Archive for December, 2005

Censorship
December 28, 2005

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During 10 days, GamesAreArt.com was completely offline. The hosting company Notwork Solutions suddenly decided that this site’s content did not match their “Acceptable Use Policy”. I had read such policy, and still couldn’t understand why the site went offline. When asking for an official reason, they just told me my site was under Permanent Termination and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. So, makes you wonder, why suddenly an opinionated site such as this goes off with no reason…

Fuck you Notwork Solutions.

The site’s back. Unfortunately some screenshots where lost but all game logos where re-made. After being shut, be sure that this site’s voice will now be louder than ever. It’s now hosted independently in a server from Three Melons. The company where I began working this december and is supporting the development of Utopia; a game I had been working by myself during this year. Check the site to understand what I’m talking about.

Thank you Three Melons.

And to all the frequent visitors of GamesAreArt, that put a link to this humble site in their blogs and sites, that contribute with their content and ideas, that tell their friends this place exists, that believe that Games Are Art:


Happy 2006!
Make More Games, Make More Art!

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More about Art Games
December 14, 2005

Last week, an interesting article written by Kristine Ploug presented an introduction to art games. I would like to thank her for including our site in the list of links. The article presents very interesting examples on how games could be considered artistic; and also, an interesting list of art games was posted.

I’m personally glad that the term Art Game is getting more exhibition. It works for our medium to start getting the perception it requires from society so we can stop being the scape goats for any kind of social problem that arises and if a niche gets born, maybe more developers will try to make games that offer a little bit more than polygons and bullshots.

I also find very interesting the analysis and critique that coleague blogger from Avant Gaming made about the article. He really has a very solid point when stating that “the purpose of art was to defy genre, and find ways to destroy and reinvent genre, not to become become genre. Genre work is production, not expression. when quoting what the article said about art games becoming a genre.

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Well, to sum up, it’s great to see that the message of games as art, is spreading. Smile

The Worst Videogame Covers
December 7, 2005

A brazilian site has made a gallery with the worst videogame covers. They’re definitely worth seeing. Cover-art can really transmit what a game is about.. and these ones are just terrific.

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Say no more.

Now I wonder: What will happen with videogame covers once the digital distribution channels become the main way to get a game?

It’s the Hardware, Stupid!
December 6, 2005

Considering the new gaming paradigm that Nintendo wants to impose with the Revolution console, and the increasing need of eroding the boundaries between man and machine in videogames: I’ve began thinking about the importance of hardware in games. In the past consoles gave developers a standard on which to model their games, but the new trends of Eye-Toy and intersting ideas like the VirtuSphere, and the GameRunner; are probably telling us that the joystick era will come to an end, or at least: will evolve into a new form.

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I have the game AntiGrav at home which is basically a skateboarding-racing-futuristic game that is played with the Eye-Toy. It’s an excellent and very immersive experience that pushes you to use your whole body in order to win. Also Nintendogs proves the huge potential behind the concept of “Touch” that Nintendo wanted to show with their DS. And the microphone interface of the game can make anyone truly believe for an instant that his dog is something real once he sits after we tell him to do so.

Is there a real transition between the current way we interact with virtual worlds? Shall game designers start considering the development of hardware peripherals for their titles?

Books, Books, Books!
December 2, 2005

“…To play a video game is therefore to interact with real rules while imagining a fictional world and a video game is a set of rules as well a fictional world.”
From the new book of Jesper Juul: Half-Real

In our emerging medium, where we are still discovering how it works and the keys of our own language; is essential that every aspiring game designer (or game developer in general) form themselves by reading some of the most important academic and investigative works made about games.

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To colleagues and sometimes even to artists from other fields (musicians and filmmakers), I have been recommending during the last year two great works that have defined the path of games for the next years. Raph Koster’s A Theory of Fun gives an excellent insight on what ‘Fun’ is, by taking into consideration evolution, psychology and culture. Eric Zimmerman & Katie Salen’s Rules of Play is probably the most complete work made on Game Design today, dividing its analysis onto three frameworks: Rules, Play and Culture.

The importance of this books for the future of games as an art form, is huge. And that’s why I’ll begin a list of links of the most important works written in the Store section so you can get the best essays right on.