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February 16, 2013


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I was pretty interested in how you would argue this, especially because you were so interested in immersion, but you did not bring it up at all. It feels like the obvious next step for both "videogames as art" and "videogame's future goals". How playing the game, that is being engrossed in actions, brings you to the world inside of it-- that is "art."

Instead you fell back on how the socio-cultural-economic situations of the player influenced how they played the game and how they thought the game should be played, which is interesting, but I think it has little to do with games as art. It was more of an argument that one's taste on the rhythm of the game differed from the other player's... which is fine I guess, but it's not really dealing with the game as a whole but more the impact of a specific player and specific moves that the player did. It particularly doesn't really show why anyone should even care about this at all, I mean that's clearly a side event of the cultural background of players (I actually would rather say the "newer" player was inferior and played a weakness of the rule to his advantage), why would a game designer or society as a whole care about this? And what use does it have for game designers? Isn't that what we should be focused on? How we can use praise and criticism like this to elevate future games?

Btw, I find "how do games mean" very aesthetically displeasing as a sentence.

Sorry, I am not sure how to respond to my post but here it is:

Ok, I watched the video/talk and I found it to be much better than the shorter essay. But a few points:

I don't think movies' core component is just "cutting" or the assembly of moving pictures that might be unrelated to create different emotional responses for the viewer, although it is their biggest advantage over the stageplay. I would argue that modern cinema, with it's much larger effects, shows the viewer a completely fantastical universe that you would completely want to immerse yourself in (Avatar) or how great everything looks (Lord of the Ring/The Hobbit). It is as much a core component to movie making now and what films are "about" as the other. Isn't this why King Kong was a revolutionary film?

Frankly, I am not a cinema guy so I don't know how to argue this, as I am sure edits are exactly what a director needs to think about the entire time he is making movies, but I want to argue that it is wrong to highlight only the editting so highly.

I don't think there is going to be anything like that for a videogames, or at the very least if it is out there, we already found it. Because videogames, like you said, are the intersection of games (the rules) and the aesthetics (the skin) and how it effects the player while playing. Thus, each rule you pick will have different consequences how the player plays the game and it's aesthetics. How can you make a more clear picture about what videogames are about? Maybe the issue is that developers haven't developed a wider range of rules and the input -> output model is falling into easy but old, anti-immersive habits like rewarding with just a score multipliers or "abstract" trinkets that are only there as collectibles? Or maybe developers aren't putting you in different enough rules than before?

Also, just a trivial note, the issue as to why the ironman player found the game boring was because there are safe options in the first place. So if the game is supposed to be tense and chaotic, you have to force the players into those situations, and they should not see another way out of it. This is just coming from a guy who has tried to "ironman" different games, especially older ones like Castlevania (NES), Ninja Gaiden (NES), Contra (NES), Metal Slug (AC) where "boredom" isn't really an issue. Check this post out for another comparison as well:

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