Monday, October 31, 2005

Games as environments and systems

An interesting piece on gaming.

Many games take the player through some kind of narrative arc, but I think, in general, storytelling is one of the least interesting things about gaming. The great majority of gamers, I suspect, engage because they want to figure out how the system of the game works, or because they want to explore the space the game represents.

Banal narratives and one-dimensional characters sounds like a critique, but only if you are starting with the criteria we use for novels or films. But if you think about games as closer to architecture or environmental art, then it doesn't seem like such a failing. They are - first and foremost - environments and systems, not stories.

All the complex simulation games are, in effect, animated theories of how a society works, whether it is ancient Rome or a modern metropolis. You learn the theory by playing.

Link

2 Comments:

At 10:17 am, Blogger msaardvark said...

I think this is really interesting Scott and I haven't heard such an idea before. Is it your 'interesting piece'. Where can I read more of this? Your blog is worth reading...and your regular reads...Thanks heaps.

 
At 11:30 am, Blogger Scott said...

My interesting piece? nonono - from an article in the age - follow the title of the blog and you can read it yourself.

 

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