Archive for August, 2005

Different Cultures, Different Games?
August 25, 2005

“Japan would never produce Doom 3

Those words came from an interview IdleThumbs staff made to Ron Gilbert. And it got me thinking if afterall there’s a real cultural identity behind games.

This industry has emerged (as it inevitably should) in the rise of the digital era. That means, the era of communications where Globalization has become the best description to the cultural and economical process the world is suffering.

So, the National Identity of a game, it’s not very discernable. If you think about “Max Payne” being developed in Finland, you wouldn’t notice a single difference with any standard american game. At least: the most classic difference you may establish in the industry is between Occidental and Oriental games (a.k.a. American & Japanese). Some unexplored regions of the world like Latinamerica or even Africa still have something to say in the field of videogames.

Should there be a National or at least Regional identity so we could at least talk about a “French Touch” in games? After knowing that Ubisoft will work for the America’s Army project -what the hell happened with “Liberty Fries”?- capitalism seems to keep erasing the differences among cultures. And games, as the most genuine cultural expression of these days, are a clear reflection of this process.

Defining Art Games
August 22, 2005

As its cultural impact increases, the gaming industry is starting to diversify: “Serious Games”, “Mobile Games”, “Casual Games” are some of the new categories that had emerged in the last years to use as a reference for gaming works that reflect particular ways of playing or specific uses of the game.

I would like to propose a new term: ART GAMES. You’ll probably recognize it from the section of this website, but I would like to give a better definition of what an art game is to me.

Originality, Vanguardism, Has-something-to-say could be some adjectives that I find suitable to the concept. To me, these are mainly games that are aware of how much interactivity as a “language” can express beautiful metaphores and paint fantastic landscapes in our minds and hearts. It has nothing to do with the simplicity or complexity of a game, or its platform, or its genre. It has to do with how much can a game transcend from its mere entertaining function to breed some meaning to our lifes.

Of course: many might disagree with my views on Art Games. So c’mon and let me know: What is an Art Game for you? Which Art Games would you recommend playing and reviewing on this site?

Sports from a Game Designer’s view
August 16, 2005

Western culture brought back to life during the XXth century something that seemed forgotten since the Greek times: Sports. It’s undeniable the huge cultural impact these had since the conception of the Modern Olympics by Baron Pierre du Cubertain on Athens 1896.

Sports are usually games that require the use of the body, but games after all. It’s interesting to read on how the design of Football (Soccer for all americans out there), Basketball or Golf had evolved throughout the years and adapted to different environments and playing styles.

What do you think about videogames considered as modern sports by some in our industry? How the sports of the future will be designed?

Two new Art games to check: Loop and Chess!

The decade’s Scapegoat
August 11, 2005

Jack Thompson’s cruzade against videogames in the USA claims that kids playing GTA have in their hands a “Murder simulator”.

In Argentina a law has been sanctioned proclaiming that “Overexposure to videogames is unhealthy”.

In South Korea, a boy dies after playing a videogame for 50 hours.

At a local newspaper, a kid appears claiming “I got blind because of playing GTA”.

Some answers:

“Hey Jack-o, believe me: when I held a gun in my hand (something I believe that I won’t do again in my life), it felt completely different from a Mouse!””Legislators of Argentina, due to your ignorance, you haven’t realized that overexposure to absolutely anything is unhealthy! Just try drinking 50 gallons of milk.”

“Yellow press of the world: If a kid dies for having caffeine during 50 hours, IT IS NOT because he was playing a videogame.”

“And kid.. you got blind for staring at a TV (or Monitor) for quite a long time, that’s the real proof of your blindness… Today: there’s not a single scientific study that says a game’s content can affect your health.”

What do we -Faithful Artists of the 5th dimension (Games)- have to say about all this? Speak up!

And before I forget: Haven’t you played N yet? It’s violent. Smile

Indie Games Festival
August 9, 2005

Attention Everyone! The Independent Games Festival has announced the Call for Sumissions for all competitors. In the 2006 edition, there will be a new category specially for Mod-Makers along with the Open Category and Web Games specific category.

For more information go right now to indiegames.com.

New articles for the Revolution
August 8, 2005

Two very interesting articles written by Drew Druncan have been added.

I seriously recommend the reading of these so we can keep discussing the

future of Artistic Games:

Games

as Grand Media – Finding our Future

Forming

a new underground game industry

You will now notice that the site is now one big solid community: Articles,

Art Games and Comments are now integrated with the forum system.

So every one will now get to see the latest thoughts on one single place.

And the forum design has been lighted for a better reading.

Sexy Mario says Au Revoir!

sexy_mario.jpg

A new site is Born!
August 4, 2005

“In the First Dimension, where the dot reigns, freedom is null.

On 2D the plane appears and some creation is now possible: drawings, maps, letters…

The Third dimension gifts us Volume and encourages the artist to build great statues, gigantic churches or beautiful skyscrapers.

Time leads the Fourth Dimension, where objects can now be animated and have life like in the movies.

And the 5th Dimension, that’s where the Games are born, because it’s the dimension of probability, alternate realities where you play with your destiny, and the potential destinies.

Games Are Art.”

Welcome to this brand new site. Here it’s your home to discuss games as a cultural movement, games as an artistic revolution, games as your creative obsession or games just as games.

Developers and Gamers of the World, Unite! GamesAreArt.com is born.

Open letter to all visitors.

Updates
August 4, 2005

Well, the site is now working and a community must be built. It won’t be easy, but I believe that there is plenty of people out there who strongly believe Games Are Art, so I hope the site can grow as it should.A new article –Are Videogames Art?– from Chi Kong Lui has been added.Also in the Art Games section you’ll find Samorost to play on the web, go check it out. And talking on bizarre gaming, a friend recommended me an interesting psychological game that literally divides your mind in two: Twinoo. Just as a note for the future: Every time I’ll post something here, I will try to recommend an web game for you to play!Enjoy! Smile

Improvements under work
August 4, 2005

poster50s.jpg Welcome to all the new members that are supporting ourcause of Games Are Art! After reading some of the posts

from the forums, I’m preety much sure that a great community is getting

born.

A review on the brilliant Fa´┐Żade

has been added to the Art Games. Make sure to play it!

I have received some complaints on the site design to provoke seizures.

I will try to light it up soon.

This week’s game recommendation is a weird one: notprOn.

All puzzle lovers out there, enjoy!