The Games as Art Debate

Video Game Makers Favor Diversion over Depth on NPR is a four-minute audio except from National Public Radio's All Things Considered program discussing the tackling of tough topics in video games. Along the way we hear from Ian Bogost, learning that the professor of game design at Georgia Tech feels it's time gamers "demand" games emulate Hollywood by taking on subjects like the war in Iraq and teen pregnancy. They also talk with Harvey Smith, saying his recent BlackSite: Area 51 comes closer than most games to succeeding in this regard. They quote Bogost on BlackSite's "importance," while also acknowledging the game was not successful commercially or critically, a point they don't seem interested in exploring in tying this all back into the question of whether video games represent art or entertainment. They do acknowledge that serious games about topics like genocide and third-world poverty are being created on the "fringes of the industry" but that these are "messages gussied up as games and they don't have to contend with the marketplace," a point made without any attempt at connecting cause-and-effect. The piece concludes quoting Bogost saying that until the mainstream games industry "gets serious, its cultural prominence is just a wasted opportunity."
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12.
 
No subject
Apr 16, 2008, 01:26
12.
No subject Apr 16, 2008, 01:26
Apr 16, 2008, 01:26
 
It's a fluff piece from NPR. Fuck 'em.


11.
 
Re: You have GOT to be kidding
Apr 15, 2008, 20:06
11.
Re: You have GOT to be kidding Apr 15, 2008, 20:06
Apr 15, 2008, 20:06
 
I've always wondered how one qualifies for the position of teaching Game Design

It's really, really simple. Do you know the saying "Those that can, do. Those that can't, teach?"

That's how. You're a tool that's taken game design, then find you actually suck so bad that no studio wants your shitty designs. So you go back to school, and start teaching it.

That's where 99% of all college "professors" come from.

And then, when you're finally a professor in Game Design, you write an essay about how there should be games about third world fucking poverty.

Hey Ian Bogost, you moron, here's a few third world games that, while basically as fucking lame as your premise, would actually make a better game :

Third World : Malaria Hunter
Third World : Genocide
Third World : Apartheid Restored

All of which would have actual better GAMEPLAY ELEMENTS than your fucking Third World Tycoon game.

Creston

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10.
 
No subject
Apr 15, 2008, 17:32
10.
No subject Apr 15, 2008, 17:32
Apr 15, 2008, 17:32
 
BlackSite was a pretty awful game. I rented it one weekend and played through the whole thing.

The best part of the game was the art and level design. Their level designers need to be given a raise, because that's about the only part of the game that held up well.

The storyline was awful, the animations were poor, and the overall pacing of the story was pathetic. Not to mention that it really felt like a rushed project that was not play-tested well.

It definitely did not have the elusive polish that the top AAA titles have.

9.
 
Re: You have GOT to be kidding
Apr 15, 2008, 16:58
9.
Re: You have GOT to be kidding Apr 15, 2008, 16:58
Apr 15, 2008, 16:58
 
It's a fucking disgrace that you are teaching Game Design. That's probably why games suck so badly right now.

I've always wondered how one qualifies for the position of teaching Game Design. Do you have to have extensive experience playing games of all genres? Do you have to actually be a designer? Do you have to be a designer whose games have all sold at least a million units each?

If the latter is a requirement, that would mean that designers like CliffyB, Molyneux and whoever the lead designer on Halo was would be considered the ideal candidates. That would be depressing.

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8.
 
Re: No subject
Apr 15, 2008, 15:00
Tim
8.
Re: No subject Apr 15, 2008, 15:00
Apr 15, 2008, 15:00
Tim
 
The game PeaceMaker is a fun but serious political game. I think these ideas can mix. They just need a different approaches than standard strategy/shooter genres.

7.
 
Re: No subject
Apr 15, 2008, 14:45
7.
Re: No subject Apr 15, 2008, 14:45
Apr 15, 2008, 14:45
 
learning that the professor of game design at Georgia Tech feels it's time gamers "demand" games emulate Hollywood

What a complete and utter moron, go fucking crusade somewhere else jackass, like say the news media, you know, the people who are supposed to cover that shit. Video games are an escape from the IRL crap, and to suggest games emulate hollywood the most unimaginative bunch of yes people on the planet, I say gamers demand you get fired.




"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." Benjamin Franklin
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6.
 
Re: No subject
Apr 15, 2008, 13:20
6.
Re: No subject Apr 15, 2008, 13:20
Apr 15, 2008, 13:20
 
So many things have to be perfect for a game to be considered great. I found the ideas of gene manipulation presented in far cry to be intriguing, but the voice acting made me cringe.

Portal is the best the industry has come up with in terms of being considered close to art.

Similar to in game advertisement, I don't think that games and politics mix well. People play games as an escape from all that. At least I do.

This comment was edited on Apr 15, 13:22.
5.
 
No subject
Apr 15, 2008, 12:21
5.
No subject Apr 15, 2008, 12:21
Apr 15, 2008, 12:21
 
Apparently theses people never heard of:

If it comes down to reality or fun when programing a game. Fun will win without a fight.

4.
 
Video Games...
Apr 15, 2008, 11:59
4.
Video Games... Apr 15, 2008, 11:59
Apr 15, 2008, 11:59
 
Serious business.

Games about teen pregnancy and third-world poverty: LAME.
Avatar 46050
3.
 
Dyack and Karch @ GDC
Apr 15, 2008, 11:30
3.
Dyack and Karch @ GDC Apr 15, 2008, 11:30
Apr 15, 2008, 11:30
 
Oddly enough, this is the same topic that has been making the rounds since a GDC panel between Matt Karch of Saber Interactive and Denis Dyack of Silicon Knights.
Here's a continuation of their Games As Art Debate from yesterday on 1Up:
http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3167366


2.
 
You have GOT to be kidding
Apr 15, 2008, 11:23
2.
You have GOT to be kidding Apr 15, 2008, 11:23
Apr 15, 2008, 11:23
 
"They also talk with Harvey Smith, saying his recent BlackSite: Area 51 comes closer than most games to succeeding in this regard"

Really? Blacksite Area 51 comes close to succeeding in mirroring "real life" issues? Yeah, that Area 51, it's been swarming with aliens for years, and our brave troops have to keep gunning them down in a really crappy shooter. And absolutely, Blacksite has been an "important" game, if only to show that you :

A) Do not have Harvey Smith make a game
B) Should not release crappy unfinished shooters in a market saturated with shooters, especially not when actually GREAT shooters like CoD4 and Crysis come out right around the same time. This != good business.

Also, games need to emulate Hollywood? Really? Because last I checked, games were now making more money than Hollywood, and at least with games you get an occasional really great game. When was the last time a really great movie came out? The last one I can even think of was Return of the King. The only thing Hollywood does is regurgitate already stale vomit. No Ian Bogost, you're right, that's what we need to emulate! Moron.

It's a fucking disgrace that you are teaching Game Design. That's probably why games suck so badly right now. Note to all wannabe game developers : Do not take Game Design at Georgia Tech.

"They do acknowledge that serious games about topics like genocide and third-world poverty are being created"

Who the fuck wants to play a game about third-world poverty??? Man, that sounds like an absolute LOAD of fun?

"quoting Bogost saying that until the mainstream games industry "gets serious, its cultural prominence is just a wasted opportunity."

You're a waste of internet bandwith, a waste of an IP address and most importantly, a waste of air. Stop breathing.

Creston

Avatar 15604
1.
 
Debate
Apr 15, 2008, 11:11
1.
Debate Apr 15, 2008, 11:11
Apr 15, 2008, 11:11
 
It sounds like the real debate should be, "Why is Ian Bogost teaching game design?" If he thinks BlackSite touched on some topic with relevance to anything other than UFO conspiracy theories, he's got more than a few screws loose. By the same measure, then, Doom has immense importance, as it covers the topic of extra-planetary colonization. Or, a bit closer to home, Far Cry and the topic of genetic manipulation and engineering.

As for Bogost's opinion on the mainstream games industry with regard to "getting serious", I think he needs to take a vacation in the real world. Maybe after that, he'll be in touch with reality.
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