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A Sense of Fun: Anybody Could Be Your Player 1
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A Sense of Fun: Anybody Could Be Your Player 1

October 7, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 4 Next

Gotta Believe

Most musicians create music in their own style, even when they have been asked to make something specific. Many incapable music directors do not even think of starting musical production until after the taste of the game has been decided by the planning, design, and graphics teams. For me, someone who is engaged in this kind of occupation cannot be called a musician.

This applies for more than just music. If you want to create something of value, then you must continue to create for yourself as well. It's the same for designing games. If an artist only works on things that come to him through work, then all he is doing is production.

Development is not coming from within. The scale and scope of the production, as well as the number of people working on the project should not put a damper on this creativity. The possibility of taking the ideas of many and fusing them into one creative expression is to me a wonderful thing.

But it is very difficult to try to unite the varied opinions of a large group of people. As a result, one person's strong opinions and thoughts can go unrecognized or unreflective. Choices in games are generally decided through safety and without risk. Don't you think that this vagueness affects the flow and union of your team and business?

Lately, a lot of developers I know - especially programmers - have told me that they are making small scale games by themselves, independently. To develop something solely from one's own potential is, I believe, a thing of importance. The contents of a game are a combination of passion and energy. If these are becoming sub-ordinate to other factors, then it is game over.

I have come to feel that the music game genre is starting to outgrow itself and is now challenging us to expand its possibilities. It's difficult to describe this, but music really is an art form of abstract elements, which makes me wonder - are games included in these elements?

Music is mysterious. It often has memories and information attached to it that can be very difficult to separate. To me as a musician, when creating music, I noticed I'm very clear in my own mind about its independent existence.

While making music is often an individual creative act, once music enters the physical world it becomes a shared property (see section "Non-competitive Fun, AI, and You"). Its life is no longer under the musician's control. Here we can see a hint about why music is so hard to define.

A Sense of Fun: Positive Emergence

The premise of positive emergence is two entities attaining a mutual standpoint that is equal and fair. On the other hand, if the standpoints have different merits, or are unequal and strongly opposed, then emergence is restricted and instead we experience an unpleasant "negative emergence."

Naturally, it is not an easy matter to simply divide human emotions into positive and negative. In our adult world, there are a vast number of things that obstruct our ability to gain positive emergence with each other.

We often are faced with negative emergence when placed in circumstances that expose our inferiority or inequality, and this brings about stress. War is an extreme example of where these negative thoughts can lead.

I think it's regrettable that we are flooded with games that promote these negative emergences. It may be one of the most straightforward ways to design a game, but I don't think the future is bright for this industry if we continue to focus on games that motivate the player by using gameplay that employs physical attacks as a way of establishing levels of superiority and inequality.

I've said this many times before, but in the future-be it a hundred years or a thousand - children will study 21st century history and the video game boom will be a part of that. But what if it's written like this:

"Back then, video games consisted mainly of people and monsters killing each other, similar to the gladiators of ancient Rome, and were a way to experience and enjoy violent behavior on the TV screen."

-Wikipedia, 3008 A.D.

This is not a history that I want to be associated with. I can understand that the energy of youth can evoke aggressive emotions. However, when I was an amateur musician back in the 80s, I played in a punk band where we wanted to scream our defiance to society, but I soon came to recognize the emptiness of this attitude.

I only had to look at the wonderfully polished work of respected artists to realize this. For those of us who have been in this industry for a while, what can we do to stop our fresh young talents from being misled?

Article Start Previous Page 2 of 4 Next

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