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[PATV] Thursday, September 1, 2011 - Extra Credits Season 3, Ep. 2: “Art” Is Not

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
edited July 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub
image[PATV] Thursday, September 1, 2011 - Extra Credits Season 3, Ep. 2: “Art” Is Not the Opposite of “Fun”

This week, we address the common claim that advancing games as an art means making them less fun.

Read the full story here

Dog on


  • Visual.PollutionVisual.Pollution Registered User regular
    Video games are an art form, and like any other art form, if you don't move forward we would have been stuck to cave paintings and stylized depth less images which showed nothing emotional as much as it showed simply ideas. Take Mario Galaxy for instance, the first time I saw it I was disappointed, sure it looked more polished than Mario 64, but it was so different in the world you played it. Mushroom Kingdom only took part for a few minutes, the rest was a whole other universe. Which at first scared me, but once I started playing it I realized it isn't always about remaking the same idea over and over again so it looks better, but exploring new avenues that showed promise for fun and thought. If Mario Galaxy was a complete revamp of Mario 64 sure I would have played it, but it would not have been as much fun and edge of your seat... You need to grow or really you're just becoming stagnant, and it won't do anyone any good to be stuck doing the same thing over and over again no matter how shiny they make it.

  • JMPJMP Registered User regular
    If those of us who grew up in games don't start taking games more seriously, than it could slip out of our hands entirely. I'd take it one step further and say it is our responsibility to play a major role in the future development of games, as developers, consumers, or scholars if we want to keep games fun and relevant to our earlier experiences with them.

  • lordhobanlordhoban Registered User regular
    You lost me at 'Michael Bay Transformers'.... of all the good examples you could give (the first Matrix, Dark Knight, etc), that's where you go (easily the worst among the highest grossing films of all time)? You basically invalidated your argument by saying that all this studying gave us... 'that'...

    (on a more serious note, I do get what you are saying and agree with it... Just, ugh!)

  • rainbowhyphenrainbowhyphen Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    [removed duplicate post]

    rainbowhyphen on
  • rainbowhyphenrainbowhyphen Registered User regular
    "So there's the choice in life
    One either grows or one decays
    Grow or die
    I think we should grow."

    Robert Zubrin - The Case for Mars - Symphony of Science

  • ZombieAladdinZombieAladdin Registered User regular
    There ARE people who want to go back to the Flash Gordon era of movies. A disdain of analysis and criticism is not the reason for any of that line of thinking, at least as far as I can see--they tend to be fans of the exaggerated movements and slapstick that came with that era, seeing everything else as getting in the way, and would enjoy a film with modern production values with minimal plot and people moving and talking the way they did back then.

  • NelsonStJamesNelsonStJames Registered User regular
    edited November 2012
    The problem is that as any media starts to try to reach out to the broadest possible audience, they don't tend to get better, they tend to dumb down. Your movies analog was correct in theory, but you were really talking about advances in technology, but as the technology got better, the stories got a lot less complex. There are so many great SF books that could benefit from the film technology we have today, and you know what? Those films will never get made, because the best SF is about ideas. Today, anything you can conceive of you can create, but do we get The Foundation Trilogy or Footfall? No, we get Avatar. And I promise you if one of the classics get made, the only resemblance a film would bare to that book is the title. Films like Inception, and Looper are actually outliers. Hollywood still considers Inception a fluke. If Nolan hadn't been as successful as he had been with TDK, there is no way that film would have ever got made. Books, same thing. Harry Potter isn't bad, but it's no Dune. Games are following that same trend, and sadly it's because people want more of the same, many times its the audience that doesn't want change, and they aren't as receptive to innovation as they should be.

    NelsonStJames on
  • Human SheildHuman Sheild Registered User new member
    to say that no medium has suffered from analysis is to ignore a blatant pitfall, look at theater, it has become so niche, so off the beaten path that it has become its own world, and yesh you could say that movies are the natural evolution of theater but like old games can teach us things and entertain us, so can theater. i do not think that this will happen to games but to ignore its possibility is foolish

  • bolatterbolatter Registered User new member
    This fundamental principal of understanding = richness of experience goes well beyond consumption of media. Relationships? Engineering? Really it's kind of a universal truth to the human experience. Without getting all existential why do things like science exist in the first place?

  • agentwredagentwred Registered User new member
    A rebuttal to Human Sheild's comment:

    Stage plays did not become niche because they were studied too hard. They became niche because they couldn't evolve further. (Not a problem for games).

    Actually, I'm going to take this further. Stage plays, as we know them now, "theatre", was always niche. These arthouse productions only survived because they were niche, and had a strong following by smart and wealthy people willing to make sure they never went away. Stage entertainment used to be much more than just the stage plays that remain now. Vlaudville and silly performances were all a part of it. Yes, plays were enjoyed by the common folk as well at some point. But as the medium of storytelling evolved to include cinema, the common folk went with it and stage plays split off to become something niche. If they didn't, they wouldn't exist any more. The live performances that do exist are things we haven't learned to produce at a higher quality digitally, like concerts or improv shows, or things that have become niche, like plays and improv shows. Strip clubs, circuses, underground dog fights, and magic shows all fall into these categories.

    Also note, all of these things, except for maybe dog fighting (I'm not familiar with that form of entertainment) have grown due to study.

  • radethdartradethdart Registered User new member
    I bet you regret saying you want a little more Call of Duty 4s...haha

  • ZombieMosesZombieMoses Registered User new member
    Not sure if joking but...if you're referring to the sequels of Call of Duty 4, I beg you to reconsider. Call of Duty 4 was very obviously a labor of love for Infinity Ward. A lot of work went into making that game fun, engaging and even innovative. It opened up the world of modern infantry combat FPS to the mainstream. Before that, we were pretty much limited to Battlefield (which had notoriously bad build quality and massive focus on vehicular combat) and games about WW2. The sequels were the result of Infinity Ward's contract with Activision. You could really tell they never want to make a sequel, at least not one that followed CoD 4 that closely and it shows in the very modest amount of innovation and huge problems with balance. Not to mention, the enormous headache for PC gamers in not having dedicated servers. That is still probably one of the most egregious disrespects to their hardcore community IW has ever made.

    There is a reason that he said "Call of Duty 4's" and not simply "Modern Warfare's"

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