Designer Dairy 3
By Stuttering Billy 07-17-2009 12:42 PM
This morning my google reader directed me towards this: http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=24450
This week Courtney and I have been co-coordinating the sound and story collaborators, so the subject matter is fresh in my mind.
Denis Dyack has some interesting thoughts as always. I respect his work and his desire to expand the Game Development discourse. However, in this particular article I believe he undercuts himself. His argument hinges of the very equation which problemitized it.
For the purposes of my thoughts I’m assuming Dyack’s use of ‘narrative’ refers not only to the structure of a fiction but also the content of the story.
As mentioned before my concern is with Dyack’s equation.
“I have a theory: that engagement is greater than or equal to art plus story plus gameplay plus audio plus technology. It’s all of these things combined, and one is not more important than another."
If we are to believe that Dyack’s assertion regarding the connection between cinema and games is valid. Then certainly we can move backwards through his argument and apply his general theory of artistry to film.
Before doing so one must reconcile some truths.
Successful Hollywood films, those with debatable 'artistic' value (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Fast and Furious) rely almost entirely on narrative.
Conversely, avant-garde films, such as T*O*U*C*H*I*N*G, are often regarded as pure art. These avant-garde films have, by design; the bare minimum is terms of narrative.
This suggests that Dyack's equation is necessarily incomplete. The variables must have a co-efficient. In the case of cinema the popular accepted condition for art has little to do with narrative.
I will add that I believe that as art these co-efficients are not constants. In fact to assert they would be, as Dyack implies is absurd, completely counter to my understanding of art. Furthermore, I find it concerning that someone so outspoken in the Games and Art debate has such a narrow view of what constitutes art.
Tadhg Kelly’s comments on Dyack’s paper suggest that Games designers take their cues from architects rather than film makers. While, I have myself drawn the comparison when trying to explain my job, I have recently relied on a more suitable parallel. Games designers are curators. We manage the space where the art is presented and at times created. Both film maker and architects comparisons downplay the importance of the player. This topic is better suited for another post.
For now I can only hope Dyack pays another visit to our school as I would love to exchange a booklist. Maybe diner next time I’m in Ontario. Perhaps for Nuit Blanche.
-David Heron, Designer, High Moon Express
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|Loonknight - 07-17-2009, 03:39 PM|
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