Noob...too broad a term, please define it.
Noob...too broad a term, please define it.
According to your argument, football is a really bad game as all the player does is try and kick the ball into the opposing goal. What dull and boring mechanics!
There is a mechanical element to every artistic endeavour: an artist needs to be able to draw, a musician needs to be able to play an instrument or sing, a dancer needs to perform basic physical manoeuvres, a writer needs to be able to string words together coherently.
Yet time and again in every single artistic field, it's hardly ever the people who are the best at any of that who make the best art. A virtuoso violinist might still write shit songs. Dan Brown can't write for toffee but he can come up with very compelling plots so his books sell. Most rock and indie bands are mediocre at playing their instruments at best. Ringo wasn't even the best drummer in The Beatles.
A lot of punk bands were purposefully bad at their instruments as a "fuck you" to what they viewed as masturbatory, oblique "art rock." Technique is indeed only one aspect of product.
That said, Dan Brown's plots are shit as well; he makes airport novels, after all.
Many people like that sort of thing. They find the stories in videogames compelling, and they willingly fall into the illusion of it being a game. Other people, like me, find the shit stories in videogames shit; and cannot force themselves into the illusion. Winning a game feels good only insofar as you know you don't have to play it anymore.
I think that is in part why multiplayer is so important now for so many people. It is the only place where a player really feels like they are having an effect on the game world, where the outcome isn't know, and where winning actually feels good. Some videogames are still games.
If all video games have to have a lose condition, then surely anything since the invention of using passwords in games doesn't count right? We must all go back to games where once you lose all your guys that's it, back to the start. That'd make playing something like Dragon Age or Deus Ex or everything else fun right? Why not go to the next logical step? Video games where if you die in the game, the disc/files/cartridge corrupts itself and you have to buy a new one! The ultimate lose condition!
Is the demand that people stop talking about such not-games in the context and locales where people talk about is-games? If so, it's alienating and ridiculous to demand a standard that the vast majority of developers, writers and players disagree with. If not, then the distinction adds nothing.
But this whole argument is false dichotomy. Music, cinema, etc. are irrelevant to games because of how different they are structurally. Games are about interactivity first and foremost, and you simply can't find that anywhere else.
Every player will have a very different experience with, say, Crusader Kings 2, Dwarf Fortress, Deus Ex, or, I don't know, Jagged Alliance. Meanwhile, the Walking Dead presents a scant amount of options that only change what you watch (and it's not even that good to begin with, if judged like a piece of cinema). The former games use the strengths of the medium, with emphasis on player agency, simulation, a fairly complex set rules to create a framework for a great amount of scenarios and emergent gameplay. The latter borrows heavily from cinema.
Otherwise, it'd be acceptable to call DVD menu a game with 'terrible mechanics' which, nevertheless, 'doesn't make it a bad game'.
The humor of it was, master classes on the classical side were all "now that you've spent 12 years mastering technique, here are some folks from Juilliard and the New York Phil to teach you how to turn that into music." The jazz classes were, "now that you have a fair idea of your own voice, here are some techniques you can use to explore it." Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Actually I think every player's reaction to the experience will be different. You're caught up in the mechanics again, rather than the art created from it. Just seeing the same, or nearly the same, thing, doesn't mean everyone has the same experience. People react to art in different ways, the art doesn't need to adapt to the viewer for that to occur.Every player will have a very different experience with, say, Crusader Kings 2, Dwarf Fortress, Deus Ex, or, I don't know, Jagged Alliance. Meanwhile, the Walking Dead presents a scant amount of options that only change what you watch (and it's not even that good to begin with, if judged like a piece of cinema).
No, Walking Dead plays to other strengths of the medium. The ability to put the player into the shoes of the person involved. You can do that in games without ruining it, whereas first-person books and films really struggle to create that illusion (and yes, it's only an illusion in this case) of the player actually being there and making the choices and decisions. It's another strength of the medium that can't be replicated elsewhere that you're ignoring entirely. Much like how film can effect you differently to a book, because of the visual nature of the medium offering a differing perspective, the interactivity, even in a limited sense in games like Walking Dead, again changes the nature of what you communicate and how people react.The former games use the strengths of the medium, with emphasis on player agency, simulation, a fairly complex set rules to create a framework for a great amount of scenarios and emergent gameplay. The latter borrows heavily from cinema.
And I'm sure when films came out people were saying "Why just use them to tell normal stories when a book can do that? Why don't we use them to tell stories that only a film can tell? Surely if it could be told in a book instead, it's not a real film!" and now we look back at those people and see them as silly, as we understand there's a fundamental difference between a book narrative and a film narrative.
The same for narrative games: they offer something different. It may not seem like a major difference on the surface (but neither was film: oh let's just replace the images in people's heads with images on a screen) but the nature of the entire experience changes with it.
Edit: People always drag out next the "oh you may as well just watch a film while pressing buttons on a controller" but no-one has ever done this. If you take any film and change it so that for the main character to say a line of dialogue or take an action, you have to press a button, you'll change the experience of the film. Even if it's just one button, even if it's entirely linear, even with no choices. Because you get a greater connection to the character. It's a silly trick but it works. And it's what narrative games like Walking Dead are based around.
Last edited by deano2099; 29-11-2012 at 06:05 PM.
Instead of using the word sweepingly, it'd be more helpful to define different types of electronic entertainment differently and use a more concise vocabulary to judge them accordingly. Ethereal thoughts have no place in a critical conversation.
I blame New Games Journalism.
Imagine that. Games consoles will cease to be 'games' consoles. Steam will cease to sell 'games'. Vast numbers of people will cease to be 'gamers'. If you really want to do that, instead of forcing everyone in the world to adopt your terminology and think up new words for the things they all are actually pretty happy calling games, why not go create your own word for whatever specific, precise, and rarified thing you are thinking of?
Last edited by Fhnuzoag; 29-11-2012 at 06:30 PM.
What's the fuller context? Is he saying no one should bother with trying to write good stories for video games? Because that's the same faulty logic people used for movies at one time - "We have books, why do we need moving pictures?"
Virtual Pilot 3D™ NEVER NOT SCAM!
Thought influences language.
Language also influences thought. When you start putting up linguistic walls and excluding this or that from what you consider acceptable, you are limiting yourself and others.
Which is why we have this sort of rebellion against form in the first place.
Sparkasaurusmex was right: Maybe we should all start taking LSD.
Bringing up movies and comparing them to books is completely pointless because movies are not games.
Last edited by Wizardry; 29-11-2012 at 06:39 PM.