Will Wright Delivers BAFTA Video Games Lecture

Will Wright Delivers BAFTA Video Games Lecture

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Sim-meister Will Wright delivered the first-ever BAFTA Video Games lecture last night, following up on his BAFTA Fellowship award by examining the differences between linear and interactive media.

Wright said that people often make the mistake of viewing games in the context of storytelling media such as books, movies and television, which he says have a different "evolutionary heritage" than games. "We first had books, then we had live theater, we went to radio, movies, then television, and people have been interpreting games through this lens, as though they're the natural evolution to this," he said.

"Games are rooted as far back, if not further, than the printed word, and sports as well, than the idea of toys and general play. Now if you actually look at play, obviously it evolved for a reason. Animals play in the wild, it's a form of education - they play out little scenarios which help them survive into the future."

"Storytelling is a little bit different, it's based upon these functions that we have as humans - language, imagination and empathy, and these are all prerequisites for story, and in some senses it's learned behavior," he added.

Wright also suggested that game design is still in an "apprenticeship" stage, comparing it to older professions such as architecture, which he said were developed by apprenticeships with various trade masters. He referred to it as "failure-based learning," and suggested that the educational system in the 20th century reversed that process, putting theory before practice. "The idea was that the theory would protect you from failure because you were working on the rules that other people had learned," he said. "On the other hand you were not directly experiencing failure, or being allowed to innovate inside your craft as much as the apprentices were, so it's a very different model."

"Game design still doesn't really have any quality theory, so we're still very much on the apprenticeship mode," he said.

More excerpts from Wright's BAFTA Video Games lecture are available at GamesIndustry.biz.

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I'm pretty sure that live theatre came first. Printing's been around for what, three hundred years tops? Someone fire up Wikipedia, Will Wright is wrong.

Acting goes back to ancient Greece, but long-form fiction goes back even further. The modern form of theater came after the invention of the printing press, as well.

BAFTA was such a sham... gears and bioshock should have swept everything. next time, maybe they'll play the games before they dish out the accolades?

let's hope spore turns out to be as awesome as it sounds... i don't like that will is dumbing it down for the sims audience... let's hope he doesn't trash it.

Bongo Bill:
Acting goes back to ancient Greece, but long-form fiction goes back even further. The modern form of theater came after the invention of the printing press, as well.

and after the printing press came the bible... mass manufacturing stupidity via a mass manufactured book of lies! =)

 

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