Author Topic: (Some) Gamers really are idiots  (Read 5206 times)

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Offline karajorma

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Re: (Some) Gamers really are idiots
So what s your argument? That games shouldn t even try? That there is no potential in the medium? That s rubbish and you know it! ;)

His argument as far as I can tell is that stories in games are like the lyrics in music. If you take the music away and write down the lyrics as poetry what do you have? Usually pretty terrible poetry. Now if you take the game away what do you have left? Usually a ****ing awful story.

But the question here is have you actually taken the game away just by removing combat? There are games that revolve around things other than combat.
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Offline Mikes

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Re: (Some) Gamers really are idiots
So what s your argument? That games shouldn t even try? That there is no potential in the medium? That s rubbish and you know it! ;)

His argument as far as I can tell is that stories in games are like the lyrics in music. If you take the music away and write down the lyrics as poetry what do you have? Usually pretty terrible poetry. Now if you take the game away what do you have left? Usually a ****ing awful story.

Yet, the medium has much more potential. Right now we have developers to a large extend focusing on the technical and graphical side of things... true enough, but it s not like we haven t seen similar trends in the movie industry or even in trash/popcorn novels that focus on action and battles or heck even romance trash novels that focus on graphic sex and little else.

No one in their right mind would say that artistic movies aren t possible because of the 3d movie madness or special effect heavy idiot blockbusters, no one in their right mind would say that books can t have engaging stories because there are so many trash novels... and no one in their right mind should really state that there can t be great video game stories just because so many games don t have them.

That was actually... my point. ;)

 

Offline FireSpawn

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Re: (Some) Gamers really are idiots
Yet, the medium has much more potential. Right now we have developers to a large extend focusing on the technical and graphical side of things... true enough, but it s not like we haven t seen similar trends in the movie industry or even in trash/popcorn novels that focus on action and battles or heck even romance trash novels that focus on graphic sex and little else.

There are other kinds of books?  :confused:
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: (Some) Gamers really are idiots
and no one in their right mind should really state that there can t be great video game stories just because so many games don t have them.

The strength of a game, what makes it a game rather than a movie, is in its interactive nature. It demands action rather than passive observation; that action and the actor can change the course of the story it is telling.

Because of this essential trait, there is a great deal that is different from a grand story in a game and a grand story in a movie. You cannot interchange comics and movies or novels and movies that easily, and those mediums share much more in common with movies than games do. Any option that converts a game into a movie will make it more awkward and lessen its impact on the viewer. Fighting this will risk lessening it as a game if you actually play the game.

The point is not that games should not try to have great stories, but that game stories cannot be wholly separated from the act of playing the game without hurting one or the other.

tl;dr: Learn to think about what's being said before you reply to it.
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Offline Polpolion

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Re: (Some) Gamers really are idiots
yeah I used to think that the complexity that player interaction gave video games allowed for some sort of story telling capability that transcends conventional literature but honestly just no. when you throw interactivity into the mix actual literature is impossible. either you have a great story or a game that you can play, you really can't combine the two into a single entity. some developers (read: mostly everyone) had the bright idea that you can narrate a story while the player plays an somewhat relevant but largely ineffectual game. so 9 times out of 10 you end up with a half assed story that tells itself when player completes action X followed by action Y and breaks upon action Z because the testers were lazy. what video game developers try to do is tack on a non interactive story to an interactive video game. you can tell me that your conversation options in, say, mass effect, give you an interactive story but that is total utter bull****, and anyone thats read a make your own adventure book will agree that its nothing more than a horribly convoluted way of telling several flavors of the same static story. anyway im not trying to say that video games necessarily have awful stories even when totally static im just saying that you cant judge them the same way you would a book or a movie because the medium is unrecognizably different. also other stuff.

Spoiler:
i did not read a single post in this thread

Spoiler:
also dwarf fortress has the best story of any game ever

 

Offline swashmebuckle

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Re: (Some) Gamers really are idiots
I'm definitely not trying to argue that games should eschew involved stories.  I guess I've tried to hit on a couple of semi-related points:

1) If you've gotten to the point where "skip game" seems like a good idea to a significant portion of your audience, you're not really taking advantage of the medium.  Of course, to be objective about it, if they sell a bajillion units, who the hell am I to say they're doing it wrong?

2)  It's interesting how people reacted to the suggestion of the game skip.  It seems to me like the value that some people assign to games, and possibly by extension some of those gamers' senses of identity and self worth (for having invested their time and energy) are tied up in the idea of achievement (for lack of a better word).  "Anyone can watch a movie--what's the point of working for something when someone else will just get for free?"  I think that might be what these gamers are afraid of--that if games will give it up for anyone, it will invalidate their experiences.  I do wonder how many games would be actually played to completion if gameplay skip became a standard feature.  Anyway, it's funny to think about how sometimes our motivations for doing the things we do "for fun" actually have little to do with our present enjoyment of them. 

As a side note, this issue makes me feel kinda stupid for looking at games like Farmville and thinking "Pfffft, those aren't real games."

But I still do, hehe

 

Offline Mikes

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Re: (Some) Gamers really are idiots
Because of this essential trait, there is a great deal that is different from a grand story in a game and a grand story in a movie. You cannot interchange comics and movies or novels and movies that easily, and those mediums share much more in common with movies than games do. Any option that converts a game into a movie will make it more awkward and lessen its impact on the viewer. Fighting this will risk lessening it as a game if you actually play the game.

The point is not that games should not try to have great stories, but that game stories cannot be wholly separated from the act of playing the game without hurting one or the other.

tl;dr: Learn to think about what's being said before you reply to it.

... and that s neither what I said nor meant, good job.

The power of the medium I would argue... lays in the potential for making stories themselves interactive. 
Ever played the Witcher 2? That s just a glimpse of what the medium might aspire to in the next couple of decades.

That is where video game stories *could* go way beyond  what a book or movie offers... by engaging the player in the story through meaningful choice and consequences.
In any case... the potential for telling truly great stories through the medium is there, stories that may ultimately surpass purely linear/nonadaptive storytelling in every possible way.

But even in the case of linear stories one might argue that the story itself doesn t get worse if it gets told by a game. The overall experience may not be optimal, but a great story remains a great story.

The poster I originally replied to... kind of tried to ridicule the very potential of the medium in general with his lyrics analogy, don t you think?
Might want to save the attitude for people who were actually replying to you and not someone elses post. ;)


P.S.: Played "Dear Esther" by chance? (http://www.honestgamers.com/reviews/7778.html) Linear, pretty much noninteractive, imperfect for sure... yet not without its merits and in some respects an experience unlike any other.

P.P.S.:Moreover... I would argue that some of Ransoms work on here is a perfect example of how gameplay can enrich a linear storyline. The gameplay in Transcend certainly isn t much to write home about... but I found it captures and communicates the mood of the story that is told perfectly and by doing so, enriches the experience. The gameplay alone really couldn t pull any wheight... , yet who would argue that Transcend was not a compelling experience?

Therefore I d argue that even with a linear storyline, gameplay and story do not necessarily have to be at odds. Just because the mainstream market didn t catch on to the fact doesn t mean its not possible. We have countless of bad examples, true enough, but does that make it impossible? I dare say not. ;)
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 03:24:15 pm by Mikes »

 

Offline swashmebuckle

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Re: (Some) Gamers really are idiots
The poster I originally replied to... kind of tried to ridicule the very potential of the medium in general with his lyrics analogy, don t you think?
No, I was not belittling games or their narrative elements.  The entire conversation is about the idea of being able to skip the participatory (or "game") parts of games.  I think that trying to make a great computer game that turns into a great movie when the interactive portions are skipped is probably not a great idea.  This suggestion does not ridicule either medium in any way as far as I can tell.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: (Some) Gamers really are idiots
this thread has genuinely good posts in it

post more swashmebuckle

 

Offline Mikes

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Re: (Some) Gamers really are idiots
I'm definitely not trying to argue that games should eschew involved stories.  I guess I've tried to hit on a couple of semi-related points:

1) If you've gotten to the point where "skip game" seems like a good idea to a significant portion of your audience, you're not really taking advantage of the medium.

Oh, I can fully agree with that. My bad for misjudging where you wanted to go with the lyrics analogy then.

2)  It's interesting how people reacted to the suggestion of the game skip.  It seems to me like the value that some people assign to games, and possibly by extension some of those gamers' senses of identity and self worth (for having invested their time and energy) are tied up in the idea of achievement (for lack of a better word).  "Anyone can watch a movie--what's the point of working for something when someone else will just get for free?"  I think that might be what these gamers are afraid of--that if games will give it up for anyone, it will invalidate their experiences.  I do wonder how many games would be actually played to completion if gameplay skip became a standard feature.  Anyway, it's funny to think about how sometimes our motivations for doing the things we do "for fun" actually have little to do with our present enjoyment of them. 

As a side note, this issue makes me feel kinda stupid for looking at games like Farmville and thinking "Pfffft, those aren't real games."

But I still do, hehe

Are games that are mainly about repeating simple actions for rewards still "games" or are they not more akin to gambling?

In any case I would define a "good" game as a game featuring gameplay that has intrinsic value and does not depend on extrinsic rewards.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 05:53:12 pm by Mikes »