252: Our Turn to Decide

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Our Turn to Decide

Games are not "in their infancy" nor will they be "coming of age" anytime soon. If an age metaphor is necessary, gaming is already an adult and Brendan Main says that it's up to us to decide what that means.

Read Full Article

I don't particularly think gaming will ever mature past the level it is now.

Good.

Gaming, at it's most basic, allows us to live out our fantasies. And, unless you're the most boring person on the planet/never had a childhood, you can bet that most peoples fantasies will either involve sex, violence, improbable feats or some combination of the three. Gaming can be very mature when it wants to be, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but is there really any problem with killing lots of people in the most violent way possible? Assuming you're old enough to play it. No, there isn't. It's fun, and that's all there is to it. Sure, people will say it's immature and morally reprehensible, but who really cares? The games still get made, and they're still fun. You're making a bunch of pixels fall over. And it's fun.

Movies, although touted as more 'mature', are almost the same. I challenge you, look through your DVD collection for films that involve no sex, blood, violence of any kind or swearing. There will be a few, but I bet they'll be massively overwhelmed by the amount of titles that involve one or all of the above. Hell, back in the 'good old days', films, books and theatre were just as violent. The only thing stopping them from being really violent were the same kind of puritans that today hark back to them as some sort of golden age.

Gaming is for entertainment. It doesn't need to be any more mature, especially if we go by the definition of mature that non-gamers want it to be, that is, boring! That doesn't mean games can't be art, but as far as I see it, games are fine as they are.

Nice article.

I have to say, I REALLY like that Picture of Marcus shooting Dom with a nerf gun.

It's so delightfully amusing and out of character I just can't help but smile.

Furburt:
I don't particularly think gaming will ever mature past the level it is now.

Good.

And that, I think, is the problem. People don't want the medium to mature more.

But if we ever want videogames to become, I don't want to use the term 'accepted', but less looked down upon, then the gamers need to step up and make it so. We need to become more than just the CoD dickholes screaming obscenties into XBox Live. We need to become more than just socially inept man-children in our basements playing WoW for 30 hours a week (or more) while ignoring the outside world.

Until society takes gamers seriously, they will not take gaming seriously. And gaming will always be viewed as a child's toy, and will never be an adult.

I like how the article puts it, though. Once gaming stops being looked down upon as a child's thing, gaming can then decide what it wants to be.

I'm not saying that gaming needs to stop being violent, or sexy, or whatever. I am saying that gaming (and gamers) needs to improve its image so that it can be violent or sexy or whatever without causing an uproar. I mean, if there was a movie with the same plot and action as GTA IV, it probably would have done very well at the box office and noone would have cared. But since it was a videogame...well, you know the rest.

Nightfalke:

Until society takes gamers seriously, they will not take gaming seriously. And gaming will always be viewed as a child's toy, and will never be an adult.

True, but what I'm saying is, why do we need outside approval? It's all part of gamings innate inferiority complex. I think that we are pretty mature as we are. Not as mature as we could be, but any more mature, and we might end up sacrificing our core values. I mean, film and books don't need gamers to say whether they are artistic or not, so why should we constantly defer to them? Because they've been around longer? So what?

I'm not saying that gaming needs to stop being violent, or sexy, or whatever. I am saying that gaming (and gamers) needs to improve its image so that it can be violent or sexy or whatever without causing an uproar. I mean, if there was a movie with the same plot and action as GTA IV, it probably would have done very well at the box office and noone would have cared. But since it was a videogame...well, you know the rest.

Well, the way I see it, that's the non-gaming medias problem. Films had the same problem, but what a lot of people don't realise is that it wasn't that those who lambasted films in the early days came to accept them, but that they simply died out and were replaced by people who did accept them. And you can see that happening now.
Charlie Brooker is a good example. 25 years ago, shows that dealt gaming at some point were either barely watched or totally condescending to the medium, whereas nowadays, an avid gamer like Charlie Brooker can present well watched shows on the matter on the national broadcaster. Soon, the old farts like Ebert will just die off, and be replaced by those who understand or are at least not opposed to videogaming. It's the only way it's going to happen. Gaming will evolve naturally, if we rush it by trying to force maturity on it, it's just going to end up making games unplayable.

Furburt:
I don't particularly think gaming will ever mature past the level it is now.

Good.

Gaming, at it's most basic, allows us to live out our fantasies. And, unless you're the most boring person on the planet/never had a childhood, you can bet that most peoples fantasies will either involve sex, violence, improbable feats or some combination of the three. Gaming can be very mature when it wants to be, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but is there really any problem with killing lots of people in the most violent way possible? Assuming you're old enough to play it. No, there isn't. It's fun, and that's all there is to it. Sure, people will say it's immature and morally reprehensible, but who really cares? The games still get made, and they're still fun. You're making a bunch of pixels fall over. And it's fun.

Movies, although touted as more 'mature', are almost the same. I challenge you, look through your DVD collection for films that involve no sex, blood, violence of any kind or swearing. There will be a few, but I bet they'll be massively overwhelmed by the amount of titles that involve one or all of the above. Hell, back in the 'good old days', films, books and theatre were just as violent. The only thing stopping them from being really violent were the same kind of puritans that today hark back to them as some sort of golden age.

Gaming is for entertainment. It doesn't need to be any more mature, especially if we go by the definition of mature that non-gamers want it to be, that is, boring! That doesn't mean games can't be art, but as far as I see it, games are fine as they are.

nice article.

Agreed with pretty much everything you've said.

What is mature then? What makes something televison, a book, a movie (these things that people seem to be trying to make games more like) mature?

I've seen more sex scenes in movies, more violence in movies, than in any games. I've seen movies that have darker stories than any game. And any time a game does try to go that route, it gets panned by the media.

I don't think it's a case of, gamers need to grow up and let games become adult. I think it's a case of we need to be allowed grow up. People need to realize that if something has a Mature sticker on it, it's mature.

Let's look as Mass Effect. First game, brief sex scenes, rated 12, looking at the box now it says "moderate violence and sex scene". It causes uproar. Next game comes out. Now its an 18s game, increased swearing, another sex scene, this time fully clothed. Games arent allowed being allowed to grow up and it's now our fault.

And while I do agree that gamers could be a bit more mature (look at XBL), look at sports fans. Look at the guys going to football games cursing and swearing at the other team. Are they more mature?

Furburt:

Nightfalke:

Until society takes gamers seriously, they will not take gaming seriously. And gaming will always be viewed as a child's toy, and will never be an adult.

True, but what I'm saying is, why do we need outside approval? It's all part of gamings innate inferiority complex. I think that we are pretty mature as we are. Not as mature as we could be, but any more mature, and we might end up sacrificing our core values. I mean, film and books don't need gamers to say whether they are artistic or not, so why should we constantly defer to them? Because they've been around longer? So what?

I am not looking for approval. I am looking to be taken seriously. I want to be able to buy a game that has adult themes without people going apeshit on how it will torment our children. I don't care if they like gaming, I just want them to treat gaming the same way as other forms of media.

Also, this 'core values' idea... What are gaming's core values? To entertain? How is becoming more mature of a medium going to stop that? I am still very entertained by books and movies, even serious ones. So why does gaming have to not be serious?

Gaming will evolve naturally, if we rush it by trying to force maturity on it, it's just going to end up making games unplayable.

AHA! Now we get to the crux of the argument. Why does mature have to equal boring or unplayable?

Nightfalke:

Gaming will evolve naturally, if we rush it by trying to force maturity on it, it's just going to end up making games unplayable.

AHA! Now we get to the crux of the argument. Why does mature have to equal boring or unplayable?

It doesn't, but maturity is a very vague term. If we allow gaming to evolve naturally, then it will come into its own, given time. However, I get the suspicion that if we rush it, and allow those who slam videogaming to define what mature is, we're going to end up getting their definition of the maturity that videogames need, which is almost certainly going to be the eradication of all sex and violence from the medium. That's not maturity, that's mundane.

Let videogaming be as violent and stupid as it likes, and soon, it will grow out of it naturally. Film did, so did television. If we relentlessly push on towards this fabled mature status, then we're letting people who don't understand the medium shape it.

Jesus Phish:

I've seen more sex scenes in movies, more violence in movies, than in any games. I've seen movies that have darker stories than any game. And any time a game does try to go that route, it gets panned by the media.

I don't think it's a case of, gamers need to grow up and let games become adult. I think it's a case of we need to be allowed grow up. People need to realize that if something has a Mature sticker on it, it's mature.

My point exactly! Until the media and society at large comes to accept gaming as a mature medium, every time a game with darker content or more adult content comes out, it will get massive backlash.

And while I do agree that gamers could be a bit more mature (look at XBL), look at sports fans. Look at the guys going to football games cursing and swearing at the other team. Are they more mature?

Of course not, and what is even worse is when they are doing all this in front of a 7 year old kid with his family 2 rows away. But when it's that 7 year old kid playing MW2 screaming racial slurs into his microphone?

Furburt:
Let videogaming be as violent and stupid as it likes, and soon, it will grow out of it naturally. Film did, so did television. If we relentlessly push on towards this fabled mature status, then we're letting people who don't understand the medium shape it.

I know of many many recent movies that are violent and stupid, so one could say that movies haven't grown out of their immaturity?

Of course you wouldn't say that. You may say that those particular films are immature, but not the medium as a whole...

And that is what must happen to gaming. The ability to be able to make a violent and stupid game by one studio, and the ability to make a serious and dark game by another studio, and everyone picks which ones they like. And noone flips their lids when the violent and dark game with boobies comes out because we need to THINK OF THE CHILDREN OMG!!!

Nightfalke:

And that is what must happen to gaming. The ability to be able to make a violent and stupid game by one studio, and the ability to make a serious and dark game by another studio, and everyone picks which ones they like. And noone flips their lids when the violent and dark game with boobies comes out because we need to THINK OF THE CHILDREN OMG!!!

Well, that's pretty much what I'm saying, but what I'm saying is that while achieving this, we simply can't afford to rush it. That's basically it. If we do rush it, then gaming as a whole has a serious chance of being totally shaped by other mediums who don't respect it. If, in our drive for maturity, we end up looking totally towards films or books for inspiration, then gaming's going to end up losing its soul. We've been around long enough that we shouldn't have to look at books and films, just make the games that people want, and soon enough, people will want more substantial things. We as gamers should be the only ones shaping our future, not anyone else.

Furburt:
Well, that's pretty much what I'm saying, but what I'm saying is that while achieving this, we simply can't afford to rush it. That's basically it. If we do rush it, then gaming as a whole has a serious chance of being totally shaped by other mediums who don't respect it. If, in our drive for maturity, we end up looking totally towards films or books for inspiration, then gaming's going to end up losing its soul. We've been around long enough that we shouldn't have to look at books and films, just make the games that people want, and soon enough, people will want more substantial things. We as gamers should be the only ones shaping our future, not anyone else.

I have to wonder... How long did it take the motion picture industry to shake off the idea of it being a meaningless diversion and become a 'mature' artform? I wonder if it was because of one movie in particular, or was it the death of the old guard in media, or was it something completely different? When did people start wanting more out of movies? Again, was it consumer driven or was it studio/director driven?

I only make the comparisons to movies because that was the most recent 'juvenile diversion' to make it mainstream. I think looking to film is a good comparison to videogames, if only to judge how these things evolve.

Also, I think a comparison can be drawn between the major movie studios of the 50s and the major videogame studios of today. There are very few of them creating a majority of the games out there. They have very strict control over the people who make them, close to the point of slave labor.

So then what happened after that? Small studios speang up creating new and exciting movies with deeper plots, darker themes, more sex and violence. Huh. I wonder if they had these same discussions about movies then hat we are having about gaming today.

Nightfalke:

I have to wonder... How long did it take the motion picture industry to shake off the idea of it being a meaningless diversion and become a 'mature' artform? I wonder if it was because of one movie in particular, or was it the death of the old guard in media, or was it something completely different? When did people start wanting more out of movies? Again, was it consumer driven or was it studio/director driven?

I'd say around the late 1940's, with the decline of the studio system and the advent of independent film studios did film come into it's own as a truly artistic medium. About 45 years from its inception.

In many ways, it's the same process videogaming has, except we're currently in the 1930's. First started by hobbyists, embraced by some. Then, once its potential as a business was established, in the 1930's, it began to be run by corporations and studios, who'd hire the same directors, with the same themes, time and time again. That's the point we're at now.
However, soon the studio system collapsed, and films began to be made by independent filmmakers more, and the creative emphasis began to be placed on the director and screenwriter, not the producer. This point, from around 1955 onwards, reaching its peak in the late 60's and 70's, is what I think is the best point for film so far, bringing us films like Badlands, Taxi Driver, El Topo and The Exorcist that could never be made under a studio system.

You can also see a somewhat similar parallel in the development of painting from the 14th century onwards, through the Renaissance, from the highly controlled, strictly religious iconography of the medieval era, to the much more artistically controlled realism of the Renaissance.

What I'm getting at is that it looks as though it's a natural evolution in all mediums. First hobbyism, then corporatism, then true artistic freedom. I can definitely see it happening to gaming, as soon as the traditional large gaming company monopoly is broken.

Gaming will always have two basic styles the "simple fun brain-dead live out you fantasy game" I.E. Mario, Katamari, GTA, Halo. and the "can be considered a great work of art and study of the human condition" I.E. Psychonaughts, Shadow of the Colossus, That one survival-horror game that was an allegory for puberty (what was that called again?) and eternal darkness. there is room for both much like in movies, maybe one day gaming will progress to something beyond a fun pass-time but it's highly unlikely. they are called "GAMES" for a reason.

Not only do I agree with the article about all it's saying, but I was also a bit giddy to see the image quote of "Because we're grownups now, and it's our turn to decide what that means." and instantly wondered if there was a reference to xkcd coming up or it was just a coincidence that the same words were used. And then it was a reference after all, awesome. :)

I understand that this age-game serves a purpose, often working as a well-meaning promise of untold potential, but as a metaphor, it's entirely disingenuous. Worse, it's nothing that hasn't already been used with that other pop culture fixture, the lowly comic book. During the "growing up" of comics of the 80s and 90s, which saw a talented roster of ambitious artists and writers challenging the fundamentals of their medium, we were treated to a slew of writing trying to align this mature tack against the chrome tackiness of earlier fare. The result was two generations-worth of headlines reading "Bang! Zoom! Comics Aren't For Kids Anymore!" which really is actually an odd way to announce something as adult, if you think about it. You don't see a lot of "Wham! Smash! Remember to Fill Out Your Census Form! Kaplowie!" The lengths that articles of this stripe go to differentiate the bad old stuff from the good new stuff is staggering. I'll always remember one zealous article in a student newspaper that put Captain America's classic "Hitler-Punching" cover side by side with a vision of concentration camp horror from Art Spiegelman's Maus, as if to imply "See? In our comics, the Nazis win!"

I'm glad someone has pointed to this, especially as the comics industry is the actual representative of what video games are going through. Just like in the '80's and '90's (I also want to include the '70's, at least for the amazing Steve Gerber), a handful of ambitious, visionary, and, most importantly, good artists and writers were breaking new ground, and paving the way for comic books to go mainstream. The industry followed suit by simply flooding the market with more of the same superhero books, only louder, dumber, and with more blood and guts, and thus missing the whole 'maturity' thing.

Also, I'd like to point out that older comics (specifically Silver Age books from Lee-Kirby-Ditko-Romita) were far more sophisticated than most academics would give them credit for, either out of willful ignorance or just plain prejudice (I highly recommend reading the work of industry historian Peter Sanderson, or his old column "Comics in Context"). This again fits the games industry, as we're right now in a period where the contributions of older works, both successful (the Final Fantasy series, Grim Fandango, Max Payne, and others) and not-so-much (Okami, Psychonauts), are being overlooked as mere 'child's play' while everyone sits around staring at their navel for the 'X! Y! Games Have All Grown Up!" moment.

I think a lot of the "Gaming is adolescent/young/in utero" talk is bounced around simply because games haven't been around as long as film (which has been around at least a century), and literature (which has been around since paper got cheaper than gold, several centuries at least).

But what this argument doesn't consider is that the art form evolves with the medium, and games live on the fastest-evolving medium that has ever existed: electronics. Given the breakneck pace with which computer technology has developed over the last twenty years, it's no surprise to me that gaming has gone from child to adult in a fraction of the time it took other media to get there.

I had to comment to say that I loved this article. Obviously it was an interesting topic, and I completely agree with the author's points, but I just found it to be a really fun read.

"... and Mountain Dew is a vast improvement from regular dew."

This also made me literally lol at work.

I think it's hard to discern what age games are at (figuratively) if we don't know how much more they're going to progress.

If we're going to give these art forms ages, books should be dead of old age, they certainly seemed to be getting senile when the Beats came around with Kerouac rambling on and on without stop and Burroughs mixing up the words to the point where even he didn't know what his book's about. So, what are they in now? The afterlife? What killed them? Abbie Hoffman? Or maybe they've been reincarnated as the people I find reading more now are kids and even the grownup books (like Dan Brown's work) have become more sophomoric.

My point is that I don't think games have gone far enough that we can figure out what it's matured into. Sure it's matured but if we're going to review it now, the game industry seems to have matured into a money grubbing yuppie d-bag. Once it figures out how to make self renewing income (getting it's money to work for it), the industry as a whole will be a little less conniving.

Feste:
I had to comment to say that I loved this article. Obviously it was an interesting topic, and I completely agree with the author's points, but I just found it to be a really fun read.

"... and Mountain Dew is a vast improvement from regular dew."

This also made me literally lol at work.

I also REALLY enjoyed the article. It feels really nice to get a little vindication, it makes me feel good about being where I am as a gamer. Also, this line nearly made me spit-take my yogurt.

Yes. Forget all of this "jam tomorrow" stuff about the world not being ready for the real good games that someone imagines might exist in the far future based on some manifesto of what their ideal game is. Games have been with us humans since before we started recording history and the idea of computerised or mechanised games is older than computers.

Adults have been playing games for ages from football to chess so these are, no doubt, not immature games. If we carry on playing computer and video games as adults and are happy then those bloody well should be thought of as being proper games. All this identity crisis about how games are such an "immature medium" or "jam/art/cinematic tomorrow" has nothing to do with games.

The only times I have seen people refer to gaming as a young medium have been when they talk about the way gaming still has a long way to go to being accepted by society at large.

It is ironic then that you should mention comic books. Comic books went through a lot of abuse when they were a "young" medium, even enduring extreme censorship (ever hear of the Comics Code Authority?), in order to stay alive. Mature/Adult video games are in that uncertain period right now, where all around the world politicians are attempting to ban them as being "bad for the youth."

(Ironically, one could argue that the ESRB is essentially the rebirth of the Comics Code Authority. This is because while it does protect the industry from most scrutiny, it also amounts to standardized self-censorship: there's a good reason there are no Adults Only games made in the US, and it isn't due to a lack of demand.

Great article Brendan.

This also brings up the topic of "Grand Theft Auto" games. When I played GTA III series (Vice City and San Andreas) and being they have their own storyline, most players tend to be in a murderous rampage and just shoot... whoever it is in their site.

Being a murderous gunning mongerer aside, the game writing of GTA tend to lean on whatever is popular. Vice City being the 1970's so it's Scarface and San Andreas happening to be a African American protagonist so it's related to African America culture of rap/hip hop of the west coast of California.

This is where I draw the line that if Rockstar can make a better game without having to borrow elements from popular times and just go with whatever zany ideas because it's a laughable game where you commit crimes and having the police, SWAT, FBI and the army chasing you for committing terrible crimes.

Oh well. I guess if violence and guns is "mature" and sellable like hot cakes, it's certainly don't fix what ain't broke.

games have issues with controlls and no game had them figured out perfectly, also every current HW is piss poor to what is required for doing all the stuff at least a part correctly.
I think the whole civilisation is in infancy, especially the way we treat and bring up people(and that is where and why it all breaks).

Brendan Main:
Our Turn to Decide

Games are not "in their infancy" nor will they be "coming of age" anytime soon. If an age metaphor is necessary, gaming is already an adult and Brendan Main says that it's up to us to decide what that means.

Read Full Article

I have to disagree, games are still restricted by certain assumptions that hold the medium back.

Gaming differentiates itself from other mediums with it's interactivity, which allows a new depth to our perception of what is being presented.

Games today have to be fun though. This limits what gaming can be as a medium. "Night" by Elie Wiesel was not about entertaining the reader. I don't think that book really would have worked as a romantic comedy either.

Gaming IS in the process of shedding this cocoon and maturing though, take this game for example (It's only a few minutes long): http://armorgames.com/play/5355/immortall

Or "Sleep is Death": http://sleepisdeath.net/
A purely formless storytelling game.

"No games writing sticks in my craw worse than the assertion that the medium is somehow "still in its infancy." You probably have encountered one or more of its incarnations. Sometimes videogames are described as a disenfranchised teen, just waiting for that final growth spurt to mingle with the older kids - media like movies and literature that are old enough to borrow their parents' car keys without having to ask."

While their are many parts of the game medium can and probably should be considered mature and are still some that in my honest opinion are still in their childhood.
and in this way it cannot be compared to movies, literature, etc.

Gaming is still though by many conservatives and crazies to be for children and they continue to attack the industry as a whole.
Unfortunately we will most likely need to wait until some new shiny medium comes by and distracts them till we have can have any peace.

Not that overall the industry is not quite mature, but I think it still has a lot more growing room then film, literature, etc.

Gaming has already taken its place along books, movies, music, TV etc as an "adult" medium; each and every one of these is as capable of telling an adult story as it is a child's.
But the general public just doesn't see it that way...yet.

Perhaps the mindset here is the Peter Pan dilemma again: "why grow up if you don't have to?"

It's absurd to think of a person as not having to grow up, but that's a person.
A genre isn't a person; it changes, it improves, it stagnates, it even regresses.
All of those mediums I described on the first line went through that, and continue to undergo such changes today.

Hahahaha I love the background picture with Dom and Marcus.
Is Dom about to start crying?

I think one problem that gaming faces is that many of these 40- and 50-year-olds who decry current video games as "murder simulators" and come up with "witty" stings like "seXBox" are the ones who, back in the mid-1980s, sat their children down in front of an NES and watched them play Super Mario Brothers. An unfortunate aspect of aging is the tendency to cling to comfortable definitions and memories of younger days, and to many of these people, "video games" still equates to those happy memories of little Jimmy making the funny-looking plumber guy jump on walking mushrooms with eyes. Accepting the idea of video games "growing up" and creating things for older players means accepting that times have changed, that they are older and closer to death. Some people just can't handle that, and must attack whatever challenges their comfortable delusions.

As morbid as the idea is, the best course for gaming to take is to wait these people out. They will be replaced by those who grew up with gaming, who know its potential. And then they'll have the chance to gripe about "kids these days".

Life's funny that way.

Okay, first, very well written article. Even if I hadn't agreed with it I'd still have loved it. Although mountain dew being better than regular dew is obviously arguable.

But yeah, I just read that other article that said that, compared to movies, games are still in the 'show meaningless pictures of car crashes' stage before people realized the moving pictures could be used to tell stories, and I wrote a lenghty post saying that, no, it's at the same stage as movies, it's churning out bland sequels and appealing to the lowest denominator because we're at a stage in which production is so expensive only blockbusters profit. The videogame industry is on its death throes and we'll need to wait for it to die and be reborn as something else for meaningful games to become anything other than an anomaly.

The message of this article that resonated most for me is that we need to stop 'babying' games. Yes: as Brendan says, games are now mature. From a technological standpoint, there will always be new developments, but this is true in all media. From a design tool standpoint: the tools are all there, and we know how to use them. I think we need to look closer at what these tools mean and how we can use them more effectively, but we've got all we need.

Yet our critical analysis of games often falls short of those of other media: this is the 'babying' that I think Brendan is alluding to. In my blog, I recently wrote a short article about the difference in the way we look at Kick-Ass and GTA, and how we simply don't hold games to the same scrutiny as we do films. In holding games to a higher level of scrutiny, we will discover opportunities to create deeper and more meaningful games, while also discovering better how to make games fun and entertaining.

So yes, the games medium is grown up. It's time we treated it like an adult.

The result was two generations-worth of headlines reading "Bang! Zoom! Comics Aren't For Kids Anymore!" which really is actually an odd way to announce something as adult, if you think about it. You don't see a lot of "Wham! Smash! Remember to Fill Out Your Census Form! Kaplowie!"

On the other hand, if they had had a headline like that, I would totally have filled out my census form!

pdyxs:
Yes: as Brendan says, games are now mature.

I don't understand why people keep saying games are "now" mature. I seriously doubt any video game could get any more mature, either in its narrative or its play mechanics than, say, the original Fallout, and how many years old is that game now?

The problem is we've already had Tolstoy/Dostoevski-class games made, long before this "generation" or even the one before that. We should be schooling the young adults/teens now into gaming on the classics, instead of inviting them to join us in metaphors about how old the personification of video games would be. It only dilutes our position.

rmx687:
I don't understand why people keep saying games are "now" mature.

Wow, I'm pretty sure I said 'now' reflexively, not intending to mean anything. I don't particularly believe that any technological maturity has happened recently - I think we've had the tools for meaningful and deep gameplay and stories for a long time (you only need to look at some of the flash games out there for proof of that).

I do feel that some newer games (Portal, Braid, etc.) have utilised gameplay to drive and complement story at a deeper level and with higher density than older games - I wouldn't necessarily call it a maturity though, and these games, while prolific, make up a small portion of the market. In these terms, many of the older games might not be the schooling that we need (I'd argue that new and evocative ways of using interactive technology is more important than trying to replicate something from yesteryear).

In terms of the metaphor, I agree that discussion of the semantics of a metaphor is rather pointless (are games 15? are they 21? can they drink alcohol legally?), but they do serve as a nice illustrative tool. The metaphor is the messenger, and we really shouldn't fight over its characteristics, but get to the heart of what its message means for the gaming community.

Personally I think video game 'maturity' is more of a generation thing than a industry thing.

Its like when TVs were first invented the people who lived most of their lives without them would think them strange and weird and therefore see them as useless and 'immature' because your 'wasting your time' etc etc.

Its the exact same thing with video games.

I even remember in my youth that video games were considering 'geeky' and 'uncool' - they we're played by kids who wouldn't play sports or weren't cool enough to have alot of friends to play outside etc. These days im almost 99% sure that the guys who used to bully me about playing video games back then will playing them now.

The older generation who never grew up with video games will never conceed that they are better than the stuff that they had when they were kids.

Its also because of the very 'childish' notion of 'play' and 'fun'. Alot of the older generation will watch TV because it passes the time, but actual hobbies & 'fun' is usually more constructive passtimes such as gardening. This then demeens games to being 'childish' because 'play' and 'fun' are what children do and as adults your not supposed to have the 'same' fun as children do.

Personally I believe Billy Connelly was right when he said "Grow old, but don't grow up" :D

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here