Mark Frauenfelder at 11:07 am Mon, Feb 28, 2011
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Superbrothers' Sword & Sworcery looks like a cool game for the iPad. Another video here. (Via baibai_matane)
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder.
Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.
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Superbrothers wrote that boingboing feature “Less Talk, More Rock” last March. http://boingboing.net/features/morerock.html
Mark seems to have forgotten, but these guys did a cool feature for BB a while back aswell, which can be found here http://www.boingboing.net/features/morerock.html – I’m really looking forward to what looks like the first true “zelda-esque” experience for iOS built by people who really care about videogames as a medium
I would nominate this game for vaporware of the year, but apparently its goal is to generate flame wars about games and art. So… well played!
Nah, Fez is vaporware of the year, as I think it was announced even earlier than this one. :)
That’s if you don’t count Duke Nukem Forever, which is due to come out this year? I can’t even type it with a straight face.
People who care about videogames as a medium have the wrong idea.
OK, I’ll bite. How do you propose that people who create and enjoy videogames should view their medium of choice?
Also, the next link is about much more respectable guy – no “fags” there: “Will Wright: “Games are not the right medium to tell stories. Video games are more about story possibilities.”
Fair enough; Wright is a very smart guy. Really, though, once you get the notion that “interactivity is antithetical to linear narrative” this should all be pretty uncontroversial.
Most of the really, really good games out there allow the player to write their own stories, and very few of them (JRPGs and the majority of FPSes are the only exceptions I can think of) are foolish enough to lock the player into a “must happen in this order” narrative. And I suspect as time goes on these will become fewer and fewer as gamers grow to reject the illusion of true interactivity and demand the real thing.
As for Mr. Kierkegaard, over six months of research into game design has shown me that his ideas aren’t unique, but rather that academic game criticism hasn’t yet reached the critical mass necessary for them to become widely known. Game criticism is waiting for its Andre Bazin, perhaps. (Not Kael; in my opinion she actually did relatively little to help the understanding of film as art or to advance the same.) Games, like animation, continue to be unfairly pigeonholed as playthings for children and the childlike. To change this we need many more people like Jane McGonigal and Richard Bartle, and far fewer like Mr. Kierkegaard.
Having “fewer people like Mr. Kierkegaard” means having none at all.
And I believe that we cannot talk about games as a whole as being “unfairly pigeonholed”. Tell the Russian truck driver that his favorite Farming Simulator 2011 is a children’s game and he will probably pigeonhole you in his outhouse. There are games like Europa Universalis and Su-27 Flanker, which, though not being “arthouse games”, are definitely well-suited for grown-ups (not to say that a smart kid can’t enjoy them). On the other hand, there are your GTAs and Calls of Duty.
You misunderstand; I meant ‘pigeonholed by society at large’ not particular individuals (and especially not by game-playing adults).
If Mr. Kierkegaard could not or will not change the tone of his remarks, I would be fine if he did not make them. It seems to me that he does not realize that instead of improving game criticism he worsens it (and this is especially true if you are right and he is providing valuable, needed insights), nor am I sure that he would care if he did know.
It’s not a medium, it’s a simulation.
You should probably read this guy’s works: http://insomnia.ac
Especially: http://insomnia.ac/commentary/on_the_genealogy_of_art_games (still worked on)
Chentzilla, I took a look around that site and it’s pretty badly-written. Opinions couched in racism, homophobia and misogyny have to be funnier than that, for starters.
You forgot misanthropy. Also logic.
Only click on Chentzilla’s link if you like people who make use of the word “fagots” in their commentary.
That guy’s essay is impossible to read – even leaving aside his love for the term “abortion” to describe things he disagrees with. I think I counted 4 instances in the first 4 paragraphs.
I think I get his point, but wow… it’s unreadable.
tl;dr: All games are art. Making an “art game” is dumb and you’re an asshole if you do, because you don’t understand either art or games.
I read some of Mr. Kierkegaard’s site, and now I kind of wish I hadn’t.
Not because of what he’s saying. Because he is so full of himself. I mean, if you are so convinced you’re brilliant and that people should be glad for those pearls of wisdom you choose to dispense to them, that right there is a pretty good indication that what you have to say is probably not worth what you think it is, nor will it be worth my time to cut away all the chaff to get to what you have to say that is worth saying. Less is more, Mr. Kierkegaard.
And what little I read was clearly not as clever or insightful as the author considered it to be. CRPGs are not the same thing as TTRPGs? Color me unenlightened, I figured that out the first time I played Wizardry.
Finally, with all due respect, if you claim that computer games are not a medium, I doubt your definition of medium. If you are claiming that all computer games are not simply a medium but are a simulation, I question your definition of simulation.
JEM, I suspect (well, hope) that Mr. Kierkegaard is using ‘fagot’ in the sense of ‘fool’, a usage which it has now (almost completely) lost and is related in a circuitous way to the bassoon. I’ll give you three guesses why it (almost) isn’t used any more, and the first two don’t count. Overall I found that his reader-insulting, self-congratulating tone was rather childish, which might also account for a lot of the other aspects of the essays.
Well, the insomnia writer also uses the phrase “She was pretty damn smart for a woman”, so I think when he says “fagot” it’s not meant to be taken as the kinder old-timey usage.
You might be right, I was giving the benefit of the doubt due to there only being one ‘g’. But I missed that part about Kael. Having now read enough to find it, I am only more glad I am not bothering with the rest of the essay.
I don’t get it… the trailer tells us nothing about the game except that it is for iPad and has Commodore 64-style graphics. Is is just for the nostalgia?
I’m with you. This game has been getting a lot of hype, and I’ve seen a couple trailers with bleh graphics and not much else. Are there items? An inventory? Spells or abilities? Multiplayer? An overarching storyline? Could someone please explain WHY this game is so hotly anticipated?
If you want to learn more about the game.
Here is an excellent Keynote they gave at Gamercamp in the fall.
It was really informative, and will hopefully hype you us as much as the rest of us.
Hey tuckertuck: Some people on the Touch Arcade forums have complained that the Gamercamp footage contains spoilers.
You know, I’m getting pretty darned tower of this hint of COMING SOON every couple of months. It isn’t gaining the creators any Brownie points. Who makes them keep promoting this Vapor? The money people? Next time, title the piece “Still Not Ready Yet”
Well, I appreciate that you were just being pithy and not trolling. But if you’re expressing any bloody thing at all, it’s a medium.
Just cause games are simulation–and that’s a pretty damn reductionist way to think about it–doesn’t mean you’re not expressing concepts through the medium of simulation.
Course “medium” may well have some fancy-pants theory-of-art meaning that goes beyond normal english usage. But I’m pretty sure when people say “care about the medium of games” they just mean “actually give a shit about games”, or, let’s be honest, “aren’t Zynga”.
> echolocate chocolate: But I’m pretty sure when people say “care about the medium of games” they just mean “actually give a shit about games”, or, let’s be honest, “aren’t Zynga”.
So there were two other ways for you to express your thoughts. Though, if you used the first one, it would also be pretty meaningless, because people who don’t give a shit about games don’t make them.
>Scrotch: I read some of Mr. Kierkegaard’s site, and now I kind of wish I hadn’t.
That was my first reaction, too. But, really, is there anybody in the game journalism – or game philosophy – who can throw him off his throne? He may be smashing his opponents like a Nietsche-wielding Hulk, but I really have no arguments against his truths. He may be saying the simplest things, but rarely, if ever, I’ve seen anyone telling them as plainly. You may try to discard this guy – he really isn’t pleasant to talk to – but then who you will be left with? We really should be thankful, though, that he’s just some guy on the Internet and not our next door neighbor.
What he means is that all games are art. Therefore, you can’t make art through the medium of a game, because that’d be like saying you’re making a photograph through the medium of photography.
Games are art; a=a.
You may be right, but that’s not what I got from the article “Less Talk More Rock” it seems to be a call to action hence the steps 1: Inspiration, 2: Talk, 3: Rock!. All too often people get stuck on 2 and never sees the action Rock! which is why Boyer suggests that perhaps the order should be 1: Inspiration, 3: Rock!, 2: Talk. That makes a lot of sense to me.
If I could make a slight alteration, I’d say, 1: Inspiration, 3: Rock!, 2: Talk, 4: Or else walk. (As in get lost!) :D
Well YEAH. No argument here. Games are art and all that.
But Chentzilla took issue with the phrase “people who care about videogames as a medium”, as though you can’t legitimately care about games for other reasons. Like money, or “incentivizing users” (money), or advertising (money)…
Anyway, kind of feels a bit like we’re all furiously agreeing here.
Maybe “arthouse game” would be more palatable? Seems like we still need a term to talk about ‘em, or people are just going to keep on calling them “art games” whether we like the term or not.
Are all games that look good “art games”? If not, what makes a game an “art game”. This game isn’t even out yet, so for all most of us all know, it’s a straight-up video game that just happens to have nice graphics.
I don’t like the term particularly, but “art game” is maybe comparable to “art-house film”? It’s used to talk about games that are less straightforwardly about entertainment and more about expressing some artistic concept–whether it’s through visuals, audio, the simulation itself (“gameplay”, another kinda horrible term we’re stuck with).
Anyway, yeah, I suspect this is a straightforwardly creative game with nice retro-leaning graphics. :)
Looks amazing and have been following on twitter too.
I think they are hinting at a release on the vernal equinox which is March 21, not sure.
I am going to simply exclaim, this is going to be the BEST SHIT EVER.
Read their treatise, which others have linked to. It’s fantastic.
If hearing phrases like Another World, Flashback, and Prince of Persia make your heart skip a beat, this game is simply going to be pure, unadulterated joy.