Creating Original IPs the Safe Way

E3 2012: Why Beyond, The Last of Us, and Watch Dogs aren't quite the creative risk you might think--and why that's not a bad thing.

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There's a line of thinking in the video game industry that says you begin a new console cycle with original IPs and let those franchises carry you through the life of the console with recurring sequels. Monday's press conferences certainly lent some credibility to that theory, with publishers pushing one familiar name after another in a seemingly endless onslaught of established franchises. At least, that's how it was until the latter half of the day's proceedings introduced us to Watch Dogs, Beyond: Two Souls, and The Last of Us--three very promising original IPs that grabbed the lion's share of attention once everything was said and done.

Why did it look like Ubisoft and Sony were more willing to roll the dice on new properties so late into this console cycle, when Microsoft and EA were perfectly happy to play it safe? Each of those three games looks fresh and exciting in its own way, but dig a little deeper and it's clear that none of these games constitutes a massive gamble.

Let's start with Watch Dogs, Ubi Montreal's futuristic vision of a world where our precarious reliance on technology might be exploited by a few malicious hackers. It was a visually stunning and thought-provoking demo that managed to look terrific and ask some interesting questions in the process. But remember: this is also a Ubisoft Montreal game. Watch Dogs' use of espionage gadgetry can easily be traced back to the Splinter Cell series, while its open-world Chicago setting strongly echoes the sandbox environments of the Assassin's Creed series. In other words, this game looks terrific, but it's definitely a Ubi Montreal sort of game.

The Last of Us is a similar case. Squint at your computer monitor while you're watching the demo from yesterday's press conferences and you could easily mistake Naughty Dog's latest title for Uncharted. It begins with a richly detailed, crumbled environment being navigated by instantly relatable characters who all move with terrific, fluid animation. Sound familiar? It's certainly a wild departure from Uncharted in terms of its bleak focus on surviving the postapocalypse, but the underpinnings have Naughty Dog written all over them.

Beyond: Two Souls is a little bit more of a wild card considering we didn't get to see much gameplay--the press conference presentation was almost entirely made up of story cinematics. But look back to Heavy Rain, and you suddenly remember that story is far and away the biggest focus of everything Quantic Dream does. If David Cage came onstage and didn't demonstrate a new game with a dark, mature, and thoroughly bizarre story, you'd wonder what the hell was going on. That sort of unpredictability and unique storytelling is baked into the studio's identity. It's what Quantic Dream does.

So while each of these games left us breathing a sigh of relief for the future of new IPs after the day's marathon of sequels, prequels, and spin-offs, you'd be hard-pressed to call any of them a significant departure from what earned each studio success in the past.

But is that such a bad thing? Absolutely not. In fact, a lot of publishers could take a lesson from what Sony and Ubisoft are doing here. In an economic climate where introducing a new franchise is seen as such a dangerous endeavor, companies can minimize that risk dramatically by isolating what it is that a studio does best and using that as the foundation for new IP. Brand names are important when it comes to selling games, but video game titles aren't the only brands in the world; the studios that create them can be selling points as well.

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189 comments
Jyakotu
Jyakotu

If anything, let's just be glad that there were some new exciting IPs to try because the rest of E3 just seemed like nothing more than sequels or reboots. I'm so excited to try The Last of Us. It's a MUST BUY for me.!

ZomDie420
ZomDie420

The Last of Us look so awesome you could see the eyes go bloodshot and skin turn gray from that Stranglehold he had him in..... Can't Wait To Buy This Game!!!!

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

*sigh* I should be watching the show by now, not arguing with "art appreciator of games". ROFL

ZOD777
ZOD777

Anything done by a developer is going to have recognizable undertones and art direction within future projects.  You can spot a Jackson Pollock painting, or a Picasso, and even a Van Gogh. It is just the style in which they paint. They are still different paintings, but you can easily tell who the artist is.  I don't think that using similar style or gameplay mechanics mean that they are playing it safe with new IPs, it just means that their work is stellar and stands out so much that you can easily point at who the developer is without prior knowledge. 

deadpeasant
deadpeasant

I agree completely with this article! On watch dogs, might i suggest that theres a little bit of shared DNA with Deus Ex in there aswell? As for the last of us, the first minute is very nathan drake-ish in every way.

GD1551
GD1551

Really? This article makes no sense to me, the complaint about Watch dogs was simply mind boggling. The Watch dogs may have some influence from Splinter Cell (which in turn has influence from AC) and AC but the fact of the matter is, that makes it even more ambitious since they have to incorporate both sets of gameplay styles into a fully open world. TLOU looks like uncharted but doesn't play like it.. enough said on that matter, not sure how that's "playing it safe" at all.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I see no problem with this. I'm getting pretty tired of the sequel focused business model we have at the moment. This is a happy mid-point between reducing the number of sequels we get and brand new, built from scratch creations. I'd still like the odd fresh creation every now-and-then.

fanaticsm
fanaticsm

i cant believe gamespot actually pays u to write this stuff.......after reading your article, i should be saying ''hmmm....maybe Shaun McInnis should try acting or game developing since he is only writing articles....something he IS supposed to be doing"

maybe firaxis should develop an FPS and stop work on the newest expansion to Civilization V.....after all, whats the use of delivering something u are actually the best at?????

 

TO ALL GAMESPOT WRITERS: please stop complaining just for the sake of complaining.......gaming is great the way it is....no one asked for your opinion.....gamespot.com was a much better site when it focused on reviews...maybe its time to go back to the basics......

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

Good article but let all agree nothing truly original anymore. Hell look at braid it looks different but it just Mario with a twist. >:)

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

What a weak argument. Shaun, would you have preferred it if The Last of Us didn't have terrific and fluid animation and had unrelatable, closed off characters? Would you have preferred it if Watch Dogs was completely linear instead? Is this what's considered to be original? To be honest I think you're picking at straws here. If this was the case basically nothing in any medium would be considered original.

Halloll
Halloll

its true, all Ubisoft games feels the same.

cellblock1138
cellblock1138

It is too bad... no one is happy people complain about no new IPs and when there are they are not NEW enough.... lame...

vaibhavp
vaibhavp

New ips are dangerous because nobody knows that name uptill now. In that sense these are as dangerous as they can be. They offer mature experiences and thats a good think. Even if studio making them has certain style does not mean they are not new or fresh experience. All three are day one purchase for me unless they score in terrible category.

Jd1680a
Jd1680a

I dont believe its healthy for the gaming industry to be stuck with only sequels. New IPs give us new art designs, concepts and storylines making it look fresh. Assassins Creed is one example of a game series was great when it first came out, but now its getting old and stale.

Fandango_Letho
Fandango_Letho

I'm at the point where I couldn't care less about David Cage and his ambitions. Indigo Prophecy turned out to be some massive joke mid-way through, although it had a brilliant beginning. Heavy Rain had good ideas, but playing it was a chore to me and the replay value was next to none. Third time's the charm, maybe?

fede_pyro
fede_pyro

i was disappointed when naughty dog never showed a "uncharted racing" game

reindertot
reindertot

Shaun, it looks like Gamespot make you write a minimal amount of articles per week, hehehe.

 

Of Course Watch_Dogs have Ubi Montreal Written all over it! it was CREATED by them!  I know i'm sounding like a douchebag, but i don't understand your point.

 

I mean, it's obvious. Videogames are pieces of art and craft created by a team that have their style and aesthetic.

 

Is like expecting pragmatism and documentary look in a David Lynch movie. Or a no-violent Tarantino one.

 

93jas07
93jas07

 @chilly-chill can deal with that if the gameplay is solid, uncharted 1,2,3 are all great games...

Thunderstarter
Thunderstarter

 @GD1551  You missed the point. He wasn't complaining, he was just pointing out the similarities. It's "playing it safe" because the devs are sticking to their guns instead of going wide and out there for something they haven't tried before. It's safe because since they're playing to their strengths to start something new and interesting you're guaranteed a stronger game. This article was praising the devs for their smart moves, not slamming them for being monotonous and boring and creating the same game over and over and over and over again (*cough* Call of Duty *cough*).

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@fanaticsm What are you talking about?! The man isn't suggesting studios should start producing different forms of media. He isn't even suggesting they produce a different genre of game. He's just saying that publishers don't need to keep developers on the same franchises from the moment they're conceived, that they can build on what they've already established by giving it a new IP. I would ask if you don't want to hear other people's opinions then why read the article, but judging by how badly you understand the point of it I question whether you even have.

raycey
raycey

 @shani_boy101 Did you even read the whole article? The last paragraph starts with "But is that such a bad thing? Absolutely not." Where is he bashing what Ubisoft and Sony have done? Where is he saying a developer's artstyle shouldn't cross-over to new IP's? What's wrong with drawing similarities between a developer's games? His article is valid, your argument is not.

brok
brok

 @buccomatic  Please tell us more about what makes a game not suck. Especially at the concept stage, before funding, schedules, physics, gameplay parameters and graphics have even been worked out. Please tell us how you decide before even starting that 10 million people will want your games, and what exactly you have in them to achieve that.

 

Most of all, we're all dying to know how you'd take a games company from complete obscurity to fame and fortune by only making 50+ hour AAA titles. How exactly do you plan to pay your employees in the meantime?

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

 @reindertot 

 

you mean "Stream-lined vibe" part?

 

remember Quantic Dream first product: Omikron The Nomad Soul [1999] It had different vibe than their recent products, let's say Heavy Rain. I mean it's totally, totally whole different product.

 

Ubi, Quantic Dream, or Naughty Dog doing the same formula over and over simply because it works to the consumers, (and it gives them the money.) 

 

and btw, movies and video games is whole different medium 

you can't compare David Lynch or Tim Burton signature with whole Ubi Development Team.

(I mean with lay-off and that sort of thing.) video games is more dynamic you know?

 

and I don't understand why people keep calling video game as an art.

I mean, art doesn't do their work for MONEY!! or consider fans feedback (Mass Effect 3.) and fixing their products. I mean wtf!

 

=/

 

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

 @reindertot I'm with you, bro.  I can't believe Shaun is so shocked that studios that have been together a long ass time would have their own footprint.  When you work with people for a long time, bonds of familiarity and comfort are established, and people start figuring out what one another like.  "Innovation," is the result of creative freedom, but it is also the result of asking "what if?"  The "what if?" question is clear in Watch Dogs and The Last of Us, and that's what makes these games so heavily interesting.  It's what's going to make Bungie's first post-Halo game interesting.

 

The fact is that, be there new ideas or not, it's a huge risk to put out anything that doesn't have an established name on the box.  That's part of the reason Nintendo's been so reticent to do so for more than a decade, and why MS and EA are terrified to do so now.

 

Sony and Ubi Soft should be commended for their willingness to step out and take that risk so late.  Instead, we have cynical media bastards trying to rain on the parade because it doesn't lend credence to their narrative.

EvilMonkie3
EvilMonkie3

 @RobDev uhhhhh easily read, not surprising in the least, boring, stale, unoriginal, and tedious. uncharted is one of the most boring games ive ever played.

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @otaviogalileu

 The long reply which also include that thing about LOL and *facepalm* is RUDE? And your accusation: "just to give your argument more depth" without any proof that that was my intention when I used that word? Does it appear in your inbox?

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @otaviogalileu

 Heh, not to mentioned that I post my reply to you twice already! Yet it doesn't appeared. They seems to eat it up. GlitchSpot strikes again.

Did it appeared in your inbox?

fanaticsm
fanaticsm

 @PlatinumPaladin nopes.....i just comment to raise my level.....i mean c'mon, who wants to stay at level 14 and who has the time to understand articles.....man.....should i spend time playing games or trying to understand what people are saying abt games....sheeesh......lighten up man......does gamespot pay u to defend it's writers?????

reindertot
reindertot

 @Ladiesman17 Those team have mutated in both people and ideas. I don't think Quantic Dream team is swimming on Heavy Rain's money so they have to "repeat the formula" for a "moneymaker" (I imagine a Funk Song with "jason! Jason!" sampled).

 

The Artistic Director or the writers, all of them have their unique style.Judging by E3, I don't think anybody is trying to innovate more that Sony and Ubisoft. (and the small developers too)

 

I`m not (alone) the one comparing videogames with movies... both industries are. Check Ghibli Studios, Guillermo Del Toro and Gore Verbinski doing (or trying) Videogames and comparing both narrative worlds all the time. Both arts are community ones. Both arts works in communion with other arts (music, acting, ilustration, writing). Of course they are alike.

 

"art doesn't do their work for MONEY!!" oh, you... fool of you to believe that Cronenberg doesn't cash the producer check or the dvd royalties... Is art (music, writing, acting, ilustration, etc) with a profit. Sometimes a great one, sometimes no.

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @otaviogalileu

 I post it twice. Damn GlitchSpot!!

No. *facepalm* doesn't effect me. I've been on a more rough and rude argument.

I'm used to it. Well, let's just agree to disagree then.

I'm going to watch E3 Live Show, Dishonored is in it now!! :D

otaviogalileu
otaviogalileu

 @Whitebloodsun Apparently not.I didn't say it was your intention, but It sure looked as such to me. Since I find it rude to "facepalm" someone for the sake of argument. Don't you?

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@fanaticsm Nope. They pay me to tear apart stupid comments. That's my game. You were an end-of-level boss. First level: big on ignorance but real easy. If you're giving up your oh-so-valuable gaming time to comment on news articles then it seems like a waste to not understand them. It's a service I provide.

otaviogalileu
otaviogalileu

@d_broken_soul I don't think interactivity is the problem at all. It actually helps the viewer to be immersed. Winning something couldn't be a factor since the way each of us are exposed to art is different. And by the way, there is such a thing as Interactive Art, you guys should look it up! I've actually been to a gallery in London that specializes in such types of art. The interactivity makes each viewer also an artist in a way, since they can create their different visions and go through different paths to reach a distinct understanding of what the original artist had in mind. Maybe the problem is that when analysing games we all have different ideas and different games in mind when validating out opinions. I for one think of Journey, Dear Esther, Heavy Rain, Limbo, Okami and others when I think of games as art (even though I consider them all to be, even if the intention wasn't the focus on artistic interpretation). But anyway, I'll be leaving the debate! I am going to catch a plane in a few hours. Going to Oz! Nice discussing with you guys. Godspeed!

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @otaviogalileu  No. I only agree to stop debating with you. Not with him. You're the one who started debating with me again, after I ceased my argument with you. 

Since you're already here, I'm just gonna give you this: Search this,  "The Top Seven Most Evil Games By Games Radar".

As it so happens, they started the first game description with this very word: "Are games art?"...what a coincidence. LOL

otaviogalileu
otaviogalileu

@Whitebloodsun Yes, I did propose that! But since d_broken_soul raised some interesting ideas we both came back. I still agree that we disagree. I know I'll never change your mind and you'll never change mine. So if you don't want to debate any longer, then just stop!

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @d_broken_soul  And what a surprised! They start the description of the first game with this word, "Are games art?". Hohoho....funny coincidence.

reindertot
reindertot

 @d_broken_soul  @Whitebloodsun hahaha well, i just went to sleep! sorry for that! that`s the beauty of internet. The debate begins with my comment, but a third one (that make good points) decides that is time to ended it. Nice, self-esteem is not a problem for you, hehehehe (just kidding).

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

@d_broken_soul

No. They wasn't VN. They are much more worse that they got banned. I don't know whether GS will banned me if I wrote the games name though.

Just search "The Top Seven Most Evil Games By Games Radar". Although R***pl*y wasn't in it. Hahaha

 

d_broken_soul
d_broken_soul

 @Whitebloodsun  @reindertot @otaviogalileu 

 

Oh, I also want to add that it seems the word "art" has been overused and exaggerated since God knows when. We have Killing Art, Art of War, Art of Deception, even stealing is considered an art *pointing at street magician*. It seems that art has been misinterpreted again and again across the history and language barrier which ends up with the meaning of art really vague. This in turns become the very things that started this long debate.

d_broken_soul
d_broken_soul

 @Whitebloodsun 

Good point. I already read some of them on your message though :)

 

If you are afraid of dev use "art" as an excuse, you can see Movie industry as a preview of what would happen if Game is considered art. I would say that at best, Video game will be looked as an art just like how people see movie as an art. Though they protect them self with "art", people would still despise the failure/mistakes/whatever they did wrong. Director nowadays are like that. Sometime they want to put something great, but somehow people and critics don't like it. Though they said "we are making it that way," the fact that people don't like it still there.

 

And are the Japanese Game that you mention by any chance Visual Novels?

For these 18+ H-Games, it position is really at the same level as Erotic Novels, or maybe porn movies. Please note that most popular so called 18+ Visual Novels have great story, drama, voice acting, and limited 18+ scene. (the 18+ scenes are more like obligatory sex scene on action movie). And these kind of Visual Novels are above the other games which focused on the 18+ scene.

 

I just want to say that, every media (art or not) will have their own kind of sex scene. The examples are listed above. The great painters of the old time also paint several nude paintings (and some paintings also involved intercourse). I don't know what they want to convey back then, but today these are considered art. ^^

 

I didn't want to open the very debate that I proposed to close. I just want to say that, all things that you are scared of are already happening and have happens in many kind of art. (Used Music CD being sold, Erotic novel, Movie director using art as an excuse) And remember, the creator of an art product, however bad their product is perceived by others, usually still called them an art.

 

And I'm curious, what style of me that you like?

 

 @reindertot 

Well, seems like you miss the train. I was hoping that you join the debate again before I proposed to end this. The debate is getting long and tiring and none of the guys willing to put down their believe. It is best to settle this with middle point, a point which currently considered as a accepted point of view.

reindertot
reindertot

 @Whitebloodsun  @otaviogalileu hahahaha ok. (I imagine you saying that in fetal position, screaming at a mirror or something)(It's a joke, obviously. But it shows that the people making videogames see themselves as entertainers AND artists, a valid thing to say in this debate)

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @d_broken_soul    Oh, and my last one. Revelation 2012 is actually a very good artistic games. People just didn't understands the artistic view in it just like people didn't understands those weird and confusing artistic movies that has won countless awards. It wasn't a bad games, it's deliberately make itself bad to embrace the dark side of art. People just doesn't understand this art, just like some people doesn't understands dark comedy. :)

The End.

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @d_broken_soul  I'll have to say that I like your style. :)

However, if I'm playing Doom, Manhunt, Postal or Soldiers of Fortunes while thinking that it was art, then that would be awkward. 

And keep in mind that those in Japan had those 18+ H-games, and by having the word games they will also claim that it was art. Remember the controversial R***pla*? Hohoho...

Also, when games becomes art, dev might use art as a shield when they makes a blunder. Example, you can't criticize this game like that or like this since it was the creator artistic view. You are just an appreciator only.

Or, this game is like this not because we (dev) make a mistake, but because this is our artistic view. You are only an appreciator, do you have the sufficient professional knowledge to criticize a gaming art?

Because if you don't, you're just the same as a normal people whose trying to criticize an abstract painting without any understanding about abstract painting. (abstract paintings for me is, weird.)

And, buying a game then sold it as a used game is an insult towards art. Where is your respect and appreciation towards art?

Let us wish that games becomes art. :)

d_broken_soul
d_broken_soul

 @Whitebloodsun @otaviogalileu 

Please understand that the games that I said as "Games is an interactive movie" are "Today's Games". And to make sure, when I ask you to elaborate why you consider music is an art is NOT because I think music is not an art. It just a way to understand what is art by your definition. I would kill myself if I think music as general is not art.

 

I am saying that before we could decide whether Video Games an art or not, one should elaborate what is art. Art is subjective, like otaviogalileu said. This is true. Person A could consider Bieber's song is an art while the person B would said it's not an art and person C said that it's a disgrace to art and goes as far as person D saying that it's a trash (no offense). This example can be observed easily on everyday basis on any art subject. This lead us to the fact that whether Video Game is an art or not ends as a subjective view.

 

And before anyone argue that Bieber's song is a specific art product of "Music" Category and Video games is a category, not a product, I would said that this is only to show that art is subjective.

 

 

@oaviogalileu

I should say that Whitebloodsun got a point here. So far we haven't seen any form of art that could be won. As far as I know, those who enjoyed an artistic product (a song, a movie, a painting, etc.) have never involved in the art itself (except they are fellow artists or clients who pay them).

 

So, is interactivity become a road block for Video Games to be considered an art? The answer is we don't know yet. We haven't seen an art that can be interactive at the same time. But, everything always have the first time. It is still possible people doesn't care that Game can be won and considered as an art.

 

@all

I must ask, was movie considered as an art on it's early years? Frankly I don't know, but I'm quite sure it is wasn't considered an art on it's early days. So, why don't we give Video Games a few years before we conclude on this? Video Games is a relatively young industry started in 1980s. And Video Game as we know it today (Story, Good Acting, Music, etc) didn't exist until middle of 1990s.

 

The definition of art itself very vague. I was checking on wikipedia before and it turns out the definition given there is taken from many sources and have a slight difference on each of them. By definition A, games can be considered an art, but by definition B it is not. Interesting, huh?

 

As I didn't study on the theory of art, I couldn't say for sure. But for me personally, video game is an art (I'm getting this after discussing here and went into deep thinking myself). Remember, this is MY way of thinking. It's not a fact, it's a subjective point of view.

 

Seeing as both party couldn't settle on one shared vision and keep pressing their way of thinking to the other, I propose to end this with one shared vision that "Art is subjective, therefore currently whether Video Game is an art or not relies on how one define Art itself."

 

 

 

 

PS: For further reading about art and it's definition, I'm suggesting you to read wikipedia article on Art and The Art (Yes, it's a different articles). It's sure helping me to consider Video Game as an art.

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @otaviogalileu  And I thought you're the one who proposed the agree to disagree thinggs. Yet, you keep talking to me even though I didn't reply to you anymore.

You didn't uphold it, do you?  

 

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @otaviogalileu  @d_broken_soul

 This is what happens when you want to combine game and art.

When exactly could you win movies as a viewers? This is not about winning movies ticket or DVD. You can't win when watching movies! You can't win when listening to music.

You can win when playing games because it's..games.

You wrote: "because you "won" then its not art?"

When exactly did you "win" as a viewers and appreciator of art?

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @otaviogalileu  @d_broken_soul 

Finishing the games in winning itself. If it wasn't, then that wasn't game. Altough, there isn't any specific reward for winning it.

And just for your record, I've never said that game couldn't become art because it was in an intertainment form.

What I said is that game wasn't art and it will always be an intertaintment. But that doesn't mean gamet couldn't become art because it was an intertainment. This is two different things.

otaviogalileu
otaviogalileu

 @Whitebloodsun  @d_broken_soul And because you finish something, because you achieve something then it is not art? So if I could win a movie, then it would be not art?

The whole story it tried to transmit and the feelings it provided you, they would just be ignored, because you "won" then its not art? 

 

I don't see how that's even relevant.

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @otaviogalileu  @d_broken_soul  

Sorry? Haha (Nelson style)

The difference between games and art is that we can win in a game as a viewers. My points still stands.

You wrote: "There are games in which you reach the end, but don't "win" anything"

When exactly do we win somethings when we played video games? There's always...nothings...other than the credits. (and the achivements of some sort.)

otaviogalileu
otaviogalileu

 @d_broken_soul  @Whitebloodsun  @reindertot 

 

I agree with you b_broken_soul.The way a lot of video games work in recent times is a lot like an interactive movie. And we can see the epitome of that trend with Quantic Dream's games.

And even when they're not trying to be a movie, as with older games, they still try to convey some kind of feeling to the player. Be it isolation, horror, wander, a sense of discovery, and many other common or uncommon feelings.

 

And yes, art is not easily definable. For that reason, since none of us has or will ever have the qualities necessary to give a definite definition of art, we may never reach a point in which we will all say that video games are of are not art.

 

But I do believe they are, because for me (see, the very nature of art is subjectivity, so we can - and should - all have different opinions about it) art is about conveying a feeling. But not only that, it has to be an expression of inspiration through creation.

 

And I believe games fit that bill perfectly. Even your run of the mill unoriginal shooter does that. And that's the point, nobody said art has to be good! With capitalism we can clearly see that art can be monetized entertainment too. As I said earlier, the fact that games are entertainment is not a defining factor for it not being art. Music, movies and even paintings can also serve as entertainment. And they have been major forms of entertainment for a long time, this is not a capitalist development.

 

And I'm sorry Whitebloodsun but the fact that we can win something does not make it "not art". In a game we can also embrace the ideas and feelings, with the difference that we are much more immersed in the experience than in a film. The interactivity (which can be present in art) is a way to make the player be more invested in your story, it makes the setting evolve into something consuming and present.Besides the term "win" is very vague in itself. There are games in which you reach the end, but don't "win" anything by the standard definition of the term. 

 

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @d_broken_soul

 There is a particular reasons why my explaination wasn't satisfactory.

My English vocabulary is very limited since it was my third language.

It's hard for me to convey what I want to say into words.

d_broken_soul
d_broken_soul

 @Whitebloodsun 

Yes, there's absolutely a difference indeed. But the way you explained it is not satisfactory. You see, I was saying that Game is movie with interactivity. I mean, you strip a game of it's interactivity, then it's practically a movie. Winning a movie is absolutely impossible, because movie is not interactive. But, is it right to exclude video game from art category just because you can win it? Winning a game is basically the way to end the story. I've said that games put users in the shoes of protagonist, right? In movie, protagonist faced with huge problem before we get to see how the story ends. This is the same as in the game. Protagonist is also facing a huge problem. And the protagonist is controlled by the user. So, I think the difference is not that much.

 

Let me give you a suggestion. If you argue that "Interactivity" is what make a Video Games not an art (that's how your comment imply), your argument would be more solid and hard to counter. But, then again, you need to consider the reason behind that argument of yours.

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @d_broken_soul  There is a difference. We can watch a movie. We can understads it. We can embrace the idea and feelings. But we as viewers can't win a movie, can we? 

 

 

d_broken_soul
d_broken_soul

 @Whitebloodsun  @reindertot  @otaviogalileu 

This discussion intrigue me. Both sides really thick headed on their opinion. Me myself currently in the middle road. I am thinking that video game is a new form of art, then again, I'm still in the part of trying to figure, why I think Game is an art.

 

This, my friend, leads to a single simple yet extremely important question. What is an art? Or to some extension, what makes something considered as an art?

 

I mean, you could press on that Music is an art but Video Game is not. So, you should elaborate, why you consider music as an art and why Video Game is not? In what aspect.

 

The same can be asked to the supporter of "Video Game is an Art" Movement. Why do you insist Video Game is an art? Then, it leads to "What do you think of Video Games that makes you consider that it is an art form?"

 

For me myself, an art is an object, physical (paint, sculpture) or not (music), that able to convey a specific feeling and/or experience to those who view/listen these objects.

 

My definition is VERY general. By my definition, anything could be an art. I bet some of you will want to argue and discuss about this definition, but let leave it as it is because it is how I think about art, not a universally accepted definition.

 

I want to show that different people may define art differently, which created this argument in the first place.

 

Aside from definition, I want to point that in my way of thinking, it's kind of silly (no offense) to consider Video Game is not an art when you yourself claiming that movie is an art form. By how I look at today's Video Games, one could argue that "Video Game is a movie with interactive element." Video Games create a story and put the consumers (i.e. players) inside the story. It almost the same as "Choose Your Own Adventure" books that can be found easily on the bookstore, though in an entirely different level of interaction and immersion. Games is a movie that put the consumer in the shoes of the protagonist, not just a mere spectator who sit on the side line. If we see Video Games like this, then Video Games is just an extension of movies.

 

So, what aspect of Movies that make it an art? And what aspect of Video Games that either it lacks of or it have that make it not an art?

 

PS: Somehow in the end my comment feels like a supporter of "Video Game is an art" side....

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @reindertot  @otaviogalileu 

So, you're saying that by having an ARTIST in a game makes it an art? 

18+ H-game from Japan, like the controversial *R* one that was banned in US and Europe, also has all of those ARTIST word in it's credits. Since having them ARTIST makes the games an art, that means 18+ H-game is also art.

How charming. :)

reindertot
reindertot

 @otaviogalileu  @WhitebloodsunJust a tiny amusing tip. I just finished my New Game + in Batman: Arkham City. I looked the credits: Background ARTISTS, MUSICIANS, ACTORS, Character ARTISTS, Design ARTISTS, Special Effects ARTISTS, ART director, Environment ARTISTS, Concept ARTISTS,  frintend ARTISTS, asset ARTISTS, lighting ARTISTS, Technical ARTISTS.. and so forth. What the hell did they do in this game? NOT ART? 

otaviogalileu
otaviogalileu

 @Whitebloodsun I believe music is art, but if the sole purpose of entertainment is what makes something, for you, not art, then Justin Bieber wouldn't be. But if he is doing music, even if for the purpose of entertainment, isn't your statement contradictory? 

 

I am elaborating, for about 5 or six comments, why I believe video games are art. You just stated something is art and expects everyone to agree with you!

And in fact I am a musician. I have been playing the piano since I was seven years old. I have studied music for several years. Not to mention that I am also a writer for my college's chronicles paper.

I have also studied Art History, and I know for a fact that music has been a form of entertainment for as long as it has existed. Bards aren't an invention of the twentieth century fantasy writers, they were a form of entertainment long before even the piano was invented. And this fact does not discredit its art capabilities.

 

And I am not talking about the console, the PC or the television, I am talking about the game, the medium in which all of those other art forms come together to create an experience. Not the device in which it is reproduced. 

 

When I say that the fact that we are discussing the viability of video games being art makes them such is because one of the main properties of art is to be discussed. 

 

And by the way, no need to be rude. I have been laying out my arguments politely and all you need to do is disagree if you must. It is not necessary to use so many "LOL"s and "facepalm" just to give your argument more depth. In reality, it doesn't. 

 

 

 

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @otaviogalileu 

*facepalm*

Well, I can say the same to you. The simple fact that we are here discussing whether video games is worthy of being an art, I believe, makes them not and very questionable.

 

I say that it isn't art. Than it isn't! For I can't see it as such and I don't think that it is more than an intertainment, even if you can. LOL

This is great.  x)

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @otaviogalileu

You wrote: "music has always had entertainment as a prime interest too."

And how do you know? Music exist a thousand years ago.

Part of why Journey aren't equal to Mozart is because Journey wasn't an art.

Oh, games is an art is pretty vague too. Elaborate? Why don't you become a musician first? Then I will elaborate.

Of course it doesn't changes anything since they are all artist. Saying that just means you doesn't understands what I wrote. "Music, movies, and games." <---these aren't artist. This is the platform. THIS changes things.

I LOL when you pull out the Justin card. LOL Why?

I remember you wrote: "Both COD and Journey are forms of art". Why are you asking this question then? Do you not believe that JB music is also an art? The same as you believe that COD is an art no matter how activision is milking it? Hrmp...?? :)

 

Heavy Rain isn't the art. The music is. If Iphone can play music, is Iphone an art? LOL 

otaviogalileu
otaviogalileu

 @Whitebloodsun The simple fact that we are here discussing the viability of video games as art, I believe, makes them such. 

 

I say it is art. Than it is! For I see it as such and I can relate to its references and nuances, even if you cannot. 

otaviogalileu
otaviogalileu

 @Whitebloodsun  @reindertot Movies used to be pure entertainment. And music has always had entertainment as a prime interest too.

Journey is not equal to Mozart, because it is not trying to be. Both are different, and both succede in what they are trying to do.And to point out that music is art just because it is is very vague and condescending, why don't you try to elaborate?

The context of individual or a group of artists doesn't change anything. Movies are made by groups of people with varying skills and talents, but at the end of the day it receives just one name and is usually connected to one director or studio, in the same way as games.

And at the end of the day it does not matter for whom the product is made, but by whom and how. If you believe music is art, then any kind of music is art. But do you believe Justin Bieber is producing his music with the intent of it being art or to provide entertainment to his fans (while they provide financial means to him)? 

 

If you separate video games in the various sectors that are a part of them, like the graphical design, music, acting, writing, then would you consider each of them, individually, to be art forms? I mean, Heavy Rain has a great art style, with great character and environmental designs, so the graphics had some art design incorporated to it. Then its musical score, which captures the desperation of the situation perfectly. Then there are the actors, that did a great job bringing to life some great characters. Then there is the writing, that tells a great story. Do you think that those things, separated, are art? Of just because they are part of a video game they cease to be? 

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

Why not? They're both magnificent, right?

 

It is true that the world recognized music, movies and others as an art form. And game as an intertaintment.

reindertot
reindertot

I know you´re mocking us and being condescendent, but if you keep "equalizing" art manifestations (wich i think is a terrible mistake) you should at least have some context. Compare whole teams with other career artist, not a single videogame to a legend (like Elvis). you`re lost in the surface. Fine by me if you want to keep debating about one word ("only"). But you`re deflecting, that was the center of one of your arguments. The Universal acclaim.  

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @reindertot

 "Only"? When did I used the word "Only"? Could you point it out for me? I was usually very careful about this kind of stuff when I wrote since I don't want to imply something that I didn't meant too. :?

 

The Beatles are musician. Music is an art. They might not accept The Beatles, but they still accept music.

Video games aren't made for people with incredible talents. Video games are made for people who wants to enjoyed it for fun or experiencing something that they couldn't in real life.

2040? If the world doesn't end in 2012 that is, hehehe.

Why? For me, video games are just pure intertainment. That's all.

I'm a musician. Or used to be. LOL

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @otaviogalileu

1. Damn those GlitchSpot. I hate this new comment system. :(

2. So, Journey is equal to Mozart. And Heavy Rain is equal to Elvis. Okay, that's fine by me. LOL

3a. I don't think I did mistaken things. I read their review, I know.

3b. Contemporary music is still art because it's music. No matter what people say.

4. True. But you're talking in the context of an individual artist. Unless you wrote, "Universal Acclaim is not a factor to consider when realizing the art potential of anything. If it was so we would never have considered music, movies, paintings, and literature as an art,". Since, I'm talking about the whole things which is "games". 

otaviogalileu
otaviogalileu

 @Whitebloodsun @reindertot 

1. Its not my reply function, its GameSpot's.

2. I just did, in two occasions. But here are more: Journey, Mass Effect 1, Out Of This World, Portal, Half-Life, Zelda: A Link to the Past, Enslaved, Shenmue, Indigo Prophecy, Heavy Rain.  Not to mention many others. They succede in being artistic not because they are beautiful, but because they pass on distinct feelings to the player and a rich storyline. 

3. I believe you are mistaking two things. The "Graphics" section of every review is relevant to both the technical point of view as it is to the artistic point of view. Both GameSpot and IGN said so many times, that this criteria is based on both aspects. Besides, its not because reviews don't take the artistic nuances of a game into consideration that such game is ruled out as art altogether. Art is not specific in itself. Its confusing sometimes and incites discussion. Its not because the things that would considered to be art are separated in many categories that the product ceses to be an art form. 

Contemporary music (Rock, Pop, Baroque Pop, Rap, Dance, Electronic, Punk, etc) has been ruled out as art in the middle of the XX century, when new styles were emerging, and some styles still are today, because they are new, strange and unconventional. The same thing happened to films, that were viewed (just as games) as only a form of entertainment. 

4. Definition is not a part of the appreciation of art. And I am still not certain about what you mean by "defining itself more clearly". Games, just like movies, music and novels, can be a way to transmit a story. And society is not the defining factor of art, just like reindertot said, Universal Acclaim is not a factor to consider when realizing the art potential of anything. If it was so we would never have considered Monet an artist, based on the views of his contemporaries. The same thing applies to Picasso, Dostoyevsky, Saramago, the Beatles, Nina Simone, Fritz Lang, and so many others.

 

 

reindertot
reindertot

 @Whitebloodsun  @otaviogalileu To say that something is art only because it has "universal acclaim" it's a dangerous falacy, that won't let new art forms to born and develop. Beware of that. 

 

For some, in the 60's, The Beatles was just "horrible noise". Videogames are very new as an art form. And still, very strong about it. It doesn't matter if IGN makes reviews focusing in tech aspects (gamespot, for instance, makes more artistic reviews, for that matter), Rolling Stone stills makes music reviews and doesn't give a album "art points" or not.Videogames are made for people with incredible talent. They made art. Check soundtracks, check ilustration, check the writing, check the performances. It's a relatively new art form, but believe me, is art. I hope you`ll remember this comments in 2040 or something, hehehe.What riddles me more is why you (Whitebloodsun) are so close about that possibility. Is almost an offense to consider videogames as art form? i don't get why.

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @otaviogalileu  

1. Your reply function doesn't work at all. The notification doesn't appear in my inbox.

2. I shall repeat my question: "Can you showed me even one game worthy of comparison or at least put in the same row with the great poets, filmmakers, novelists, composers, painters and poets?" Or at least, their artwork.

3. In a game review by critics, take IGN criteria as an example, IGN judged a games based on their gameplay, replay value, sound, graphic, and presentation. Where's the art factor? Graphic, gameplay, and replay value aren't the art. Presentation is somewhat vague for it's meaning. And "sound" is too general that they could refer to the music score in the game, or they could also refer to how realistic the machine gun sounded. (realistic machine gun sounds effect is art?) 

This is very different from movies review and music review, where's the art factor in the reviews is pretty clear enough.

4. If games wants to be put at the same place as movies, music, and painting as an art, it needs to defines itself more clearly. Movies and music (I will emphasize on this two since they are also part intertainment) are already accepted by the society as an art. The society has a cleared picture to recognized this two things is an art. It's true that movies and music is subjectives and each people views it differently. But, both movies and music still have a universal structures and guidelines on their artistic aspect and how to viewed them.

Unlike games which is very vagues in their art aspect. Like the last part of your writing, you used the words "for me". One of the most important aspects of an art work in games, are just your personal opinion. It wasn't universal at all, thus, the society will not be able to recognized games as an art like they accepted movies and music as an art.

otaviogalileu
otaviogalileu

@Whitebloodsun @reindertot Sorry to intrude in your conversation, but I have to say a few things! In any type of art that is also used as entertainment and monetized because of it we can see lots of exemples made only for the intent of revenue. In music we can arguably see a mirriad of products made for the money, with no thought and no expression of any kind of feeling other than a fabricated sense of "feeling good" made for the sole purpose of captivating the masses. In movies that translates to the whole visual effects gallore, and while we can actually see great artistic movies with great visuals most of the hollywood offspring of extreme CGI effects showcase poor storylines and undeveloped characters. That is also the case with video games. They are art, not because they are made for that purpose, but because they are a concatenation of other art mediums. Even the bad art products are still art, the differentiation is in their ability to translate into feeling and to present a worthwile story/mithology. Both COD and Journey are forms of art, but COD has entertainment and revenue as a more clear goal, while Journey tries to translate the feeling of wander, isolation, adveture, discovery. The question is not if players actually realize the art potential of a game, but if the potential is there, even if not noticed. And that is also true for music and movies, both can privide artistic experiences, but most people may not realize it. The ones that do can relate to the artists in a different, deeper way. For exemple, I'll never forget the last scene on Mass Effect 3, deemed "The Stargazer". It caused me to feel a great sense of nostalgia and wonder while it connected me to one of my favorite movies, "Contact", through both its visuals of a father and a child looking at the stars and the great music score, that put me right back into that vibe of discovery the first game did. It never left my mind, and that is one of the most important aspects of an art work, for me.

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @reindertot

 No. Not technical aspect. More like, "is my graphic card can play this game" kinda tech. LOL

reindertot
reindertot

 @Whitebloodsun Well, that is your case, not mine. In my case, when i discuss about videogames with friends, the technical aspects are there too, but we also talk about story, writting, acting, etc. For me the line dividing Cinema and videogames is blurring. I also talk about technical aspects in cinema.

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @reindertot

 English aren't my first language either. :)

And oh, when we talk about movies or music, we will be talking or for the better word, arguing about the story, the dialouge, the acting and so on. All of which still stays in the art category.

But, when we talk about games, it will always be about graphic, gameplay, how many hours long, open world or not, and so on. All of which belongs to the user friendly, personal preference and tech category. Not about art. 

Although sometimes, gamers will talk about the games lore and storyline, but that's just for the sake of better understanding the story, or more than often, debating a different viewpoints and clash of opinions regarding the storyline. This isn't the act of an art appreciator. If gamers can be called as an art appreciator.

reindertot
reindertot

 @Whitebloodsun Sure. But you won't accept it anyway. My conception of art is very open and is not limited to the "holy names". That, however, doesn't make your point wrong or mine right. Is art. It appeals to emotions and subjective criteria. From the narrative and treatment of violence and world domination displayed in all Metal Gear Solid Saga, to the incredible and cynical view on social utopia in Bioshock, examples of artistic geniality in videogames is common. I also see that in the Assassin's Creed reinterpretation of history, the paranoic storytelling of humanity and technology in Portal 1-2, and the solemnity of isolation displayed in ico and Shadow of the Colossus. And so forth. Sometimes, is just a part of the pack that moves me, like, for example, the art direction in American McGee's Alice (and Madness Returns), or the Original Score of Mass Effect. And that's valid, too. It happens with movies. There are a lot of people, for example, that can't believe that Tarantino films are considered "art".Sorry for my bad english. English is not my first language.

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @reindertot Can you showed me even one game worthy of comparison or at least put in the same row with the great poets, filmmakers, novelists, composers, painters and poets?

reindertot
reindertot

 @Whitebloodsun The same thing the cinema does: The editing, the compilation_communion work of other art.

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @reindertot

 Never said it wasn't. If you read my post carefully.  

But, about the movies, it has it's own merits to define itself as an art. And the art in the movies has their own criteria. Like the cinematography and the storyline. Music also has it's own criteria, like the musical score, the instrument, and the lyrics. Same as paintings, same as every other artform.

The question is, what does a games have for it to be called an art?

Whitebloodsun
Whitebloodsun

 @reindertot  @Ladiesman17

 I still don't believe that games is an art. COD, Bulletstorm, Kingdom of Amalur, Mass Effect 3, Battlefield and RE, those aren't art.

Intertaintment maybe, but definitely not art.