Day 48- video games as art?

Well, why not? Roger Ebert doesn't think so, and I share some of his concerns; I however, think they can be, but--like any other narrative art--there's a lot of swill mixing in with the good stuff.

And I say all of this as a fan of video games. I'm going to run through a list of some of the good and bad aspects of video games, with maybe a few words on where games can go from here. And one more preface--most of the comments with deal with the games that have inherent narrative structure, though some will deal with straight puzzle games, and so on.

I'll use one game as an example: "System Shock 2." It's not perfect, of course; but it has a very, very well-written and developed backstory that isn't told traditionally, but instead through audio logs left around the decomposing space ship. The first time I played the game, I was incredibly drawn to the stories told by the former crew members--some of whom died as they tried to escape the ship. And the game is very, very detailed on things many people would consider minor--the audio in the game is important, and almost as chillingly used as a movie like Alien or a Hitchcock picture. And while the game shuttles you in a linear manner, you can play it multiple times with completely different approaches. "Thief"--made by the same people--is also worth noting, if only for its completely innovative and very aesthetic-based delivery. I could spend hours wandering around one small portion of the game, staring at the detail and wonderful little nuances.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 10/24/2006 12:04:00 AM,


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