Artistic games anyone?


Audiences constantly demand video games fight familiar boundaries. We’re sick of the same old, same old. We want creativity, artistic integrity, elegance and depth–or do we? Do players know what they’re asking for when they look for “more” from games? And if this is really what we want, then what’s with the mixed reception–both cultural and economic–when we get it?

Leigh Alexander asks the question on Kotaku. And she elaborates further while illustrating her points with our little baby The Path. It’s an interesting question and one that we have certainly pondered as well. Ever since we made contact with the games industry we have been wondering about the odd contrast between a strong desire for exploring the medium’s potential and the incredibly small number of fresh games. This is not just about the “dreaded” A word. This is simply about doing something new, something fresh, something that moves people, that touches them. It’s so rare.

4 thoughts on “Artistic games anyone?”

  1. Kyle, I think that she actually mixed up the mature entretainment, and interactive art. It’s two possible goals for the maturing of the medium, so I can understand her mixing. I haven’t played Madworld, so I won’t try to discuss if it’s a mature game or not, but if we look back to the “old” creations of the same man, his other game could be considerd as mature. But I haven’t played them eather, so I won’t adventure myself in this spinny road.

    About the article, I think we can seperate two publics, the non-gamers who could enjoy new experiments in this medium, what I guess you try to do at ToT, and gamers who want more intersting and profound games, the target for J.Blow and J.Rohrer. I really think that the second part is more viable, since it’s for people who actually know about these, while the first way is creating a new public. Well, gamers can look for experiences like The Path, I’m part of them, but a lot want a mix with fun gameplay.

    Well actually, what I’m saying isn’t a response to question in the article, since I think the answer is pretty obvious. The amount of people wanting new experiments aren’t the majority of game buyers, so it’s normal it doesn’t have the same succes.

  2. I think I’m a bit over this issue myself. I am more interested on the other hand of what is being questioned here: learning why some designers feel so seduced by the creation of different games in an industry that doesn’t welcome this change and innovation the way it should. What do they see in videogames that is worthy of such devotion?

    Even if a player decides to try a different game, all it takes is a simple click on the front page of a website, a visit to an independent games blog or forum at best: in other words, a small deviation from the Gamespot-IGN-Gametrailers daily website route.

    But to these creators – and look no further than Tale of Tales – it’s about a large economical, intellectual and sometimes personal investment over the period of several years. That is what I find myself fascinated about, the discovery of the different motivations that back up a creative force resulting in intelligent and provocative works of interactive art such as The Path.

    The videogame consuming public is but a mirror of the general society. All these assertions about videogame player’s preferences seem quite natural to me – I’d be surprised if it was any different from what it is.

  3. But what do you think about Miss Alexander’s conclusion that without experimentation, without exploring their potential, games will forever remain the toys that they are today. And never become the medium they could be, according to the hopeful. Will we really be stuck with cinema and television for another century?

  4. Well I think she can only be right. Firstly the art games aren’t as mature as they could be, and it’s not only with good brainstorming that it’s going to change, it nedds experimentions. And secondly, about the public, it’s what is called in french “pédagogie”. It’s the fact of teaching someone by repeting variations of the same thing. It doesn’t have any english equivalence,but it’s a base of education. So yeah, Miss Alexander’s right, that’s the way to do it, if joined by simply spreading the word.

Comments are closed.