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The Wager

MikeMcSomethingMikeMcSomething Registered User regular
edited February 2008 in Graphic Violence
There is a thread on the Debate and Discourse forums (The Wager) that points to an article wherein the author draws a number of comparisons between comics and video games. I think it is an interesting read, and I think it would be great if some of the comics guys could take a look and maybe post their thoughts - as of right now the thread could seriously use the perspective of some people that are well-versed in the history or background of the art form.

MikeMcSomething on

Posts

  • NogsNogs Crap, crap, mega crap. Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    you got a link to the article and/or forum thread? i'm pretty lazy and i've been in D&D maybe once in 2 years.

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    PARKER, YOU'RE FIRED! <-- My comic book podcast
  • MikeMcSomethingMikeMcSomething Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
  • The Geebs That Got BigtimedThe Geebs That Got Bigtimed Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited February 2008
    I'm going to leave this open as a place to talk about the article, but in the future please don't make threads that only have the purpose of telling someone to click another thread.

  • KVWKVW Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I'm not normally a gambling man, but I'm in a betting mood. Maybe a bit pessimistic, too. And I'll bet you that video games will never become a significant form of cultural discourse the way that novels and film have. I'll bet you that fifty years from now they'll be just as mature and well-respected as comic books are today.
    This is one way in which comics are similar to video games. Comics speak to the viewer through their own complex set of symbols and conventions, born of a marriage between graphic design, illustration, and prose. At their best, comics exploit this mode of communication to its fullest, best demonstrated probably in the work of Chris Ware. He uses his incredibly deep understanding of the language of comics to express human experience in a way that no other medium could, instead of fighting against the constraints of the page. One could similarly say that games are at their best when they demonstrate a deep understanding of how interactive systems communicate with the player, and convey human experience in ways that no other medium could. Also like video games, Wares' comics require physical and mental investment by the reader: one often has to turn the entire book round in circles to view images or text that are oriented at 90 degree angles to one another, track panels that wind around and underneath one another, or lean into a page to decipher minuscule drawings and text.

    But comics and video games are alike in another way: they both remain marginalized, infantilized media, where the Wares are the rarest exception and the medium in general holds little to no value outside of very specific circles. The highest ideal of the vast majority of creators is to force the medium into being something it's not, and the largest segment of the audience consists of juveniles, in age or mindset, who haven't "graduated" to more respected forms of entertainment.

    Browse the racks of a standard comic shop, and the books on the mainstream shelves will be filled with flashy illustrations depicting laughable actions stories, absurdly-proportioned women, and superheroes. Likewise, browse the racks of an Electronics Boutique and you're bound to find mostly sports stars, Japanese children's cartoons, burly men with guns, and women in shameless, implausible dress. The medium infantalizes itself through its chosen subject matter. Based on surface alone, I can't blame the outside viewer for thinking little of the medium at large.
    But like comics, video games are never going to grow up. Some sixty years after the wartime comic book boom, the vast majority of comics are still male wish fulfillment trash sold to children, poor drawings of stills from movies that no one would want to fund or film.


    Why should I care about some random person's opinion, which is based neither on experience or fact? He uses Chris Ware as his staple of comic book art, a good artist I suppose, but no representative of the current state of comics or even the past several decades. He has a freaking Cyberforce cover for art work, making me think he just typed comics into Google Images and picked one at random.

    Most of his complaints against comics are unfounded and can only be ascertained by someone who clearly does not read comics and views them based on the stigma. He uses wish fulfillment as a negative for both games and comics, but doesn't realize just about every single story ever told is about wish fulfillment of some kind.

    He also doesn't realize that America is the only culture that views comics the way they do. It is a part of every day life in Japan. Men, women, children of all walks and lifes read manga. Many European countries are similar, with France having huge wall spaces with lavishly designed hardcovers for most graphic novels. Italy is a larger market for Marvel comics than the US.

    Finally, his whole point about video games is retarded, especially for someone that's a level designer. Computers are basically 10 years old for the most part in the public domain, yet millions of people are using them. 50 year olds are playing WoW, 80 year olds on Wii Sports. Most older people are afraid of computers because they are new and foreign to them. In 50 years, kids will have grown up with them and video games will be something they do allt heir lives. Many do that now. I started at 5 or 6 and I still play well into my 20's. I'll likely play into my later years. Many will do this and probably play with their children and grand children. I'd like to see other industries have the market penetration gaming has had.

    In the end, some nobody makes retarded statements with nothing to back them up. Why should anyone care?

  • MikeMcSomethingMikeMcSomething Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    It prompted a bit of discussion in the Dn'D forums, but a good chunk of the people posting there didn't seem to have any experience with comics, so I was hoping some of you guys would take a look over there. That is why I cared - asking ''why should anyone care'' while you type out 4 paragraphs seems a bit disingenuous but maybe you could direct some of your rage at the uninformed people in DnD

  • Mr PinkMr Pink Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I'm not sure if we are talking about this or if MikeMcSomething is trying to pick a fight with us.

  • MikeMcSomethingMikeMcSomething Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    You read, right? Like, with the sentences and stuff? If you do, it shouldn't be really hard to understand what the OP says.

  • Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    being verbose does not make you right

  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    So I just skimmed the whole article, and it's really dumb. He posits ridiculous assumptions, and backs them up with falsities. He doesn't really have a single point worth addressing.

  • Mr PinkMr Pink Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    You read, right? Like, with the sentences and stuff? If you do, it shouldn't be really hard to understand what the OP says.

    Lawdy lawdy, I DO read! And from what I can see, this article is complete bunk, and has no bearing on reality whatsoever.

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