Recently I’ve seen the argument put forth that games cannot, by default, elicit the same emotions that movies do. Reason being, simply, that you’re looking at computer-generated characters instead of real, living, breathing people. Is that actually the case? Is that a very strict limitation of games that can never be overcome? I give you two examples – one from an actual live performance, and one from a video game. The actual live performance is longer, but for the sake of my comparison, I think that’s okay. I won’t give you the insights into the Clapton song if you don’t know what he’s singing about, because the same context isn’t readily available for the Silent Hill example. I’ll simply place them next to each other and let you come to a conclusion.
Silent Hill (ignore everything after the initial song):
I just thought I’d share the fact that my crusade against Activision DEO (Douchey Executive Officer) Bobby Kotick has officially started. I was able to, by way of simple explanation of the situation, convince a hardcore gamer to boycott Activision products. That’s called a win.
[adding…] Yes, I’m aware that I only convinced one person, but I’m hoping to start a meme here. I tell him, he tells his friends, they tell their friends, etc. It can happen.
Bobby’s early years, before heading up one of the country’s biggest games publishers. He is on record saying it was a “dark, yet extremely rewarding time in my life.”
If you haven’t read this story on Gamespot, do so now. The quotes attributed to Activision’s CEO, Bobby Kotick, are despicable and unethical, to say the least. How this man is allowed to leave his house without checking in with a parole officer is beyond me, but I don’t make the rules. If I did, I’d make sure ol’ Bobby was trading places with the kid actors from Slumdog Millionaire. What a douchebag.
I just read about this panel today, and while a lot of it was interesting, I found myself insulted by one speaker, and befuddled by another. Unfortunately, I can’t find a transcript of it, so I won’t even bother linking to anywhere that talks about it. It’s out there, you can find it easily enough. But please keep reading despite my lack of, um, information or sourcing. Shit…maybe I’ll rethink that.
The following is a piece written by Carnifex for the old blog:
The GTA series has been pretty much on auto pilot since GTA III. Make a few upgrades to graphics and physics as new hardware allows and roll out the next one. Which is fine because it’s one of those games that you just want more of. It doesn’t need to be overhauled or redesigned every iteration. All you have to do is come up with a new main character and basic story frame that doesn’t interfere to support some challenging missions. There’s no real excuse for any garbage then. It’s as formulaic as an episode of the A-Team. The problem is that a lot of the new innovations do interfere with the game play, and I can’t remember back to the previous GTA games but there are some really basic changes that should have been added in.
With me having to write for two separate blogs, I haven’t been actually playing much of anything over the past few weeks. I’ve dabbled in Tales of Vesperia and a couple of community games, but that’s about it. Before I started the blog, however, I was working my way through a few titles. I’ll be picking them back up slowly as the new car smell of writing for this shit wears off. Those games are:
Far Cry 2
Prince of Persia
Beyond Good & Evil
When I make any significant progress in any of those, I’ll write about it. But for now, it’s off to hoping my new laptop doesn’t spontaneously turn itself off again while I’m ripping a dvd(so I can make trailers/clips…it’s my legal copy and I’m not a dirty stinking pirate)……..I’d talk about my laptop issues but it’s boring and doesn’t have to do with games. Bah.
A discussion over at Brainy Gamer got me thinking: just what is it that we look for in a protagonist? Does it depend on the genre? The story? Lets assume, for the sake of argument, that the protagonist in a game functions as our own avatar — we project at least some part of ourselves onto that character. In doing so, do we also try to instill a set of beliefs to uphold while we play? I’m aware that some people really don’t care, and they just play games to have fun. But others do insist on keeping a kind of moral decorum throughout their playtime, and that ties into the central question of identity that I’m trying to explore.
I like all types of games. Action, survival horror, adventure — you name it. I play countless hours of Halo, and enjoy sharing narrow escapes with Lara Croft. I get what those games are trying to do. But my aim here is to figure out what makes a story resonate. With the right combination of characters and events, even the simplest of plots can turn into something so much more. Something that reverses the game back on the player and forces them to think about their own life relative to what the designers are asking of them.
This was an article written by HoDKurtZ for the old blog:
I challenge you to find a more believable game world than this.
There are so many reasons why people play games. To have fun. To escape from reality for a short time (or long time). To imagine and/or live in another world. To see a great story. To have a ton of fun fighting and kicking ass. To marvel at amazing graphics. The list goes on and on.
As we approach November of this New Year, we will also be approaching the four year anniversary of this generation of consoles. Yes, hard to believe, but it’s almost already been four years since the debut of the Xbox 360.
Countless great titles have released of all different genres imaginable. Yet three years after it’s debut, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion still remains the single most outstanding, definitive, and complete game of this generation.
Apparently, Nintendo has boarded the crazy train, and Shigeru Miyamoto is the conductor. I won’t re-hash descriptions of it since you can find those elsewhere, but he filed a patent last year that would basically turn games into movies. Forget about the technical aspects of what that patent entails. I want to talk about the idea itself. I agree with Jonathan Blow when he said, “The defining characteristic of a game is that you play it.” No shit. If you don’t play a game, then what the hell are you doing? What’s the point of paying hundreds of dollars on a console just so you can watch events unfold like a movie? A dvd is 10 bucks, and it doesn’t take a dozen hours to watch.