Quantic Dream: Videogame Stigmas are Exaggerated

Quantic Dream: Videogame Stigmas are Exaggerated

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Thanks to games like Heavy Rain, Guillaume de Fondaumiere believes fewer people buy into "videogames are murder simulators" arguments.

As gamers, most of us are familiar with the rather ungenerous portrayals of our chosen hobby. Despite a lack of evidence that videogames even cause violence, there's still a strong stereotype that gamers are raised on a diet of murder simulators and pent-up aggression. Even worse, it's hard to feel like the general public has our backs, but Quantic Dream's Guillaume de Fondaumiere is actually optimistic on that score. He suspects that despite the constant barrage of negative gaming stereotypes out there, most people recognize that such depictions are actually exaggerations.

"I think that things have evolved," Fondaumiere said. "I think people understand that some of the criticism that has been on gaming, the stigma that has been on gaming ... has been exaggerated."

That's not to say Foundaumiere thinks the industry can rest easy just yet. He believes that developers should do more to create meaningful games that go beyond the action of popular shooters. "There needs also to be projects, or products, if I may say so, that show that we're doing something meaningful," Foundaumiere explained. "I think there are certain games that are just fun. And that's great. When I come home, sometimes I just don't want to think too much about anything ... What we're trying to do at Quantic is show that - we're not the only ones, of course - that there are a number of creators today that want to bring something more meaningful. And that's what interests us."

As an example, Foundaumiere points to Heavy Rain, which encouraged Hollywood actors to take the medium more seriously. "This is really a game that had an impact in Hollywood," Fondaumiere says. "People are talking about [Heavy Rain] on good terms and saying 'this is a possible avenue now for talents to express themselves." Quantic can now expand the effect further with Beyond: Two Souls, thanks to the participation of actors like Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe.

Whether Beyond: Two Souls successfully counters anti-gaming arguments or not, it's worth noting that "meaningful" games have large audiences. Heavy Rain's total sales are in the millions, while art games like Dear Esther or The Vanishing of Ethan Carter tend to generate widespread interest. Even if you don't personally find meaning in such games, the fact that they're popular at all is encouraging for an industry wanting to prove it's about more than mindless violence.

Source: Gamespot

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Now if only we could get developers to stop buying into the "female protagonists can't sell games" argument.

OT: Unfortunately, they'll still be used as scapegoats by people of influence. It's still going to be awhile before enough people who actually know anything about videogames are in positions of power for the general public to take us seriously.

DVS BSTrD:
Now if only we could get developers to stop buying into the "female protagonists can't sell games" argument.

OT: tell that to all those people who got flamed on twitter for liking StarCraft after Sandy Hook.

We are always going to get flamed.

Pope or Bishop does something stupid -- Catholics get flamed.

Government doesn't do something right -- Somehow every politician is to blame, even if they aren't associated with it at all.

Violence happens in the world -- The most unproven and still trying to gain respect medium comes under fire.

People are sheep, and when you set sheep wool on fire, it spreads fast.

Is that Max Payne in the above picture?

Dear Esther is not a game. There is 0 interactivity. The best it could ever hope to achieve is "set piece". You might as well read a book.

"Dear Esther has no reason for me to give a shit"

Hail Jim.

The:
Is that Max Payne in the above picture?

Similarly, I thought the dude in the middle was....that one guy from Sleeping Dogs. But I think it's a shot from Beyond: Two Souls, since neither of the two were mentioned in the article.

I'm all for games exploring other forms of expressing ideas and transitioning away from shooters, but I am 100% against David Cage games. That guy's a pretentious piece of crap who can't write for shit. Ohh, and did you know that he knows Ellen Page?

DVS BSTrD:
Now if only we could get developers to stop buying into the "female protagonists can't sell games" argument.

We've got a couple...In a body of thousands....

Anyway, that sounds great, but haven't we seen enough polling to indicate he's wrong?

Well of course the scapegoating is going to be exaggerated; that's the only way those "Save the childrens" watchdogs and politicos keep the public eye. Without that, they very quickly cease to be relevant.

I mean, remember back when those same kinds of people claimed that the purpose of Night Trap was to trap and kill women?

Their purpose isn't to make sense; it's to make noise.

Fortunately, gaming is proving more and more just how ridiculous, knee-jerk and shallow that line of thinking is.

Meanwhile, Cage's previous titles include Fahrenheit, a story about a man being brainwashed into stabbing a bloke, and Heavy Rain, a murder mystery with a child-snatching serial killer. Yeah, games are totally not violence simulators. -_-

Sarcasm aside, I do think until we can make the non-combative conflict more profitable than just a niche audience, gaming's just going to have that impression for the unwashed masses. Sure, the kind of people we're talking about here are the kind that are more interested in hearing themselves talk than actually listen to what they're saying, but even among the more educated folk there are those that feel it's inappropriate for so many games to feature bloodspattering titswingers since they see games as for children.

I've heard it said that we need a rebranding like comic books went to graphic novels, and while that definitely wouldn't solve all the problems overnight I think it would be a solid first step.

ResonanceSD:
Dear Esther is not a game. There is 0 interactivity. The best it could ever hope to achieve is "set piece". You might as well read a book.

"Dear Esther has no reason for me to give a shit"

Hail Jim.

The very act of clicking up and character A moves forward IS interactivity.
And while that may seem small, and it is, it immerses you in the story in ways that a book or a movie or a tv show are incapable of.
The ability of putting you in first perspective, which I don't know any movie that has done so, and enforcing that through your movement control, which books cannot do, creates a feeling that cannot be duplicated in another medium.

If you didn't feel it, that's fine. Fun is subjective. But as someone who likes these kinds of games (which also include the wonderfully surreal The Path), I think your definition of "interactivity" is faulty. There is an old question in philosophy, at what height does a hill become a mountain? It doesn't matter because we can all agree that there is a bulge from a flat ground and the rest is subjective (or subjectively set). These games have FAR shallower "bulge of interactivity" (I am totally going to use that phrase in the future to refer to my junk) than others, but its effects are significant.

maxben:

ResonanceSD:
Dear Esther is not a game. There is 0 interactivity. The best it could ever hope to achieve is "set piece". You might as well read a book.

"Dear Esther has no reason for me to give a shit"

Hail Jim.

The very act of clicking up and character A moves forward IS interactivity.
And while that may seem small, and it is, it immerses you in the story in ways that a book or a movie or a tv show are incapable of.
The ability of putting you in first perspective, which I don't know any movie that has done so, and enforcing that through your movement control, which books cannot do, creates a feeling that cannot be duplicated in another medium.

If you didn't feel it, that's fine. Fun is subjective. But as someone who likes these kinds of games (which also include the wonderfully surreal The Path), I think your definition of "interactivity" is faulty. There is an old question in philosophy, at what height does a hill become a mountain? It doesn't matter because we can all agree that there is a bulge from a flat ground and the rest is subjective (or subjectively set). These games have FAR shallower "bulge of interactivity" (I am totally going to use that phrase in the future to refer to my junk) than others, but its effects are significant.

You should watch that episode. The best one in the series to date.

"There needs also to be projects, or products, if I may say so, that show that we're doing something meaningful,"

Ah the wonders of Quantic dreams, speak for yourself dumbarse. Bring more to the table than QTEs and scripted events.

Splitzi:
I'm all for games exploring other forms of expressing ideas and transitioning away from shooters, but I am 100% against David Cage games. That guy's a pretentious piece of crap who can't write for shit. Ohh, and did you know that he knows Ellen Page?

Glad to see I'm not the only one. You know what I would like to see? Spiritual successors to old games.

Earthbound/Mother doesn't need a sequel, it's done. We don't need another Tombi! (or Tomba! depending on where you live) either. What we do need is for someone to look at those games, and have a look at making games like that with modern technology. How many Platformers with good RPG elements do you know of? Or JRPGs where the player character isn't a fucking Nancy boy even more generic than a CoD clone? Today the only platformers we have are a few retro style indie games, Rayman: Origins, and New Super Mario Brothers.

The market for games is dominated by FPS, heavy rain took a year to sell the same number copies that call of duty did in a week. The most likely game that non gamers would have encountered will be an FPS or an MMO, I doubt the vast majority people have ever even heard of Heavy Rain let alone Dear Esther. A classic case of ego centrism, the game I made must be important.

ResonanceSD:
You should watch that episode. The best one in the series to date.

Valid point, but I disagree.
It comes down to what is important to you.
For me it's the world of the game. It's the most important factor for me.
My favorite games all have carefully crafted and beautifully made worlds with a lot of details. BioShock Infinite, Dishonored, Dear Esther, Portal 2,...

I also knew what to expect from Dear Esther. You don't buy a motorcycle then complain that it lacks comfort on on long trips.

Wait, how many gamers actually bought in to the whole 'murder simulator' thing? Obviously anti-game creatures did because they aren't interested in facts, but I don't remember ever thinking there could be a link between games and violence. And that was way before Heavy Rain or other QTE games were released so I don't think this has any real weight behind it. Then again maybe all games were bloodbaths before Quantic Dream came along and my fragile little mind just blocked it out. Come to think of it I remember the level in Tetris where you kill hookers for their cocaine then violate traffic laws, and the level of Frogger where you enact terrorist plots against the state.

They should definitely have this guy do the speaking instead of David Cage, still pretty arrogant but at least he acknowledges the value of other games, and he probably is right that only a few extremist nuts really buy into the murder simulator argument. (It's a shame that senators have a high proportion of extremist nuts though)

CriticalMiss:
and the level of Frogger where you enact terrorist plots against the state.

Funny you should mention that
http://twinbeard.com/frog-fractions

I didn't give a fuck what "people" thought about me gaming through the 80s.
I didn't give a fuck what "people" thought about me gaming through the 90s.
I didn't give a much of a fuck what "people" thought about me gaming through the 00s.

And I certainly don't give a fuck now and don't need a "Push a button for a cutscene to happen" game developer to act up as they are the great messiah, because they aren't even making games.

And you know what I given even less of a fuck about than what "people" thought about me gaming? What Hollywood thinks about gaming and if you've paid Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe to have a role in your huge QuickTimeEvent-fest.

I also always remember what Valve had to say about this: http://www.computerandvideogames.com/262497/valve-refuses-to-sell-out-on-stock-market/

"Any bad decision I ever see out there is because somebody created this different customer that was whoever funds them, and not the consumer of the product."

Gabe Newell added: "You end up with a totally different set of decisions, and the person who's trying to design the experience is like' Okay, I guess we'll put Christopher Walken in our game."

While I agree with the sentiment he's going for (ie: the impression of everyone believing in negative stereotypes being probably larger than the reality), listening to this guy stroke his...ego is grating. "Thanks to games like MINE, VIDEO GAMES are ART".

too bad we're talking about Quantic Dream, whose games can best be described as "boring, self-important shlock." The stigma of games being murder simulators has been curbed by other games, especially not Quantic Dream's

 

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