Jan 14, 2006

A valid argument, but . . .

I feel the post below deserves a response here, because it raises a good point.
know_nothing said...

Interesting, but I think an electronic game, computer game, can still have it's value in the game and not in the graphics. The screen can be viewed as a means for distant people to be brought together to play. If you can translate the dynamics, the mechanics, the stratagies into electronic screens, a well designed game can still shine through the graphics. Actually, if it's a well designed game the graphics can be minimal and crude.

I agree that that CAN be the case. I can name dozens of electronic games that I thought have been brilliant. Most of these come from Nintendo (Pikmin, for example), who has consistently innovated in actual game mechanic design to their detriment in the American video game market. I feel that Americans have been responsible for the degradation in design. We refuse to buy the innovators. We're only interested in the latest FPS or this year's incrementally changed version of our favorite sports game. It's not EA's fault (evil as they are) that I find little joy in video games these days, it is our collective fault.

My point is that while there is some room for innovation (god bless Sid Meier and Will Wright), there are very few opportunities for people like me to do so in electronic games. Even less than there is in board games, which is already too scarce. At least with board games, I can experiment without being limited by my relatively meager programming skills. Even if the prototype isn't pretty, it works. I can't do that with video games unless I hire a programmer, which I obviously can't afford, or I get hired by a video game company that lets me run wild, which won't happen anytime soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment