Letters to the Editor

Method Gamers


To the Editor: Just stumbled upon your mag today … and just read through your entire collection of issuesin one sitting. This is the games journalism I’ve been waiting for.

Now let’s just hope the games industry catches up with you.


To the Editor: [Re: “Making the Sacrifice” by Khurram Ahmed] I am currently playing (and greatly enjoying!) Shadow of the Colossus. In it, a boy has come to the temple of a powerful being, to have it bring back the soul of his dead companion. He sees a light come from on high, hears a mighty voice, and obeys it without question. He hunts down the colossi one by one, confident that his spiritual sword will give him the necessary strength and skill to accomplish the task before him. He does not need to say it, for the truth of the matter is evident in his every action; he has faith. By extension, via the controller in my hand that links us together, so do I.


From the Blog: [Re: “An Exit” by Patrick Dugan] “According to Game Designer Raph Koster’s understanding, “Paidia just means’very big rulesets.'” The implication of this is any paidic title is going to have very high content demands and production costs. This assumption ignores the very Zen-like notion that complex results can result from simple rules, and the best paidic play is fostered by the confluence of a few robust mechanics. In Façade‘s case, these mechanics are the two characters and the drama management AI.”

Yes, I do believe that paidia means very big rulesets – specifically, what I call “imported rulesets,” – rules from outside the defined model of the game.

That doesn’t mean that the rulesets imply high content demands; quite the opposite, actually. Physics is a commonly imported ruleset in numerous sports, but the rules of physics (in terms of ordinary life) are fairly straightforward in application and don’t imply a lot of content load.

Overall, I am a huge fan of emergence coming from simple rules. We shouldn’t think, however, that what Michael and Andrew did with Façade is at all simple; the rules underlying it were enough to build a Ph.D.dissertation from.


From the Blog: [Re: “Metal Gear Pacifist” by Pat Miller] You see this is why it confuses me when Kojima-san himself would agree with Ebert in saying games are not art. Surely if a game has a story, a meaning, or a certain style visual or otherwise, it can be made as art. As far as I know art has always been interactive, though not to this extent.

He says: “‘I don’t think they’re art either, videogames,’ he said, referring to Roger Ebert’s recent commentary on the same subject. ‘The thing is, art is something that radiates the artist, the person who creates that piece of art. If 100 people walk by and a single person is captivated by whatever that piece radiates, it’s art. But videogames aren’t trying to capture one person. A videogame should make sure that all 100 people that play that game should enjoy the service provided by that videogame. It’s something of a service. It’s not art.'”

A game can be a service and art at the same time cant it? Like you saidin the article, the majority of people would buy MGS for the entertaining game mechanic and not the interesting meaning/feeling within the game. And even if all 100 people who play the game understand that message or the feeling the artist wants to put across, surely its still art. It’s like he wants to berate his own work and say it is purely an enjoyable game mechanic and nothing else. And even then, creating an enjoyable game mechanic that works is something of an art as well.

I just don’t get it.


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