Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
Dreaming of a New Day: Heavy Rain's David Cage
View All     RSS
September 18, 2014
arrowPress Releases
September 18, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


 
Dreaming of a New Day: Heavy Rain's David Cage

July 25, 2008 Article Start Page 1 of 7 Next
 

David Cage, founder of French studio Quantic Dream, feels strongly about the evolution of games as a medium. Starting out in 1997, the company debuted the David Bowie co-starring Omikron: The Nomad Soul for PC and Dreamcast in 1999.

But Cage is probably best known for his company's 2005 game Xbox, PS2 and PC title Indigo Prophecy, known as Fahrenheit in Europe, which was critically acclaimed for its inventive storytelling and immersive techniques - and is now available on the 'Xbox Originals' program for the Xbox 360 for those wanting to investigate it in more detail.

Going even further is the company's PlayStation 3 exclusive Heavy Rain, described at one point by Cage as "a very dark film noir thriller with mature themes", and which was shown behind closed doors to select members of the press last week at E3. It intends to take the narrative and emotion-oriented elements of Cage's previous title much further.

In this in-depth Gamasutra interview, Cage discusses here issues as diverse as capturing true emotion in games, what it really means to make a "mature" game, the true diversification of the gaming audience, and the controversy that surrounds games in the mass media.

The first and most obvious thing that I want to talk about is emotion in games. One thing that comes to mind for me is that you're going very far into realism, and quite often, the more realistic you get, the more difficult it can be for players to identify with the characters, given the Uncanny Valley situation. So why do you want to push toward realism?

DC: I agree and disagree with your statement. You don't have to be realistic to create emotion. Of course it's not required. There are many, many examples of that in the game industry. What I'm interested in with realism is that I want to learn, basically, what it means to perform for an actor, and what it requires to translate this performance from a technical and creative point of view. Basically, I want to learn, and we really learned a lot working on the casting demo, for example, not only from what worked but also from what didn't work.

I think the uncanny valley is something that people talk a lot about, but I think we'll start to see the end of it. We're not out of the Uncanny Valley yet, but we can start to see how to limit it. Once we have learned how to create really realistic characters, then they will be contrasted to nonrealistic characters, and we will apply what we've discovered to different types of rendering and characters.

So you don't feel that realism limits your audience?

DC: No, I'm the opposite. To tell you the truth, I think it's easier for a major part of users to relate to something that looks real, as opposed to something that's totally out there. I wouldn't say this is my personal opinion, because as an educated gamer, I can relate to basically anything based in talent. But I think a lot of games explore realism, and I think it's easier for players to relate to something that's close to what they know, rather than something totally strange.


Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain

In my opinion, multiple decades of cartoons and animation and advertisements that are recognizable but not realistic, now seem quite mass-market. The Incredibles, for example, is a great example. That sort of technique gives you the ability to exaggerate, and reality can constrain you.

DC: That's absolutely true. That's one way of doing it. I think cinema would be limited if it were only The Incredibles or Beowulf... you see what I mean. I think exactly the same of games. There's room for different styles and different stories to be told. I think rendering is not an end in itself. When you're a developer or creator, you don't wake up in the morning and say, "I'm a creator for non-realistic roles!" or for realistic roles.

A trait relies on the story, most of the time. What is my vision? What do I have to tell to the world? Then you think, "What is the best way of telling the story? Is it realistic? Is it non-realistic?" I'm quite agnostic about that. I'm not saying everything should be realistic or non-realistic. It really depends on what you want to say.

With graphics that are realistic, do you find that it's more difficult to take those characters outside of reality or the game universe? Like with Indigo Prophecy, when the story begins to go sci-fi.

DC: It doesn't matter, honestly. In cinema, as demonstrated, you can tell any story, even the most absurd or non-realistic ones, with realistic rendering. Think about David Lynch movies. Think about Brazil. It's an insane story, but it's realistic. It's live action. So no, I don't think there are stories that can't be told with cinema rendering. You can do whatever you want.

But it's really interesting to work with real actors. When you think about Pixar and The Incredibles, for example, how do they work? They film real actors to see how they move, and then they have animators trying to recreate and exaggerate and add, et cetera. But basically, it's based on real actors. We are not at this stage yet. I still want to discover what it takes to create an actor and where emotion comes from.

For example, we discovered the importance of the work we're doing with facial animation, after [developing] the casting. We discovered how to capture that. I think we gained a lot by capturing the eyes of the actors, because suddenly, it was not keyframed. However good you are, it's always keyframed. You can see it's keyframed.

But here, it's captured, so you have all the micro movements, and it's incredible. We knew that from the start, but it was even more than we thought, how much goes through the eyes. It's really insane. The micro movements... the things you do when you talk, just moving your head a little bit... a lot goes through that. So we learned.

Have you seen what Naughty Dog did with Uncharted? They tried to use that kind of tactic, using real actors and having them deliver their lines. Is that sort of a similar direction to where you're going?

DC: There's a big difference. Honestly, I loved the game. I thought Uncharted was very interesting. There was some very, very interesting aspects to it. The big difference between Uncharted and what we're doing here is that Uncharted was still structured like a video game. It gives you a bit of story, then action, then a bit of story, then action - like porn movies, when you think about it.

Porn movies are structured in exactly the same way, except that the action is not the same (laughter), but it's the same structure. Most video games are done like that. It's one thing to do a great cutscene, even if it's real time. It's another thing to try to tell the story as you play, so the story's not told through cutscenes -- it's told through gameplay. So you don't need acting performance in cutscenes. You need interactive performance.


Article Start Page 1 of 7 Next

Related Jobs

Pocket Gems
Pocket Gems — San Francisco, California, United States
[09.17.14]

Associate Product Manager
Yoh
Yoh — Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
[09.17.14]

Rendering Engineer Job
Yoh
Yoh — Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
[09.17.14]

Multiplayer Designer Job
Red Storm Entertainment, a Ubisoft Studio
Red Storm Entertainment, a Ubisoft Studio — Cary, North Carolina, United States
[09.17.14]

Sr. Level Designer






Comments


Rayna Anderson
profile image
Great interview! I loved Indigo Prophecy (the first half at least;) and after seeing the tech demo I can't wait for Heavy Rain to be released. It's wonderful to hear of all these thoughts, ideas and concepts that will be the backbone for the game.

Anonymous
profile image
I like the bluntness of "you can't do this because it doesn't make sense." I don't know what it is, but there seems to be a pervasive mindset that "you have the freedom to approach the game however you want" instantly makes people approach the game in ways that make no sense whatsoever. I have a "punch" button? OK, then, let's punch everything I see! Strangers on the street, cars, buildings...let's see if I can knock this dude's breakfast off the plate by punching individual strips of bacon via the physics engine! It's interesting to see the approach taken by the developer just to say "You know what? No. That's stupid and you can't do it."

Anonymous
profile image
Cage is actually wrong about Pixar. They do not do motion capture, and are very proud of animating everything themselves. The credits of Ratatouille even refer to it: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0382932/crazycredits

Anonymous
profile image
If you want to be very strict about what the player can't do, you probably need to be at least twice as explicit about what the player CAN do, or embrace the fact that your game will be of the blind trial-and-error type. Those are not side details, they are fundamental pillars on which the design will have to rest.

Justin Keverne
profile image
He doesn't say that picture do motion capture, simply that they base their animations on real people. They video how real people move and "recreate and exaggerate and add" to it.

John Mawhorter
profile image
Given his views I am surprised at not only the sci-fi ending to Indigo Prophecy and his choice of PS3 as a console, which you are right to pick on him for. He certainly can talk, and his comments on learning from the movie industry without copying them are very true. His aversion to "toy" games is insufferable, though, and I think he misses that the point of video games, just like movies, is to entertain. Its OK for people to have a preference in terms of what kind of games they want to make. But to dismiss every other creative personality is childish.

B N
profile image
As far as the not being able to do certain things if they don't fit the context idea, I think care needs to be taken to put a lot of environmental things that your character can do as well because they do fit the context to balance this idea out. If you just limit everything to a small number of linear things that the character would do during the course of say a movie then the game can get too predictable. As an example say my character knows of some item in a desk in some room now in a movie they would go to said room search said desk and get the item then leave, but in a game I shouldn't be limited to just searching that desk if I don't want to. If you limit the player too much then you're basically just creating a glorified movie. Also for your "shoot the cop" example that makes perfect sense, but if I can't shoot the cop don't allow me to even draw my gun. If I can draw my gun I expect to be able to shoot whatever I want, and as a player if I shoot the cop and the bullet goes through him the game loses immersiveness whether it made sense to shoot the cop or not.



Really, to me though, I think the cop should be able to be shot, and the gun should be able to be drawn at any time. Well that doesn't make sense you're saying? Make it make sense. Have a consequence to your character shooting that cop, make it have an impact on the story is what I'm getting at. If you try to design a game around these movie ideas of character action context then all you get is a movie with a little interactivity. To me the ideas present in this interview are a step backwards (or maybe to the side) and nothing new. There were plenty of games out before psysics engines where the world was static and nothing could be moved, and a lot of time it doesn't make sense to do that so it was fine. The future of games as a story telling media is choice not linearity. The ability to choose what you want to do as the player is what separates our media from other concrete forms of entertainment so instead of limiting our advantage so that we're more like the competition we should embrace it and create unprecedented levels of interactive stories.

Justin Keverne
profile image
Clearly "in an ideal world" there'd be no need to restrict the players actions and everything they did would have a meaningful and entertaining outcome. But such a world is so far off as to render such desires meaningless.



With finite resources available, it makes no sense to effectively waste them developing content simply for players who want to screw around. If you want to go and stack thousands of cups on a table, or shot everybody in site, there are other games for you.



I want freedom of choice, and the ability to act as I feel is appropriate but I still want all my choices to have meaningful consequences. I want entertainment, if I have to "play a role" in the game world to get that then I'll accept that.



It doesn't mean a game has to be about trial and error, just that it has to allow for, and respond to, in-context actions. If I'm in an office let me look through the drawers, let me answer the phone, let me use the computer, but I don't need to be able to throw myself out of the window or photo copy my genitalia.



*Oh and I obviously meant 'Pixar' not 'picture' in my above comment. :)

Steven An
profile image
"Like a porn movie" hahaha. Come on now. While that may be true, aren't most action movies like that? Some action, a bit of story, some action, a bit of story?

Anh Tu
profile image
Really awesome interview. I agree with the trial and error thing from BN, but I agree with Justin Keverne more. Right now we don't have the resource to completely do trial and error, if we did it for everything we do in the game, we'd have to stay consistant or continuity would affect the story. Kind of at least. Bottom line is, its much too complicating when you can spend the resource focusing on something thats more themed for the game. There's a specific goal and a specific player in mine, so you can't always do stuff just to make people who want to jump on tables or place pyramid cups on the sidewalk satisfied. Its not easy so you have to make adjustments. Maybe one day though, that trial and error thing won't seem too far fetched. We already see it in a lot of games nowadays like GTA, but I don't think it fit Cage's ambition. Who knows? Just my 2 cents.

John Barnstorm
profile image
Excellent interview. I do wish that there were more game companies interested in doing interesting stories aimed at adults. In a way, he's picking up where Gabriel Knight 2 left off in terms of its interesting amalgamation of cinema and story, one of the few FMV-oriented games that was worth playing.



I don't believe that it's an all-or-nothing approach to game design when Cage says he'd prefer to limit uncharacteristic actions. For the type of game he makes, he wants his player to choose within the possibilities that the character could realistically accomplish.



I disagree with BN completely, as this sort of guided storytelling game can coexist with more open games. I don't think that non-linear, open-world gameplay is new, as much of the old Ultimas could easily be labelled as such. These experiences, as well as those inherent in Fallout and Oblivion have their appeals, but their downsides in using games as narrative art. What sort of game do you like? One with broad choice but limited characterization, or a streamlined but narratively dense one?

Anonymous
profile image
There are a few experiences games can offer that movies can't. Choice and challenge are chief among those. If one's game offers neither, then I have to ask, John, why not simply make a movie?

Grey None
profile image
Those advocating choice are utterly mistaken.



Interactivity is what this medium offers, as well as images. Not choice. Not challenge. You don't make a movie because interactivity is what contributes to a stronger emotional response from the player(/audience). That in combination with images.



I think BN's comment is completely off the mark and is the worst step the medium can take. If you limit 'everything' as a designer then you have control. If you don't, you have illogical actions (Half-Life 2's story rooms), you have inconsistency (Mass Effect's characters), or you have a story where you don't see everything that was intended (any game with branching paths), and you don't get a complete, coherent message. And if every choice is related to one single, coherent theme, then why have choice in the first place?

What a godawful idea.



I can't say I agree with Cage fully either, but for the most part I do. I LOVE how he believes that the more ambitious creations deserve a better title than 'video game.' My thoughts exactly. Video game comes with the connotations of rules, objectives, competitions and a necessity for fun.



And yes yes a thousand times YES! The eyes are the key to reality in animation/graphics. They tell you the most about a person. Finally someone gets it.



But, I don't think giving Lucas (or anyone) options within a scene is right. Actions define you, and what someone does and in what order they do it in can destroy the character. Making the choice for the player is not right either (if they fail to make one in the cutscene) - of course offering them choice is pointless too. Just let the characters talk - you can still have passive elements in the medium. Visuals are passive too. Pacing isn't as important in the interactive medium. In a sense, if the player isn't going forwards along the linear path, the reel in the theatre is not rolling. If they can do something substantial instead of progressing with the story, then we have a problem (the one relating to choice). Pacing should be based upon the idea that the player is actually going along that set path.



So, MAYBE choice can be impressive with fully realistic AI determining each possible action, but really, choice is pointless in either case.



If you want power fantasies and do-it-yourself gaming where the developer gives you the tools (the camera, the brush), go for choice. If you want to experience, let the artist be the artist. Leave the control in their hands.



Cinema and the interactive medium are not meant to entertain. God no. They're meant for expression. Other, lesser uses of the medium are the point scoring shooting games and the exploitation films, and they can have their place.



However, I fully believe that the majority of the medium should be narrative. Interactive stories told INTERACTIVELY. That's art. That's what I want. I couldn't care less if the Littlebigplanets and Spores of this world get washed away by interactive narrative. Those examples could be fun but meaningless experiences.



I want to say David Cage has some great ideas, but that'd be a bit arrogant wouldn't it? We think almost alike on the topics he's talked about (though perhaps not on some branching ideas I've raised in this post).

Heavy Rain, please deliver on the level of Ueda.

Justin Keverne
profile image
Interactivity means taking meaningful actions, and on it's own adds little if those actions are entirely restricted to those options supplied by an almighty creator.



Games (Whatever you call them, I agree that the term video games is a terrible choice) are about expression I agree, but for whom? The creator? The player? What about both, this is the only medium capable of true shared authorship. That's what I'm interested in. I don't mind a limit on my choices provided there is play within the system itself, that space between the limits of the narrative and my self expression is where the true power of an interactive medium lies.



The limits of the system need not, in fact should not, be the same for all titles. The limits should be tailored to the specific game and how much player expression the designer wants to provide. There's just as much worth in Indigo Prophecy as GTA IV.

Anonymous
profile image
"Interactivity is what this medium offers, as well as images. Not choice. Not challenge."



It offers them. Whether you take them or not is your own decision as a designer.

Grey None
profile image
Wrong. Interactivity doesn't mean taking meaningful actions. It simply means an action/reaction relationship. You press a button, something happens. You move the analog stick, the character moves. The work reacts to you by revealing themes through your actions.



On its own it adds SO MUCH. Look at Shadow Of The Colossus. There is no choice in that. You must slay the colossi, you must use Agro and rely on him and build a bond and your actions result in the greying, shambling corpse (he visibly transforms into that as you kill more and more colossi). There are definable themes, clearly placed there and explored interactively.



You may have your own response to these themes, but the author has raised them (and they may have a view on them that can be seen within the text). But your response doesn't change what's there.



Any medium is capable of shared authorship. Look at a Picasso, bring along a paintbrush and scribble your design over it (the canvas being the confines of the game, and the paintbrush being your character making choices and changing the landscape of the game). There's your shared authorship. That is EXACTLY what Will Wright offers you. The tools to paint with, but on a more defined canvas.



Maybe the two titles you listed are worth just as much as eachother. That would only be because Indigo Prophecy was severely flawed, not because GTA4 offers a suitable alternative.

GTA4 the game is an angry Serbian stealing cars and killing everyone around him. GTA4 the story is presented in cutscenes (bleuch) and is about a 'complex' Serbian who just wants to escape his past life, but inconcievably doesn't relent in killing more and more people because he 'needs the money.' (Especially after that bank job, right?) Even the narrative places Niko at odds with himself. The game part just destroys him.



There wouldn't be as much artistic worth in GTA4 as there would be in a well done Indigo Prophecy, and nothing even comes close to Ueda save Portal. As for personal worth, that's yours to assign. But other than on a personal level, they would never be comparable.



As for anonymous, choice is just a subset of interactivity. Challenge is not (nor is it unique to this medium). We've had games for thousands of years. All of them have offered challenge and choice. Finally we have a visual-interactive medium and all you people want to do with it is shoehorn inferior challengers to Tetris into it? Because Tetris is the perfect digital 'game.' Challenge is hardly as major a component as interactivity and visuals, and to focus on it would be absolutely disastrous for narrative art.

Justin Keverne
profile image
Grey None:

I think you are being incredibly restricted when it comes to the possibilities for this medium and what defines art in an era of interactivity. If interactivity is to mean nothing more than: I take an action the system reacting revealing a little bit more of the artists work, how is that any more powerful or expressive than covering a Picasso with a curtain and requiring that I slowly draw it back?

We have had hundreds of years of art as the single vision of an auteur, the nature of games provides a new medium for that that form of art, one that is interactive. But it also offers much more besides. It offers the possibility for a form of art unlike any we know today, a form that is truly subjective and explorative and multi-dimensional.

Will Wight doesnít offer truly shared authorship, he offers a toolset in which I can be expressive, he gives me a canvas, paints and a brush, then encouraged me to create. Itís not really shared authorship as all I experience of his vision is the restrictions he places upon mine. He is the Picasso of your example, none of my acts affect his core work in any way, I might doodle to my hearts content but underneath everything of mine his vision remains.

GTA IV is flawed, but it (and more specifically games like Deus Ex) point towards an expressive medium when I can define my reading of a character and see how that interacts with and affects the creators reading of that character and their world. It points towards the possibilities for the creation and exploration of truly subjective representations of characters and places. A medium where a creator can define a world and I can modify the actions of a character with it, witnessing the affect those actions have on the world itself, and thereby start to learn and understand more about both that world and its creator, and myself. A medium, an art form, where I can truly explore the vision of the creator in a way not possible at any other time in history.

Nick Halme
profile image
@Justin



I don't agree with the way you're looking at it either. You're speaking about the action/reaction qualities of interactivity as if the reaction is simply the revealing of 'art', and you are restricting art to visuals.



Real life is interactive. The act of hitting a ball with a bat is satisfying. That is a game. Interactivity alone does not make it art. Adding meaning to those interactions, like painters add meaning to their work, is how I see games evolving as an artistic medium.

Justin Keverne
profile image
Nick:

Actually I agree with you. My comments about interactivity revealing the art are how I read Grey None's take on interactivity, a reading I don't share.



It's difficult for interactions to be meaningful if there is no choice about what those interactions are. Without choice interactions can be no more meaningful than turning a page of a book, which is and action and a reaction. But too many choices can lead to players actings in ways that are not meaningful in context.

Anonymous
profile image
"It's difficult for interactions to be meaningful if there is no choice about what those interactions are"



I generally agree, but not in absolute terms. Interactions can be meaningful even if you don't have choice, because the fact that you take an active (even if predefined) part in a work of art can change how you look at it and how it affects you.



In SotC I can't really choose to not kill the colossi, but the fact that I am the one doing it changed everything. The challenge involved in bringing them down made me appreciate the grandiosity of their mere existence. In Mass Effect, choice leads to consequences that, although not particularly important in the grand scheme of the story, changed the bond I felt with my character.



In summary, interactivity, choice and challenge are means through which the designer can make the experience of the game more meaningful. They don't have to be used, and they can be used in ways that don't add depth to the meaning, but they CAN.

Nils HaukŚs
profile image
@ 26 Jul 2008 at 11:51 pm PST



You brought up a good point with the SotC example. A game may lack interactive fidelity, but you are still in control of the character. The simple kind of "interactive presence" that you have as a player is underestimated quality of games.



Even simple interactive quality is gold compared to the static nature of other static media. When the hero dies in a movie no one shouts "I died". Because they didn't do anything to cause it, they're just passive.



Let's turn the tables a little and look at it this way:



Say there is a WW2 - drama available on dvd portraying the life an anxious nazi recruit? At key point in the movie the young recruit is forced to execute civilians, you as the viewer are required to press "ok" on your remote to pull the trigger... Releasing pain and agony in both the protagonist and the civilians.



Thoughts on this?

B N
profile image
@ Anonymous in regards to:



"In Mass Effect, choice leads to consequences that, although not particularly important in the grand scheme of the story, changed the bond I felt with my character."



What about experienced gamers that know all these little tricks in games that try to pretend they have an effect? To me when I play Mass Effect and I take an action early on that ends up having no real effect I lose interest in all the choices from that point. There really is no point in worrying about how you reply to people in that game because at best you might uncover a quick side storyline, but that's it. There needs to be meaningful choices for the experienced gamer because they're harder to please. It's like once you are caught in a lie in court you lose all credibility and will probably lose your case. If a gamer feels they're being guided through a linear experience and catches one instance where their action didn't have a meaningful effect then the game's creator loses all credibility and the gamer loses interest in the game or at the least they lose interest in that mechanic in question with the game making that part boring.



@ Nils haukas



The scenario you are proposing is a step backwards. You just described the Dragon's Lair series and Sewer Shark gameplay. The entire article is a step backwards and should be on moviesutra.com

Anonymous
profile image
"What about experienced gamers that know all these little tricks in games that try to pretend they have an effect? To me when I play Mass Effect and I take an action early on that ends up having no real effect I lose interest in all the choices from that point"



Oh but they have an effect (at least some do - I blew up a guy's head, which shocked me). What they don't have is a long-lasting consequence. Which arguably makes them more effective because if these choices had a serious impact in the future of the gameplay experience, then I'd feel compelled to min-max them for the "best" reward and ignore the narrative side they have.



(Note, I don't think "experienced gamers" is the right criteria for classification, but that's a different topic)

B N
profile image
Well the reason I chose experienced gamers is because eventually nearly anyone that plays video games is going to be an experienced gamer just like how everyone is an experienced movie watcher and they know what to expect in a movie.

Grey None
profile image
Frankly, I think I've covered most of my arguments to your points pre-emptively, but to reiterate or add to them:



Consider my stance with Kubrick's quote. "One man writes a novel. One man writes a symphony. It is essential that one man make a film."

Now we have the visual-interactive medium, where one man should be the creator again.



You could change whatever you wanted in any other medium - whether you paint over it or write another chapter (or fully replace an existing one). All choose-your-own adventure games offer is an incomplete experience. Lots of directions but nowhere to go in regards to the message.



All your little escapades amount to nothing. You're just playing director. You're creating 'art' within severe limitations, and art has no limits. Power fantasy is a better term for that.

But hey, perhaps the boundaries are limitless! Congratulations for supplying the pen and paper, developer. Your game is meaningless but at least you're a great tool supplier.



"A medium where a creator can define a world and I can modify the actions of a character with it, witnessing the affect those actions have on the world itself, and thereby start to learn and understand more about both that world and its creator, and myself. A medium, an art form, where I can truly explore the vision of the creator in a way not possible at any other time in history."



But what you're arguing for is completely inaccessible to you through your intended method.

You want to be closer to the author's message. Great - we have interactivity doing that. I can't think of an appropriate analogy to film, as all the well-known ones make full good use of the visual and passive elements of cinema, and therefore would translate poorly if I just tried to say "You get to control this character through the events of the film," which is what I'm getting at.

You're definitely closer than before - you're not a passive observer but an active participant. If someone were to put interactivity to good use it would tower over film the way the best films make the best novels look laughable. Images are much MUCH more powerful than words trying to create images.



"But too many choices can lead to players actings in ways that are not meaningful in context."



Ah, here we are. If a choice is made, and it has the same meaning as the alternative, the choice is superficial. If all alternatives are different, then the message is incoherent, powerless in the context of other choices - and since a text is not a single situation but a series of events, the choice can destroy any consistency in theme.



What if a game features two seperate branching paths? They never overlap, they're just two choice-free situations with the same characters in the same setting. Well, that's two different games, not one advocating the power of choice.



@Nils

"Say there is a WW2 - drama available on dvd portraying the life an anxious nazi recruit? At key point in the movie the young recruit is forced to execute civilians, you as the viewer are required to press "ok" on your remote to pull the trigger... Releasing pain and agony in both the protagonist and the civilians.



Thoughts on this?"



It's trying to be interactive. It's like an interactive work which has that soldier reluctantly throw a grenade into the civilian crowd (one action -> many deaths), only it's worse because the rest of it is passive, making the interactive element out of place.

(Let's say that to progress in the fully interactive work, the O button must be pressed to throw the grenade, but the first few times he just shakes his arm = reluctance shown interactively.

It's not your reluctance, but the character's.



@Anonymous talking about Sotc and Mass Effect:

But you're not the one slaying the colossi. The Wanderer is. You just interactively guide him along his predefined journey.

Clearly people experience thrills, but those who look deeper see struggle, loss, loyalty and perhaps obsession among other themes. And this is all linear and interactive with NO choices, and with links back to the visual (the Wanderer's progressively greying image for one). So don't tell me that interactivity without choice is meaningless, Justin.



Everything you see or do is linked back to Ueda's intented message. In Mass Effect, we have Flipflop Shepherd and the Ican'tdecidewhatIwant crew because you can change the character on a whim and the crew agrees with you at each step. That is not good writing, and it is certainly not good art.



The challenge in SotC represents the struggle the Wanderer faces. The ending is devoted to that concept of struggle (I don't want to spoil it, but I'm talking about final interactive bit with the Dormin).

Preferably, there would be no actual challenge in the artistic works of this medium, unless of course, it was representative of something. That means no immersion breaking game overs, that means no barriers to entry, that means just pure interactive experience. It won't stop game games from existing, just look at the sales. But it will draw the line between a primitive 'brainless' past-time and intellectually stimulating yourself in a medium that actually cares to utilise its features.



No doubt this view will be unpopular for the time being, as we've seen here.



@B N - your view is certainly the most backwards in regards to where the medium should go. Choice is awful, awful, awful.

Anonymous
profile image
"No doubt this view will be unpopular for the time being, as we've seen here"



It's not about being unpopular, don't try to make a martyr out of it. :) It's just extremist and terribly limiting. Feel free to put all your faith in it, but I think in the long run you will be either disappointed, or you will miss out on a lot of great works of art.

Daniel Camozzato
profile image
Interesting interview, but I wonder if someone would really buy a PS3 only to play "Heavy Rain" and similar games (that might or might not be released for PS3...). Consoles may be great for developers, but (in my opinion) people who are looking for indie or "unusual" games aren't looking for them in consoles, which are currently a domain for the "teenage" games that Cage mentioned and for console wars that take away the freedom that one gets on the PC.

Grey None
profile image
"It's not about being unpopular, don't try to make a martyr out of it. :) It's just extremist and terribly limiting. Feel free to put all your faith in it, but I think in the long run you will be either disappointed, or you will miss out on a lot of great works of art."



No, it IS about popularity (in terms of being acceptable). Unfortunately, it will take the world a little while to come to their senses.

The reason it's limiting is because there's only one view to have on this, where works in the interactive-visual medium become art. Within this 'limitation' is a broad scope of wonderful experiences waiting to be created.



I won't miss out on anything, but people can pretend what they're playing is narrative art if they want. People pretend exploitation films and choose-your-own adventure books are art too. I doubt they pretend hopscotch is art, which is a game you can attach a story to if you so wish.



If you want the current trend of games to be art, you'll have to settle for technical art. Well made, aesthetically pleasing, whatever, just not meaningful.



Of course, in the long run, I'll have to do something about it, not sit back while we have more and more people claiming things like Deus Ex, GTA4 or Fallout are artistic works in the medium. Which doesn't make them bad games. However, if you want artistic interaction, the only way is mine.



Now I believe the arguments I've put forth (if anyone cares to read them) are reasonable and logical enough. If you have issues with that, argue away. Then try and argue my view as a whole. Dismissing it as extremist is absurd. People are so used to mediocrity in this medium that whatever is praised seems to be the right direction. And emergent gameplay as a narrative tool is NOT that right direction.

Warren Thompson
profile image
Ok, Grey, regardless of the things you said that were valid, you are far too close minded. There is no right way to make a game and to tell other people that you are right and they are wrong only proves that you have no concept of art. Don't take this offensively, this is in defense of everything you are so sure is wrong.



There are three essential ways of approaching the industry; there are toys, games, and stories. Human beings love all of the above. A toy is essentially a tool that you are given that can be used to create a narrative with no rules. A game is a tool that can be used to create a narrative with set rules. A story is a narrative that has been created with tools no available to the audience. A video game falls anywhere on the scale.



If you ask me, art is defined by its audience. If nobody saw the Mona Lisa, it can't be considered art because it was only a personal expression of the artist. Aside from glitches and hacking, ALL video games are experienced the way they were designed... they aren't always experienced the same way, just like not everyone feels the same thing from looking at a peice of art. The small details of interactivity make all the difference between a video game and a movie. The fact that I can make Lucas drink milk in his undies while lounging around his apartment proves that I am Lucas, he isn't a character on the screen. I am still experiencing the game the way DC wanted me to, especially so because I'm taking control of what he does. I have no desire to ruin the story by punching random people, even if I can, but that is my choice. If a troubled child wants to slaughter civilians in GTA, they are choosing the experience that is most pleasing to them... THAT is art.



I don't make it a point to defend video games as art, I honestly dont care, its all semantics. However, I never want to see someone telling me that there is ONE way to make a game, because there is never one way of playing one and that's what makes them what they are. I wouldn't be in this industry if that were the case and I'm not going to accept someone's theory on the right way to do something in an industry that's still growing.



Keep an open mind

Justin Keverne
profile image
Art as defined as the singular expression of a creator does indeed deny choice. However I reject that definition of art.



I reject the notion that the only way for something to be artistic is to deny choice. I reject the implication that visuals tied to interactivity is the only way games can be artistically expressive.



I reject that view because I believe it is a thoroughly backward looking view; it assumes that the art of the previous centuries is the only way art can ever exist. I believe that the power of the interactive medium opens up the possibilities for a new form of artistic expression that is no longer tied to the notion of one singular experience but strives to present a continuum of experiences around a specific theme. The creator no longer defines the one expression that the audience can experience, be it passively or interactively. The creator now defines a range of experiences, and allows the audience to examine and explore those different experiences.



Love is an incredibly complicated emotion with many facets, there is the platonic love between two friends, the sexual love between a man and wife, the maternal love a mother has for her child. Art as it is currently defined is capable of expressing maybe a few of those forms of love in a single work. Art as I would define it can present all of those facets of love and many more in a form that I can explore and experience through my choices within that work.



Mine is a form of art that does not exist yet, it is one defined by scope and not specifically and one unique to the digital medium. It might not exist yet and if you stick to the traditional definition of art it never will, therefore I reject that traditional definition of art in favour of a new one.

Peter Park
profile image
If I am understanding Grey None(is this real name?) correctly, I agree with him fully. Interactivity doesn't instantly mean choices that can alter outcomes of a plot.



In that sense, Mass Effect has not failed. While it does show it's weakness when player trigger same dialogue to be played over and over, it does let player *influence* the game and change the tone of the story.



The power of interactivity, in my opinion, is that it draws audience into the experience more so than any other mediums have been able to. (Well, it's a bit wrong, since a storyteller telling a story to a crowd can be interactive. But game can be mass-produced.) And doing so, creators of game can deliver messages effectively than any other way.

Anonymous
profile image
"Dismissing it as extremist is absurd"



I'm not dismissing it, I'm just saying it is extremist. There's a lot of grey between black and white, that is very valid to me but you consider unacceptable; what is there to argue? Let's see what happens. :)

B N
profile image
"choice is awful, awful, awful"



I lol'd

Grey None
profile image
There isn't one way to make a game. There's "one way" to make art out of this medium. Within this "one way" is enormous potential. Choosing the path of greatest pleasure is hardly art. Creating an experience for yourself has nothing to do with the art in any given game.



"ALL video games are experienced the way they were designed... they aren't always experienced the same way, just like not everyone feels the same thing from looking at a peice of art."



I covered this. You can have a certain response to a piece of art (whether it be painting or film), and you can have one to interactive art too. Someone else can have a different response. That's called interpretation. What we're interpreting is ALWAYS the same.



As for the first part of that sentence, you contradict yourself, so I can't really tell what you're trying to say. I *think* it may be that the creator creates everything, so in a way its still theirs despite us experiencing it in various ways.



*******Here's the best example I can come up with*******



[The 'artist' has failed to compose a piece of art. van Gogh cut up his watercolour yesterday; put it together in your own special way. Let's say he even tells you where four pieces (out of 20 fit). You're creating a painting using already existing pieces. Is that art or creation? Is it still van Gogh's art? Did he create a meaning behind each and every one of your rearrangements of his work? (No? Not art) Let's say someone gets it the exact way vG had it. What's the point of choice there? What if it has two ways to fit? (That's 2 different paintings)

I guess the example would work better with Picasso though, seeing as it's harder to puzzle together his works.]



And I don't take anything offensively, don't worry. Arguments and critique are essential to development.



@Peter Park

Have to say that I don't agree with your view of MEffect.

Mass Effect has no meaning attached to any of its machinations. Meaning that already, it's disqualified as artistic. And on the off chance that it did contain something of merit, the bulk of the game is undefined. I'm running out of ways to explain this, so here's my quote:



"If a choice is made, and it has the same meaning as the alternative, the choice is superficial. If all alternatives are different, then the message is incoherent, powerless in the context of other choices - and since a text is not a single situation but a series of events, the choice can destroy any consistency in theme.



What if a game features two seperate branching paths? They never overlap, they're just two choice-free situations with the same characters in the same setting. Well, that's two different games, not one advocating the power of choice."



Most importantly, by letting YOU create, change, shift, whatever - the game is no longer art (if it was in the first place), but has been degraded into a toolset.



@Justin

"I reject the implication that visuals tied to interactivity is the only way games can be artistically expressive."

They don't need to be 'tied' (though moments in SotC are). But it is, after all, an interactive-visual medium. Visuals shouldn't just be there, there should be a purpose behind them other than "makes for good platforming."



What do you say about choose-your-own adventure books? They've probably been around longer than video games. Games too have existed without visuals (e.g My example of hopscotch. Say the creator made up a story for that - there's failure and there's success, there's rules, different moves etc)

Games are games, games are not art.



"Art as I would define it can present all of those facets of love and many more in a form that I can explore and experience through my choices within that work."



People can do that in one coherent, persistant work (minus choice of course). Are you really arguing that different facets of love can't be explored within a film or book? What does choice add? Disruption to actual art? Interactivity by itself brings you closer to the experience.



"Mine is a form of art that does not exist yet, it is one defined by scope and not specifically and one unique to the digital medium. It might not exist yet and if you stick to the traditional definition of art it never will, therefore I reject that traditional definition of art in favour of a new one.""



It does exist and it obviously isn't unique to the digital medium. (Choose your own adventure books, traditional games like Chess)



@BN

"I lol'd"

Figured you would. (Not contribute anything to the coversation, that is.) Obviously I don't mean choice in everyday life, but you knew that.



@Anonymous

I hope we do see.



Right now I'm sticking to my guns. Certainly my view is one sided and airtight (in terms of what fits into my classification of artistic 'games'), but I believe it's the right one.

If I change my thoughts on things in the future, it's because theories develop.

Justin Keverne
profile image
Grey Non:

I tend to overwrite things and therefore confuse the issue so I'll try and be as explicit as I can.



I understand your argument in terms of choice being anathema to traditional artistic expression. Choosing to only look at parts of a Picasso is stupid.



However I don't agree that this definiton of art is the only one that exists. New mediums require new ways to thing about art.

B N
profile image
@ Justin Keverne



I agree with you on different definitions of art for different mediums.



To me all games are art, well except maybe Shaq Fu.

Warren Thompson
profile image
It might sound confusing, but it isn't a contradiction.



Regardless of what you do in a game, be it a stone-cold killer or a knight in shining armour, you are working within the options given to you by the designer. You and your friend might have two different experiences, but you're still both experiencing exactly what the game designer offered.



I think the problem here, as I said, is semantics. You're looking at art as a product, produced by an 'artist', and given to the consumption of the viewer. Many people, myself included, see art as a more passive thing created by the viewer. If I see a melted ice cream cone on the sidewalk, I might interpret the meaning to be "somewhere, a child has lost their happy moment". Regardless of how the cone got there, it has a meaning that wasn't intentionally created. If I take a picture of it, am I suddenly an artist? By your definition I am, although I've created nothing.



Oscar Wilde, himself, claims that the aim of art is to reveal art while concealing the artist. He says that art is a mirror of the spectator and the artist must remove themselves from the true beauty of life lest they create an autobiography.



Whether or not he's right, it should say enough that some people see art as a creation of the spectator, and the artists only interferes with art by adding their own meaning. As it applies to video games, that would make them one of the highest forms of art because the artists take a step further away from their piece and let the spectator create art themselves.



No one side of the argument will ever be right, so the smartest thing any of us can do is step away from trying to prove people wrong and accept that it's an individual opinion.

Grey None
profile image
@All

By your definitions, anything could be art. Which is why we don't let those definitions out into the mainstream.



@Warren

In your example, you've created a photograph. Photography is an art. You've applied meaning to it (unhappy child).



I think what Oscar Wilde is saying is what I've said about different people having different responses (to the unchanging artwork), not that they create and rearrange new experiences or glimpse at pieces of an artwork in order to form an opinion.



In games, art as 'the creation of the spectator' has another meaning - literally using limited tools to create experiences on someone else's template, not mere interpretation.



None of that addresses the issue of incoherent choice, however.

Anonymous
profile image
"Are you really arguing that different facets of love can't be explored within a film or book? What does choice add?"



A different (expanded) language, just like films, theater, novels, comics or opera are different artforms but all can tell the same story.



Is a book a worse artform than a movie because it leaves more details up to the reader's imagination?

Warren Thompson
profile image
The photograph isn't art, though, the picture on the photograph is the art, and I didn't create that. There is no meaning to an ice cream cone on the side walk. The meaning is created by the person who sees it. There is no unhappy child in the photograph and, therefore, the spectator creates that.



What you aren't understanding is that games don't change. No matter what you do, you are still working within the unchanging game. You interact with the game, as someone might look at a statue from other angles to see it entirely. I might play the game in several ways to see it entirely but the game never changes, only MY choices in the game. I am creating my own experience based on an unchanging medium set before me and, therefore, creating art in the same way as interpreting eaning of a photograph of an ice cream cone.



Yes, anything can be art... that's what the Dada revolution and pop art are trying to prove to the world. A urinal, a can of campbell soup, a splatter of paint... anything CAN be art, and its all mainstream... nobody's preventing this definition, look in a museum or city park.

some dude
profile image
Interesting article, it's a shame that Mr. Cage can't seem to present his own ideas without taking a dump on someone else though. Seriously, when was the last time you heard a Spielberg or Scorcese come out and say "everyone listen up, movies should be like this - everyone else is doing it wrong!". They let their films do the talking. We'll know that the games industry has truly matured when this kind of infantile ranting no longer grabs all the headlines. How about an article on Indigo Prophecy which compares its content with similar media? Does the element of interactivity somehow negate its flaws? There's a fine line between "archetypes", stereotypes and flat out cliches. Are we that starved for so-called mature stories that anything which doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel somehow qualifies as high art? We still know nothing of Heavy Rain beyond a cutscene that surfaced quite some time ago. How about speaking with your game? ...or an actual idea instead of high brow nonsense.

Grey None
profile image
@Anonymous

And this medium is different to those but can still tell the same story. It's through INTERACTIVITY, not choice. Interactivity encompasses choice, but choice is NOT interactivity.



A film can leave detail up the reader's imagination. What you're describing are the limitations of books which make them an inferior medium. They can spend chapters detailing the beauty of one single shots and never get the same effect. Literal images are simply more powerful.



@Warren

If there is no meaning to the ice cream cone, then how did you create one for it? The photo has captured the moment. A photo isn't just a portable image - it's composition, lighting, and meaning among other things. Let's not go into semantics. A film is art, not every individual frame (which are photographs by the way). Whether someone reacts to the meanings of the cone in another way is up to them. Artists can't control reaction (which is what I meant by interpretation), just content. If the photo doesn't reveal much about its meaning it doesn't help your argument, it just means the photo was poorly composed.



Authorial intent and audience reaction has always been present. It's always been a collaboration. Choice allows you to change, rearrange and neglect or ignore pieces of that 'artwork.' (Interactivity allows everything you want except for your own input into someone else's work. Power fantasies aren't art.)



As for games 'changing' - we've been over this! Check the van Gogh example I gave. Parts don't literally disappear, but are inaccessible. Also check examples I gave on choice in games below that.

There's simply no arguing that point. Developers have failed to compose their 'artwork.'



And no, NOT everything can be (narrative/meaning imbued) art. If you don't understand that, there's no point in discussing this, as any argument simply ends with that ridiculous notion. Accepting that allows Saw to be art. It allows pulp novels to be art. It allows Mass Effect to be art. Those aren't art! And I can safely say that most of the world agrees with that one.



You can have a medium where not everything is art but where art can be created - and in fact, almost all media are like that. Especially the interactive-visual.



I'll reiterate, since no one cared to answer the past few times I've asked:

Would you call hopscotch art? Jump rope?

Would you call a choose-your-own adventure book art?

(Those are, naturally, not accepted as art anywhere, but are other examples of things under your definitions of artistic interactive works.)

some dude
profile image
@ Grey None

The reason no one has responded to your "is hopscotch art etc" queries is because no one cares. It is irrelevant and gives rise to countless agro statement which can never be verified. Why not try focusing on what art is instead of what it isnt'?

Grey None
profile image
Sorry for the double post, but I submitted before "some dude" posted.



This is directed towards him:



"Seriously, when was the last time you heard a Spielberg or Scorcese come out and say 'everyone listen up, movies should be like this - everyone else is doing it wrong!'"



They don't do that because film has already been defined. Its formative years were pre-Spielberg and Scorsese, in the VERY early 20th century. But it wasn't just directors. Critics were essential (some of whom later put their theories to use as directors), though well-known directors (especially in Russia) composed theories on film as well.



As for the cinema of spectacle, and the cinema where people simply filmed real life versions of comic strip gags, that WAS doing it wrong (if you wanted cinema to be art). They invented a whole new language in the early days, as interactive directors must now do with interactive elements.

Grey None
profile image
Ha. Ok, this would be the double post.



@some dude



"The reason no one has responded to your "is hopscotch art etc" queries is because no one cares. It is irrelevant and gives rise to countless agro statement which can never be verified. Why not try focusing on what art is instead of what it isnt'?"



It's VERY relevant. It's a game. GTA4 is a game. Your favourite example of art in the medium (unless its one of the 5 or so that actually are) is just a game. If hopscotch isn't art then what chance does anything by Miyamoto have? If choose-your-own adventure books aren't art then what chance does Elder Scrolls have?



Seriously, the explanation as to why its relevant is actually IN the paragraph you responded to.



I have focused on what art (in this medium) is. Others have focused on what they think is art, but the examples provided show that their definitions are wrong, plain and simple.

Warren Thompson
profile image
Forgive me Grey, I made the mistake of assuming you had valuable input beneath the ranting about how you are right and everyone else is wrong. It wont happen again.



You can have your definitions and your theories about what is right and what is wrong with art and video games, the world was always and forever will ignore them... as human beings, we collectively created art and we define what art is, not you. If you don't broaden your horizons to what the world outside of Grey None thinks, you're never going to have any success in this industry, assuming you can find anyone who wants to work with you. In the mean time, I think it says enough to his credit that David Cage, a successful game designer, disagrees with you and so do we. Peace.

Grey None
profile image
Funny, the collective HAS decided what art is (not me, but I agree wholeheartedly with their definition). No one's decided how to create interactive art yet, but mine is the most logical approach. If that offends you, I'm not sorry. You'll have to live with that from here on in.



Naturally, none of my points are touched upon in favour of "I'm right because I'm right." I made that solid an argument, huh?



****So here it is again.****

ARE CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN ADVENTURE BOOKS ART?

IS HOPSCOTCH ART? IS JUMP-ROPE ART? IS TENNIS ART?



Your defeaning silence indicates the answer is no. You KNOW the world doesn't consider them art, but you can't come to terms with the idea that all your examples are just extensions/imitations of those. Why attack me, and in turn, the world that agrees with me?



You're not a developer, are you? Then you should EMBRACE the possibility of true art, not try to shoehorn ridiculous examples in its stead, or try to defend what's not yours and is not even worth defending. So far we've seen no acceptance of games as an artform. And all we've had are games made by your definitions. Two and two make four.

Anonymous
profile image
" I made that solid an argument, huh?"



lol dude you just aren't worth arguing with



none of those games have shit to do with video games so let it go. your never gonna be right. period.

Grey None
profile image
It's the internet. Instead of conceding defeat, you people back yourselves into corners, lash out, insist that you're right and don't even bother arguing points.



Guess what? You're WRONG if you think differently. It's not like I just decided that this is what artistic interaction is, I considered your alternatives for a long time before I heard them from you, but they JUST didn't work. If you put one iota of thought into those ideas in the context of every other definition, you'd see it my way.



Instead, it's the internet. You can't be wrong on the internet of all places. You argue, are proven wrong by way of examples from other media, and do the only thing you can to hold onto definitions you came up with in a heartbeat. You insist everything is art, or you insist that somehow video games are so unique they get their own rules. When really, HOPSCOTCH has interaction. Choose-your-own adventure books have choices. The video games you consider art are just games! The WORLD doesn't consider them art, and I'M wrong?



The burden is on you to prove me wrong, not the other way around. And if you can't accept the future of this medium as art, then I suggest you try and find art elswhere. What's the point of an argument if you keep ignoring everything that proves you utterly and hopelessly wrong?

some dude
profile image
You seem to have missed my point Grey. Obviously Speilberg and Scorsese aren't from the "VERY" early 20th century. Regardless of what their opinion may be on film they conduct themselves in a civilised manner. Those in the game industry have a tendency to get violent to the point of being insulting. If you want an intelligent discussion then act like an intelligent person. The fact that people like George Melies for example were exploring the potential of film (as part of his traveling magic act!) in the early 1900's doesn't automatically mean he was desperate for his work to be labeled "ART" -as if that would somehow change his creations. If anything you could refer to Lars Von Trier and the Dogme95 films. They didn't outright say "hey Spielberg, Scorsese - you guys are doing it wrong!" they said hey, we don't like the direction film is headed. We'll take a different approach. We're not going to use artificial lights, props, explicit genres etc. Going back to my original post, they let the films speak for themselves. If you don't like what's out there, make something yourself or "STFU".



McLuhan wrote that "Games are popular art, collective, social reactions to the main drive or action of any culture." Presumably that includes hop-scotch. That just his opinion. I don't necessarily agree but hey, in a civilised discussion we're allowed to do that.

Daniel Camozzato
profile image
@ Grey None



"Would you call a choose-your-own adventure book art?"



1) Think of a good book, one that you consider "art".



2) Now add multiple "paths" along this book (not necessarily in the form of choices, it could be the ability to follow the story from different angles e.g. character's views, or the ability to see all that happens given a situation or even by being able to read the author's thoughts on a scene).



3) The "choices" don't make it more "art" than it originally was.



4) The "choices" don't make it less "art" than it was, either. What was there is still there.



If anything, choices and paths allow the reader / player / watcher / admirer to more fully explore the "artist's vision", to go deeper to search and understand the "meaning".



Sure, I can search the meaning in a painting, in a book, in a movie - but how many times have you thought that the ice cream on the sidewalk (from the previous examples) was just that, ice cream on the sidewalk? Or that it represented the "melting of all things", or something just as absurd?



But what if you could feel what the character feels, see what he sees, and be given the choices that he is given?



What if you could not only follow the linear sequence of action -> consequence that is given by a book or a movie, but explore the relationships that make those action -> consequence pairs be?



The artist has a new medium - a choice is made and the world reacts. But how does it react? There is your "meaning".



Games that give choice AND that give consequences (there aren't many out there) not only show the "meaning", but the reason why it is there.



Finally, to answer your question, the reason why choose-your-own adventure books aren't considered art is the same reason why millions of "regular" books aren't considered art and the same reason why a painting of still life isn't, either. All of them could be art, though.

Anonymous
profile image
ROFL!!!



do u listen to urself???



"It's the internet. Instead of conceding defeat, you people back yourselves into corners, lash out, insist that you're right and don't even bother arguing points."



because only a moron would come on the internet, start arguments, back themself into a corner, deny their defeat even though nobody but their mom agrees with them, then lash out at people!!! LOL awesome work grey I agree 100% so give it up



"Guess what? You're WRONG if you think differently... blah blah blah... you'd see it my way."



LOL temper tantrum!!! yes, yes, grey.... the world is full of idiots who are all too stupid to realise ur genius



"Instead, it's the internet.... blah blah whiney blah... and I'M wrong?"



yea grey u are... the only person who hasn't realised it is u



"The burden is on you to prove me wrong, not the other way around. And if you can't accept the future of this medium as art, then I suggest you try and find art elswhere."



ROFL!!!!! now ur the authority on the medium huh? u predicted the future but the burden of proof is on us? LOL ok, when u ship ur first earth-shattering title we'll see



u aren't a game designer, obviously, so why dont u stfu and stop trying to tell them how to do their job. if ur hoping to be a game designer good luck finding a company to work for. its a tight-knit industry that doesnt have room for people who cant accept criticism. if ur so fkin brilliant, y doesn't anyone agree with u??



" What's the point of an argument if you keep ignoring everything that proves you utterly and hopelessly wrong? "



exactly



people dont come here to argue, we want intelligent conversations. if u come up with a point and everyone in the room disagrees with u, let it go... ur never going to prove everyone else wrong, all ur proving is how loud u can whine and still be ignored, lol



where would games be if programmers (like myself, btw) had to deal with that every time we told our designer that something wouldn't work



lucky for us, real designers are flexible, they dont whine like spoiled children

Grey None
profile image
@some dude



Trier doesn't even make all his films under the Dogme 95 initiative. Even actual Dogme 95 films break their own rules. What does that tell you about the limitations? They're absolutely ridiculous for -every- film (though some could fit). Film utilises cinematography, and uses a camera to tell a story or communicate an emotion. That's as broad as my idea is, pretty much. It just doesn't encompass choice, user creation/change/rearrangement, exactly like all other media in history.



Why is that wrong?



Trier didn't say - "hey, let's give the audience choice as to where our film goes" in fact, he's very devoted to the idea of the sole artist. This is what you guys are saying.



In the context of every other medium, why are you right?



"If you don't like what's out there, make something yourself or "STFU"."

Excuse me? I either like it like you all do or stfu? That sound right to you? I can critique anything if I want without creating something to rival it.



@Daniel Camozzato



"2) Now add multiple "paths" along this book (not necessarily in the form of choices, it could be the ability to follow the story from different angles e.g. character's views, or the ability to see all that happens given a situation or even by being able to read the author's thoughts on a scene)."



Damn right, 'Not necessarily in the form of choices.' Those things can be done WITHOUT offering choice. Choice makes you have one or the other. In fact, Rashomon and The Sound and the Fury have the same story from different angles (character views) - choice had nothing to do with it.



I'm all for fully exploring an idea/character/world (if it has meaning), but choice doesn't allow me that. In fact it forces me to forego one path through that book to see another (and since I've picked a book, I know it doesn't account for multiple paths)



******If that's what you think choice's power is, then you'll love parallel action. Play through one action, play through another as another character (they intersect or come straight after eachother) - and voila. You get what you wanted, only everything is as the author composed it and intended it to be.******



Points 3 and 4 indicate exactly what is wrong with choice. You'll agree that any medium can allow for multiple paths/views etc, so choice is unnecessary already for that purpose.



Now all choice has going for it is unpredictability. How can an author compose a message throughout their work if they don't know what'll happen in it? Choices don't reflect the character, they reflect the player - often this is in conflict with the established character (even if established by the player i.e. Mass Effect) or the world.



Furthermore, choice doesn't allow you to explore everything in a work. Choice allows you to have your own input, let's be honest, that's all it is. It's been here for thousands of years (see van Gogh cut up) but no one's wanted to use it. Because none of those artworks were power fantasies.



Choose-your-own adventure books as a subset of books are not capable of art (according to the world). Some 'actual' books are art, and some 'actual' books aren't. But they're all capable of it.



@anonymous

Honestly, I don't know why I'm bothering to reply to you.

I don't know which anonymous you are (if any of the previous ones - probably none, your writing style seperates you), and so I don't know if you've even cared to counter a point I've made, in favour of labelling me wrong.



I didn't call any of you idiots, nor did I call myself a genius. But if you wanted to paint me as a villain and you as a hero, you're doing fine so far.



I definitely think I'm right, and you're wrong. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT? Is that evil? I've explained why through many arguments, points, examples, but get attacked more than responded to. So I thank Daniel for his well thought out response, but not you for you angry tirade.



"yea grey u are... the only person who hasn't realised it is u"

In thinking that choice limits artistry, no, I'm not. The world agrees here.

In thinking that interactivity needs to be used in this medium to tell a story, no, I'm not. Words create stories, images create film. Sound fair?

In thinking that games can be made however you want, but are not art (like jump rope or tennis aren't), no, I'm not. The world agrees here. That's why they're called games and have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years. Now they have a digital coat.



In thinking that choiceless interactivity is the only way to make ART in this medium. That's where we disagree. Yeah?



No, I'm not a game designer, but I hope to be, and hope to put my ideas into practice. I'll create my own company if need be. The only thing is, people DO agree with the general principles, but some of you don't with specific (but important) details which negate what you thought was art. Perhaps, as a programmer, you've worked on one of these titles? It could still be a great, fun game.



And I'm NOT telling them how to do their jobs. Their job is to make fun or challenging games to sell. They can do that in whatever way they wish.



I'm sorry, but games DON'T get their own rules. Choice here is treated the same as choice in every other medium.



"where would games be if programmers (like myself, btw) had to deal with that every time we told our designer that something wouldn't work"



Well considering my philosophy is entirely within the realm of possibility, you'd have no problem with me.



"lucky for us, real designers are flexible, they dont whine like spoiled children "



Are we talking about the same industry here?



But let's see, yeah? You have your ideas, I'll keep mine, we'll see which one the world catches on to (when they start to consider games art).

Anonymous
profile image
As the article that spawned this thread fades behind the curtains of the Archives hyperlink, I want to say thank you all for a (mostly) civilized discussion and some very interesting points of view. Wishing to reach an agreement or consensus on this topic is much less important (or useful) than being exposed to ideas that challenge and even contradict our own.



Read you all in another thread. :)

some dude
profile image
As a follow up to some of the comments in this thread I'd recommend reading Ian Bogost's recent article entitled "The End of Gamers":

http://www.edge-online.com/blogs/the-end-gamers



It's a shame that so many would-be interesting conversations about games are hi-jacked by agro games-are-not-art-oh-yes-they-are types. When will these people realize that they're not in a pissing contest but simply pissing into the wind? We could possibly then discuss other things - like the content of the original interview for example.

Anonymous
profile image
Thank you Some Dude! Swimming in a sea of ego driven veiled-user comments is not my idea of a good read. Some advice to the noobs? Sum up your BS in 3 bullets, or a nice paragraph, 'cause your rampant self righteous ranting makes you appear utterly sophomoric [looking at Grey]. Get a blog.

saÁ ekimi
profile image
Done in moderation the effect leads me to believe that itís me there in the action. Done to excess itís just someone using a technique without concern for its purpose.



The same technique has been used for decades to successfully show a lurker or murderer watching someone from a hidden location.Directing the scene. 40% camera captured and the rest being hand keyed.

http://www.sacekim-merkezi.org

pob pob
profile image
I generally agree, but not in absolute terms. Interactions can be meaningful even if you don't have choice, because the fact that you take an active (even if predefined) part in a work of art can change how you look at it and how it affects you.

banka subesi
profile image
The burden is on you to prove me wrong, not the other way around. And if you can't accept the future of this medium as art, then I suggest you try and find art elswhere. What's the point of an argument if you keep ignoring everything that proves you utterly and hopelessly wrong?

banka subesi
profile image
If you want to be very strict about what the player can't do, you probably need to be at least twice as explicit about what the player CAN do, or embrace the fact that your game will be of the blind trial-and-error type. Those are not side details, they are fundamental pillars on which the design will have to rest.

Hakan Khan
profile image
The same technique has been used for decades to successfully show a lurker or murderer watching someone from a hidden location.


none
 
Comment: