reading note #4

  1. This article discusses an emerging game genre called “documentary game”, which incorporates real images/films/events/places or people and present them in the form of video game. The author was trying to questioning if “documentary game” is a independent game genre and what is the main different between documentary game and documentary film, and is the name “documentary” really appropriate for this kind of games. He thinks for video games, it is not actually repeating or representing the event which happened in real world before. And he thinks in order to be called a documentary game, the content has to be accurate and meaningful.

2. I make games that are used to express feelings and I don’t care if the game could            be fun. Personally I think the game can be playful and critical at the same time, but            that’s totally not necessary. Like the japanese game Wanda to Kyozou ワンダと巨像          (maybe another name for american version). The game is meaningful: about                        protection, save and relieve, and it is at the same time playful: you need to think                  really actively to defeat those colossus. But basically you get different feeling                        through the process of searching and fighting: you get no intimate feelings or critical          thing through the battle. But, on the other hand, it is a commercial game, it has to be          fun to sell. The real thing that is difficult for me for making a game a medium of                  expressing ideas is the corporation of interaction and storytelling. And I couldn’t                find a good example to show this. Those “artistic” games either have a rather                        abstract storyline or strict the gameplay in a linear structure.

3. I guess maybe Metal Gear Solid 4? Just think a game took you all together 6 hrs              or so to finish and you spend 3 hrs watching CGs. And the game’s theme is pretty                 clear – anti war. And Kojima tried to tell a whole and complete story on Big Boss                 and Solid Snake, band the game play somehow only serves as decorations to the                 story. However, the idea in the game is very complex, there is no fixed idea for                     every detail, so different player can get different feeling toward the game. There is             hate toward Big Boss from Solid Snake(or Old Snake) for bringing him to the world           as a war machine, there is also admiration between them two as they are                               biologically “father and son”. Kojima did an excellent job on triggering the story as             a very intimate thing and if you are intimate enough, you can feel the sad story fully.

4. I want to get rid of the word “game”. I’d rather call it “interactive film”. Actually            15 yrs ago when video games’ medium switched from card to CDs, a lot of companies          in Japan did “interactive films”. Basically it is still a film, and you are able to make              decisions during watching it to make the film going to another direction. And I think          that type of “medium” are actually more game-alike rather than the documentary              game we are talking about. For me, “documentary game” are not game at all. Adding          interactions to a totally linear structure digital software and not providing enough              fun in it doesn’t make it better, actually make it worse.


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