Gogogic CEO Clarifies Single-Player "Gimmick" Comment

Gogogic CEO Clarifies Single-Player "Gimmick" Comment

image

Gogogic boss Jonas Antonsson says his comments about single-player game mechanics being a "gimmick" were badly misunderstood.

Jonas Antonsson blew up a storm of rage last week when he said in an interview that "the single player mechanic is a gimmick - games are meant to be played with others and it doesn't matter if it's in-person or online." The response was predictable but still embarrassingly harsh, as people - not just here, but everywhere - reacted to what they saw as yet another push away from things like meaningful narrative and toward generic, probably microtransaction-powered, online gameplay.

But that's not at all what he was actually getting at, Antonsson explained in a follow-up email. The point wasn't to marginalize or dismiss the value of single-player gaming, but to illustrate how "most single-player games are not really single-player" at all.

"Single player games can be amazing experiences and I absolutely think they have a long future ahead of them (and I do mention, in the interview, that I think good single-player games will continue to appeal to the hardcore players). Modern games are an art form where tremendous skill is applied to design an experience," he explained. "But it is important to realize that 'single player' games have to be designed with a built in opponent or collaborator. Something has to take on the role of 'the other.' This is an illusion. Those familiar with illusions know that the term 'gimmick' means what the illusionist does to distract the audience to make the illusion appear real. If properly done the audience believes the illusion and the experience is complete."

Antonsson said he didn't mean to use the word "gimmick" in an "offensive, dismissive or aggressive way," and noted that the remark came up during a two-hour telephone interview conducted in English, which is not his native language. "It was - for me - a descriptive word for the mechanics used to drive single-player games so we can enjoy them by ourselves," he said.

"We also find other ways to socialize around single-player games to enhance our experience. We tell others about them, we compare scores and achievements. We blog, capture screenshots, tweet, watch others play, etc.," he continued. "The point is I'm just happy that we now have the technology needed to support real social interaction through computer games, that frees us from casting the game itself as an antagonist, or protagonist to a certain extent at least. Constraints lead to the creation of single-player computer games and we have done an awesome job of fusing narrative with interaction and innovative mechanics. But now these constraints are slowly disappearing. That allows us to explore other ways to design games. I'd take League of Legends as an example. I think they are doing wonders for eSports and as an avid gamer myself I love that."

Put that way, his statement makes a lot more sense. It's not that games need to move away from the conventional single-player experiences we know and love, it's that they're now able to do so in ways that simply weren't possible even just five years ago. As Antonsson says, that's a good thing.

He also made the rather interesting admission that he expected controversy would actually come from elsewhere in the interview, when he said, "As much as I am for increase accessibility, I'm firmly against dumbing down games or using psychological tricks as the only means to get people playing." But that, I think, is something most gamers would readily agree with.

Permalink

"Clarify" or "Oh shit this comment makes me look bad so I'm going to say something to try and fix it."

I don't buy this for a second.

Yeah yeah, less overtly offensive now, it's still obvious that as far as he's concerned, single-player games have no advantage over multiplayer - just a necessary evil in the evolution of games. The insistence that games only value, or at least their primary value, is necessarily as a social construct is something I'm tired of hearing in this age of 'social gaming'.

MortisLegio:
"Clarify" or "Oh shit this comment makes me look bad so I'm going to say something to try and fix it."

I don't buy this for a second.

That's hilarious. What would you buy?

Nimcha:

MortisLegio:
"Clarify" or "Oh shit this comment makes me look bad so I'm going to say something to try and fix it."

I don't buy this for a second.

That's hilarious. What would you buy?

Apple

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VY88ybT13zQ&noredirect=1

Smiley Face:
Yeah yeah, less overtly offensive now, it's still obvious that as far as he's concerned, single-player games have no advantage over multiplayer - just a necessary evil in the evolution of games. The insistence that games only value, or at least their primary value, is necessarily as a social construct is something I'm tired of hearing in this age of 'social gaming'.

For what it's worth, Gary Gygax agreed with the "games as a venue for socialization" instead of "Way to escape completely from the world."

In fact, up until our computer-induced illusionary fantasy worlds, games were a social construct.

Ahh, i love the sound of an hurried backpedal.

The only problem with multiplayer games is that other players are such sucky NPC's, they all want to be the hero. I'M THE HERO, DARNIT!

Scow2:

Smiley Face:
Yeah yeah, less overtly offensive now, it's still obvious that as far as he's concerned, single-player games have no advantage over multiplayer - just a necessary evil in the evolution of games. The insistence that games only value, or at least their primary value, is necessarily as a social construct is something I'm tired of hearing in this age of 'social gaming'.

For what it's worth, Gary Gygax agreed with the "games as a venue for socialization" instead of "Way to escape completely from the world."

In fact, up until our computer-induced illusionary fantasy worlds, games were a social construct.

Yeah, but the difference here is between the view that "games can be a venue for socialization" and "Games Should Ideally be a venue for socialization". One acknowledges the possibilities and value of a kind of game, the other attempts to devalue all games which don't conform to the commenter's sensibilities.

This is the very definition of backpedalling. The man is dumb.

Freyar:

Nimcha:

MortisLegio:
"Clarify" or "Oh shit this comment makes me look bad so I'm going to say something to try and fix it."

I don't buy this for a second.

That's hilarious. What would you buy?

Apple

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VY88ybT13zQ&noredirect=1

Heh... I think that they were thinking of the wrong apple...

OT: image
Obvious backpedaling is obvious

Eh. I can see legitimately reading the original comment to mean 'TRUE single player is an illusion, because if nothing else the player is opposed by the game's AI and mechanics. (and by extension the developer/designer)'

Which makes sense: Most games more complex than Solitaire can be divided into multiple 'players', and even in Solitaire you can call the deck the 'opposing player'. It's a different way of looking at things, even if it doesn't actually change anything.

Back-pedalling is such a gimmick.

Am I right?

OK, this actually does seem quite resonable, and makes a lot more sense.
You are forgiven, sir.

Smiley Face:

Scow2:

Smiley Face:
Yeah yeah, less overtly offensive now, it's still obvious that as far as he's concerned, single-player games have no advantage over multiplayer - just a necessary evil in the evolution of games. The insistence that games only value, or at least their primary value, is necessarily as a social construct is something I'm tired of hearing in this age of 'social gaming'.

For what it's worth, Gary Gygax agreed with the "games as a venue for socialization" instead of "Way to escape completely from the world."

In fact, up until our computer-induced illusionary fantasy worlds, games were a social construct.

Yeah, but the difference here is between the view that "games can be a venue for socialization" and "Games Should Ideally be a venue for socialization". One acknowledges the possibilities and value of a kind of game, the other attempts to devalue all games which don't conform to the commenter's sensibilities.

"Pen-and-paper role-playing is live theater and computer games are television. People want the convenience and instant gratification of turning on the TV rather than getting dressed up and going out to see a live play. In the same way, the computer is a more immediately accessible way to play games."
As quoted in "Dungeon Masters in Cyberspace" in The New York Times (27 February 2006)

"There is no intimacy; it's not live. [he said of online games] It's being translated through a computer, and your imagination is not there the same way it is when you're actually together with a group of people. It reminds me of one time where I saw some children talking about whether they liked radio or television, and I asked one little boy why he preferred radio, and he said, "Because the pictures are so much better."
Interview in 2006, as quoted in "Gary Gygax, Game Pioneer, Dies at 69" in The New York Times (5 March 2008)

Look single player games AREN'T a gimmick. I rarely play games online why because the idea of some fifteen year old saying racially derogatorily statements every five seconds that costs a subscription fee is tiresome and costly. Look at games like Fallout 3 , Fallout New vegas , Skyrim , Metal Gear Solid 4 , uncharted , God of war 3 , Bioshock , Resistance Fall of Man 3 , Red Dead Redemption , Armored Core For Answer , Killzone 3 , while some of those games might have online and or multiplayer game play the main focus is on single player. Why the same reason almost every game has it that is SINGLE PLAYER MODE IS A CORE FEATURE IN VIDEO GAMES. Matter of fact if a game sole selling point is it's online features then I WON'T buy it and " I'LL BET I'M NOT ALONE IN THAT ".

Shocksplicer:
OK, this actually does seem quite resonable, and makes a lot more sense.
You are forgiven, sir.

Really, this is obviously him just changing his tune due to backlash, the original statement is obviously what he meant.

chozo_hybrid:

Shocksplicer:
OK, this actually does seem quite resonable, and makes a lot more sense.
You are forgiven, sir.

Really, this is obviously him just changing his tune due to backlash, the original statement is obviously what he meant.

I disagree. Think about it. His original statement made literally no sense whatsoever. This makes slightly more sense, and one can see how he would have misspoken. Frankly, there's nothing obvious about it.

Shocksplicer:

chozo_hybrid:

Shocksplicer:
OK, this actually does seem quite resonable, and makes a lot more sense.
You are forgiven, sir.

Really, this is obviously him just changing his tune due to backlash, the original statement is obviously what he meant.

I disagree. Think about it. His original statement made literally no sense whatsoever. This makes slightly more sense, and one can see how he would have misspoken. Frankly, there's nothing obvious about it.

Fair enough, I get your grounds for thinking that way, but I (and many others) just see it as him back peddling on his previous statement, people do it all the time.

 

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