarily mean it's going to stop pleasing the old market. But breaking away with old rules will inevitably anger some of the old-schoolers. Though i guess its a calculated risk - if i were in IoSt's position i'd probably go ahead and jeopardize the loss of a small number of fans who prefer to deal in the old, in order to gain a medium to large number of fans who prefer inovation over stagnation.

That may work, but the mass market is much higher maintenance. It requires more advertising, and it requires keeping up with fickle fads.

And I think that the mass market shuns innovation, instead of welcoming it.

Trollslayer
12th Aug 2003, 18:57
Originally posted by Hannibal
That may work, but the mass market is much higher maintenance. It requires more advertising, and it requires keeping up with fickle fads.

Aye, that it does. A small example: Company A has a good title, with good graphics, regular gameplay, and a short replay value. Meanwhile Company B has a good title, with competent graphics, incredible gameplay and a very high replay value. A gets the money to dump on advertising, B doesn't. B obviously flops and is doomed to survive by advertising in mesage boards, and to rely on fan heresay (in one such example in real life, A could be Freelancer, and B could be Escape Velocity: Nova).

Now, in this case, advertising would've definetely helped Company B. Regardless its a good example of how advertisement can (or in this case, could) help games. And this will more than likely help DX:IW. It may in fact make the occasional curious hobbist decide to see how the prequel was, in case he didn't played it.

Of course advertising does have its fair share of problems, though. When misused its dangerous to the product/company. Ever looked at old Saturn advertising? Very bad. It was like "hey, we're here, do with us what you will". It didn't presented good reasons to buy it, it just seemed to state it was there. Another example would be John Romero. Man, ever since he told me he'd make me his b****, i haven't left my house. And look at where that left the expectations on Daikatana, to boot :eek:


And I think that the mass market shuns innovation, instead of welcoming it.

Actually i've come to believe it doesn't shun inovation - it merely has higher probabilities of misinterpreting it :p. One of the largest best-selling franchises, FF, has had many gamers unhappy with the fact of FF10 being very linear when compared to previous iterations. Many fans criticized FF7 because it was "too technological", yet it was the best selling one :confused: And on the other hand, the mass market criticized Blood Omen 2 heavilly because of the departure of previous style of BO1 (of course the tremendous amount of bugs also helped). They also liked Postal, yet shuned Postal 2. Theres this flow of gamers' attitudes which still makes it hard to pigeonhole them into succesful marketing strategies at times. They tend to accept innovation, depending on how well said innovation communicates with them.

Overall this only proves something - we're wasting away here while we should be getting some new DX:IW info :D

Lawnboy360
12th Aug 2003, 20:37
They tend to accept innovation, depending on how well said innovation communicates with them.

Indeed. Like the game or not, but "The Sims" (and its many expansions) is a very innovative game, and it's the best-selling PC game ever.


Overall this only proves something - we're wasting away here while we should be getting some new DX:IW info

Indeed.

El Padrino
13th Aug 2003, 01:50
Originally posted by Trollslayer
Thats the tendency to believe so. The fear people have is that videogames, while not as long and extensive in time, context and values, are treated as art, in its wrong places. Videogames aren't art - but they are beginning to become increasingly more and more "mainstream" (for lack of a less mainstream word :p ). The problem is the same as art had - for many years it was only available to a select few. Common people could netheir afford neither understand it. There used to be a more specialized philosophy behind art. With things like Andy Warhol tromping about, art became an imitation and distortion of life, with very little thought to back it up. Most people will just stand at stare at Picasso or Dali's works and won't understand the lines, the colours, the ideal which it portrays or the segment of society it criticizes. But when they look at Warhol's cans of instant soup and Marylin Monroe in several colours (or Liechestein's "Mmmmaybe"), it speaks to them in such a simplified dialect that its instantly more recognizable and acceptable than previous art examples.

So the fear is basically that games - in this case DX:IW - will lose its value, significance and context in order to please the masses. Then again, as much founded as this fear is, its inevitable. Sociological structures are bulit on the destruction of old values, and on piling them back together with new views, new signs, new meanings, mixing the old and new.

One of the things I always hated about the works of Dali (which I simply find cool looking) and his buddies is that you had to be into Freud to understand it. The average Joe has more important things to worry about than what Freud thinks is going on in their subconscious and all that weird stuff, so really, how many people can actually care or even fully appreciate what they did? Not to say that there's anything wrong with making things with limited accessibility, unless you're snobbish and elite about it, because then you're just being a self-important ****. Of course, I don't see how limited accessibility automatically makes a piece of art better, or more valuable, simply because it requires you to understand somthing a lot of people can't be bothered to research. How is "Un Chien Andalou," for example, better, more valuable, or more artistic than, say, "American Beauty?"

(In fact, it's my opinion that works with limited accessibility aren't as good as works that are accessible, since the artist behind the less accessible piece didn't bother to find a way to reach more people, and instead stuck with what just worked on a few people, as opposed to finding a way to convey a message in a differen't more recognizable way, that not only reached those few people, but everyone else as well. Look at the works of Shakespere, for example.)

Anyway,

Video games are art. They can and do have messages, narratives, and/or technical aspects that are worth writing home about. A lot of them even have that asthetically pleasing thing going for them. Deus Ex is excellent science-fiction, and the Sims can probably be considered to in some ways be a look at consumerism, or at least an imitation of life (don't really see how that last part I brought up was worth mentioning, but you mentioned Andy Warhol so there it is).

If movies, paintings, sculptures, music, and literature can be considered art, how can you exclude video games?

Trollslayer
13th Aug 2003, 12:56
Originally posted by El Padrino
Video games are art. They can and do have messages, narratives, and/or technical aspects that are worth writing home about. A lot of them even have that asthetically pleasing thing going for them. Deus Ex is excellent science-fiction, and the Sims can probably be considered to in some ways be a look at consumerism, or at least an imitation of life (don't really see how that last part I brought up was worth mentioning, but you mentioned Andy Warhol so there it is).

If movies, paintings, sculptures, music, and literature can be considered art, how can you exclude video games?

On one hand i could consider videogames art because they entail the use of skill and creative imagination, coupled with the fact they are also aesthetically-oriented. But not everything in that sense is art (Duchamp's ready-made objects). The main problem with art is also its greatest aspect, self-expression. By using self-expression as the better and more accepted characteristic of art, Picasso can paint Guernica, and Warhol can do Campbell's Soup I (Tomato), 1968, and we have to accept it as art. No one says that the people behind videogames aren't artists (well i don't anyway), but there's a line between being an artist and doing art. Its pretty much a given that art can include aesthetic values, social critique, iconography, and influence (both on the artist's behalf, and on the medium's behalf), among other things. Regardless, art can only exist, despite its characteristics, if it has two defining values - the creator's perception of it, and the audience's perception of it.

In terms of the creator's perception of it, anything the work of art ends up being, is derived of a multitude of different influences the creator was subject to. Whatever he creates, he knows every reference he called upon to create it; further labeling of it into this or that artistic current is only a mere reference for others (if its given at all). But in terms of the audience's perception of it, its very different. What the work of art was to the artist, it won't be the same to the audience. Some people may think its innovative, some may think its rehashing of old themes and painting skills, others may think its an excellent social critique, others may think 2 year olds can do better, others may not even show the slightest understanding of what they see and may just say "Its nice", etc.. The artitst decides how it will be created, the audience vastly decides on a personal level what it stands for. An example would be Toulouse-Lautrec's obsession with prostitutes he painted - whatever he may have wished the art work to be, people had very different interpretations, from the acceptable, to the artistic, to the simple rejection of the pictorial representation of society's worst elements, the prostitutes that destroyed homes and brought forth diseases. Meanwhile Picasso's own paintings of nudes, prostitutes and whatnots (from the Les demoiseles d' Avignon, and Ingres's Vénus Anadyomène who was used in colonial postcards, and almost pornographic photos, to name a few, did not meet such heavy resistance.

Not only that, but art is, for better or worst, reality-oriented, occasionally drawing upon mythical or subconscious references, and to the perceptions we have of it. Videogames however, are exclusive the opposite - imaginary, illusions, the fables and magical worlds, occasionally using realistic elements to propell themselves.

This alone already draws a line on perceptions we can have from one and the other. Between palpable reality drawing upon ephemeral fantasy, and the palpable fantasy drawing upon the ephemeral real, the only guideline would be simbology (which has its own "school" of interpretations). You won't be able to draw the same conclusions from both occurences. You can make comparisons, but never statements that equate them. For instance, a friend of mine cannot understand how i see the magic of Planescape: Torment, and i can't understand how he sees Shenmue's poetry in movement. Different interpretations, equally valid. However, i very much doubt that its possible that more than 10 people will think of poetry when playing Shenmue, just as its equally hard to get the same number of people to find a game like PS:T magical. And thats the problem right there.

To try and draw this to a closure let me try to exactly explain why i don't see them as art.

A) Dwelving slightly further into the perceptions. Art has existed for ages, and yet its still hard for many to define what it is and what its not. Now, art, besides all that, still has that aspect to contend with. Given its, first and foremost, the self-expression, or expression of human creativity - creativity in itself does not make art. I can be creative in conjuring solutions to problems; i may have a fertile imagination and daydream about places i've never been to - essentially i can use my creativity, my self-expression, without using a visible or audible medium; but if its not visible, how can it be considered art? It can't. Thats why the medium is also important. So art, for one cannot exist without a medium.

B) Besides that, art is free of interpretation from the artist as well (when he considers its creation method). He can have influences, both on the inspirational level and the technical level. Now, when he chooses a medium, he also will have to decide a set of rules to operate in it. He won't have to follow the standards, he may operate a medium like canvas, like he'd operate stone. Its his choice. Regardless of the set of rules he chooses, he has to choose some, which will define the implementation of his ideas into the medium. So now we have two factors.

C) Finally comes the personal choice on behalf of the artist when it comes to the achievement of the work of art. He has to decide what ideas he will expose, what layer of society he'll undo with his criticism, or even what kind of technological knowledge he possesess (on an artistic way of course) and will use to create an aesthetically-pleasing object. So it also comes to his choice - what will he try to demonstrate, what will he create? He has to have a set idea of what he will do. Whatever he does, he has to convey his idea, be it a feeling, a belief or an idea. Thats the third factor.

(Note that i use "him" to define the artist as one artist, though its obvious more than one artist can create a single work of art (an example would be the surrealist technique of the Cadavre Exquis) - and sometimes its also possible for non-artists to create art (and the example would be the the public dadaist Happenings).

Now to the audience, contrasted with the above lines.

A) The medium is always important, but its existence is only there to represent the artistic ideal in form, the concept turned real. It doesn't matter exactly what type of medium is chosen, there simply has to be a medium. Canvas, stone, photography, etc.. These can all represent marginally the same idea, albeit in different mediums. So for the audience, it'll remain largely their preference. Some people may even prefer some mediums over others based on accessibility, or affordability. So the choice of the artist is, to a point, rendered useless; although acceptance of the work of art is dependant on the audience, the audience itself may pass by it totally unaware given their personal tastes regarding the medium.

B) Essentially, the audience, given its job is to interpret things, doesn't require to accept the ideals behind the artist's vision. As commendable as Guernica's stance against Franco's bloodthirsty was, many people claimed it was an artistic rubbish, and that children could do the same he did on an artistic level. In the same way (and here are the comparisons), Vib Ribbon, while innovative, and a slap in the face of multimillion conglomerates that mass market aesthetically pleasing products in terms of brilliance and entertainment, failed miserably with the audience which was left asking itself "Whaaaaaa?". So, the point here is, despite something being made with an artistic ideal, thus culminating in something we can call art, will the audience have to consider it art? And also, the slight reverse - if something is created without an artistic ideal to it, thus culminating on something we may not call art, can the audience still consider it art? This opens up a whole new can of worms in itself, of course.

C) This is probably the most ungrateful aspect of the artist's creation compared to the public's interpretation. Lets draw upon Hideo Kojima's MGS2:SoL. The main idea behind it, as far as a social message goes, was how the digital era could put us in danger, if left unchecked, and resting hopes in it could prove to be dangerous. However, how many people started thinking the same after playing it? Did anyone see any street manifestations alerting the people to the dangers of it? As much interesting a concept to bring into a game it might have been (like the dangers of cloning and war in its prequel, MGS), how many people did it reach out to? How many people weren't already aware of this? William Gibson's book, Neuromancer (1984), shows how dangerous Artificial Intelligences can be in a chilling way, almost a prediction of their power and human-like behaviour. System Shock and Deus Ex, to a degree, also show the same - have you seen cientists around the world stopping their investigations about them? Videogames, for better or worse, are still a new medium. Their power is still largely untapped. Their means of reaching out to people are still asleep. Their very use is to entertain - i wouldn't play games to draw lessons about life, neither would i play them for social manifestos - and the fact is, neither will the majority of players. Gamers, in themselves, are not fully aware of all the concepts behind games, and don't necessarily care about them. The majorly are in it for the interaction it provides, and care not a wit for the rest. On web-based forums, you'll more than likely see questions and conversations about how to create the uber-character, how to get past an area in a level, etc., but will rarely see conversations on what took game creators to do this or that. Hell, as seen here on this board, users claimed Ion Storm was following in on "corporate greed" - and if they don't know and don't care about the artists' themselves, how can they show genuine concern about the artwork itself, as artwork?

Furthermore, people play games as escapism. An artist can recreate his personal escapism on a painting, but while everyone will generally have the same reaction to the escapism presented on canvas, people will hardly have the same reaction to the personalised escapism they can achieve in a game.

Lets also not forget that sometimes, in a varied concept as art, new mediums (specially highly mainstream ones) are hard to accept over night. Film was highly criticized when it first appeared, usually by artistic think-tanks and the occasional erudite to claim it was a destroyer of language, tailored for people incapable of understanding literture). Film, however, evolved, and has come a long way. It has come to integrate several techniques into itself, from drawing to computer assistance, in order to bring visual entertainment. This obviously makes up for a highly entertaining medium, but also makes up a mediocre artistic medium. The interpreation of the artist's work is endless.

Another factor is interactivity. When you look at a painted canvas, or a written book, you're enjoying pre-made entertaining content which reflects the artist's concept (and to which you can ocasionally return). He made it, and you enjoy it. However, the thing in which interactive entertainment excels, as the name implies, is interactivity. You buy a game, and are not conditioned to merely looking at it - you can be (to an extent) a part of it. You can read a book from start to finish, but when you play a game, you have the chance of playing the lead role, or to change its history. In this aspect, some art mediums succumb to it. However not all are roses. The simple fact you're interacting with an interactive medium makes it so that the game revolves more around you, the audience, than on the artist's creation. The artist has strewn about his social message in a movie - you're conditioned to see it, but your attention will be focused to the movie. However with a videogame, its always about what you do, what you can do. If a gamer understands the message behind the game, that good. But not all will understand, and not all will care to understand. How many people noticed the hidden layers of anti-drug propaganda in GTA3? The chief concern for gamers was how to fly the Dodo. DX1's concept was about making decisions in real time, stealth and considering others to be humans - people make polls about favourite weapons.

This makes it so a game will allow you to interact dinamically with it. Its no longer about the artists' expression, because you now are part of said expression - where does this take the artist's work? Imagine if Munch's The Scream was a game where you'd be able to rotate the eyes, twitch the nose, open the hands and open/shut the mouth of the debilitated, screaming figure. Where would the original artistic value of the painting go to? Imagine if Duchamp's The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even was a game and allowed you to remove pieces of it, do with them what you wished (distort, paint, break in two), and reinserted them again - where would the original meaning go? What if Diego Velazquez's Las Meninas instead of making you feel you were there, would actually allowed you to go in there, would it still be the same; in fact, would it make it better?

So again, what would this do to the artist's work? Because its no longer with what the artist feels, with what the artist likes, with what he wishes to create - its with what you want, how you'd like it to be - you, when your wishes are being considered, limits artist's creativity. And as much as "regular" artworks reach vast audiences, the majority is not made to tailor said audiences - however, it is tailored when it comes to videogames. And as much as mainstream regular artforms have become in the last decades, they had at least a past, which was not like the videogame past. Art became mainstream, videogames were born mainstream. Another undeniable fact of this is that art became largely mainstream when mass production and mass marketing became available, turning the medium upside down - every art form could be reprinted: Degas's paintings can be on stamps, Renoir's works can be on postcards, etc.; the very identity of art was dilluted into a larger accessibility, without people who accessed it needing any kind of reference to understand it, or have it. The erudite which understanded Dali's implications is no different than the suburbian schmuck who never heard of him if they both can go out and buy a copy of the original - the result is the same in terms of possessing the artwork (or its copy).

And in the case of art, which had a genuine period, which lived for itself, and later became mass produced and mass marketed, what should we think of games, already invented in a mass market era, specially when their means of propaganda (save for underground obscure forums and underdog heresay), mass production for a mass market? How can games become artistic if their means of existence are one of the things that killed art, so to speak?

If this is a bad thing or not, thats up for personal interpretation for everyone. However i stick to mine when i say videogames, regardless of occasional, referencial products (games) troughtout its short lifespan (it still hasn't reached 30 years of existence :eek: ), still hasn't become an art form. The main way to counter this would be for developers and gamers to expect (and want) more of games. Otherwise, revolutionary games will crumble, and regurgitated ideas will keep fuelling the industry.

Note i don't consider this to be an upmost truth to which everyone should follow. You asked me why i excluded videogames as art, and i answered; disagree at will ;)
This is my truth, tell me yours :)

[Note: Anything incomplete, tell me, i have a tendency of losing myself in large posts]

Random
13th Aug 2003, 13:49
Originally posted by Hannibal
Yes, that's true. They have a lot less features so that they can be mass-marketed.

Sound familiar?

Are you suggesting that if Corvettes cost the same as Camrys people would still go for the Toyota? You need to find another analogy.

PDenton
13th Aug 2003, 16:26
Originally posted by Random
Are you suggesting that if Corvettes cost the same as Camrys people would still go for the Toyota? You need to find another analogy.
They might if they believed that the extra features made it more difficult to drive, or if the features simply wouldn't be used by the driver, besides it probably does cost Eidos less to produce IW if it has less fetures so it can be sold cheaper.

Random
14th Aug 2003, 00:13
Um. Game prices aren't determined by how many features they have. It often goes the other way: hyped-up average shooters (Unreal 2) often retail at a higher price than most RPGs.

The thought process for buying a car and buying a game are so completely different that I can't understand why you're sticking with this so deeply flawed analogy.

vick1000
19th Aug 2003, 09:29
I think it should be noted,that the problem lies not in the
broad acceptance of the "game-to-be",but in the intention
of the producer to make it mainstream,and widely accepted.
And the lengths to which the developers are willing to go to,
to accomplish this,by sacraficing more "RPG" elements for
more mass appeal.

Lawnboy360
24th Aug 2003, 16:50
I think it should be noted,that the problem lies not in the broad acceptance of the "game-to-be", but in the intention
of the producer to make it mainstream, and widely accepted.

Yep, and Rainbox Six 3 for XBox is a perfect example. Read this interview :
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HomeLAN - When the time came to make Rainbow Six 3 for the Xbox what where the developers main goals?

Mike McCoy - When we decided to take the game to the Xbox we took a long hard look what the average PC customer wants versus what the average console customer wants. Basically, what we found was that most console owners want to wade directly into the action, without going through a lot of complicated setup and planning screens. [...]
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http://www.homelanfed.com/index.php?id=16567
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You read that right, RS3 for XBox is a standard shooter with real-world guns and terrorists.