Archive for the ‘ Film ’ Category

In Response to Mr. Ebert…

Earlier this week, the brilliant, esteemed critic Roger Ebert wrote again that he believes that video games can never be art.  When he first made this argument some five years ago, I disagreed with him quite strongly.  Here was, I thought, a man that could not and would not ever understand the way that games were, the potential that they had, the point that many attempted.  Here was a man that would not and could not see that games were meant to reach heights heretofore unseen by the likes of cinema and books.

Since then, my view has changed quite dramatically.  Before now, I cited examples such as Indigo Prophecy and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time as being the closest that games had come to art in form, as the closest they had come to meaningful narrative and true artful focus.  They were games that attempted to break the status quo: games that did not cater to the masses but focused on instead delivering their respective visions without deviating for a second.  And while that’s not entirely true, in that the former unraveled by the end and the latter featured two sequels that deviated quite a bit from the fantastical nature of the original, it was my view, and I stood by it.

Continue reading

Advertisements

In Which I Beat a Dead Horse – Narrative in Gaming (Part 3)

I tend to – often mistakenly – pride myself on not being a “gamer.”  There are other words, other definitions, that I would attempt to place myself in, were I to do that sort of thing, in some effort to put this thing called me in some preconceived box.

That is to say that all of the things that I write about gaming come first from a writer and a reader of fiction, and second from a gamer and a person who enjoys those experiences: the fun, the visceral, the intellectual pursuits that I seem to aspire to in my continuing journey through interactive storytelling and in some effort to find it.

There are those that would say that gaming itself could function without story involved.  This is absolutely, unequivocally true.  I have no preconceived notions of that.  Yet I would argue that we would lose an exciting, powerful, stimulating medium through which to tell those selfsame stories.

Continue reading

Narrative in Gaming (Part 2)

Like any technology or industry, video gaming has its innovators.  From the hype machine, the audience is lead to believe that innovation comes quickly and frequently, with the medium constantly evolving and in a state of flux.  Some prominent voices (read: Michael Pachter) seem to think that stability is something to be feared, so predictions of upheavals and new tech and the like are constantly on everyone’s radar.  And the mainstream press and gaming blogs pick up on it, because like it or not, such predictions are “news” in the industry, and aren’t something to be frivolously ignored, no matter the ultimate outcome.

The truth, however, is that the gaming industry as a whole – publishers, developers and consumers, as well as a host of other peripheral industries, such as gaming journalism and PR and marketing – relies on stability in games.  What is taken for innovation is actually an evolutionary iteration of established mechanics or tech, instead of something that is a full-blown innovation on established mechanics.

Continue reading