I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m a gamer…and a TV watcher, and movie goer, and comic reader, Look I consume a lot of media. But what I think separates video games from every other entertainment medium that I’ve sampled is, it’s driven by new tech.
Other mediums, whether they be book, comics, film or television were all formed though the development of new technologies.
The camera, and paper were all developed very pragmatically. Their creators developed them without considering the artistic implementation of their creation. Film and television as an art form has largely been consistent since its development. And new technology introduced rarely changes the art form. Film has been the same for years now, it has found its essential form. Artists simply work within its design.
The intriguing thing about video games is that it’s a medium that hasn’t a secure form. All that remains constant is that the medium requires human interaction. I think this is why the question about where gaming is going and what it can be still comes up. People don’t know exactly what the form of “video games” are.
We have an idea, right now. But that idea will change as the creation of new tech allows new things to occur.
When games started, they were little novelly distraction pieces. Games like pong and asteroids were fun little games that didn’t challenge players, or make them feel things. Then arcade games and fighting games showcased the need for skill and strategy.
Now we have games that aim to immerse us in worlds with characters that we care about and connect with. We even use ramified social networks that allow us to role play and alternative version of ourselves. 3D hasn’t changed what makes a good movie, and E-Readers haven’t changed what makes a good book. But what makes a good video game is ever changing as technology continues to push the bar.
I think the reason I decide to examine this is due to the fact that every once in a while game blogs and news outlets decide to ask that question. They usually ask it because either it was a slow news day or a readers comment about how PC games are what makes gaming so rad.
Every medium eventually gets recognized as an art form and their will be snobbs and jerks that enjoy the medium or are invested in its perseverance and they battle and complain to each other about what their medium of choice good. Its why their are rating systems and top ten lists. People need to quantify things that are important to them so they can praise what the like with 10 out of 10 and demonize what the don’t enjoy with a 0 out of 10.
But these are just numbers, personal impressions. The great thing about video games being recognized as and art form, is that doesnt matter. Art is intention and creation. Thats why critics can give Alan Wake a 7 out of 10, and I can still love the ass off that game. Just like I can really like the Josie and the Pussycats movie, and you all can’t do a damn thing about it.
Games will continue to evolve and change shape into something we probably can’t even fathom now, and as the years go by people will still ask the questions. What makes a good video game? What makes games different than movies? Is Twitter a new type of game?
All I’m really trying to say is, it doesn’t matter what games are, were, and will be? It doesn’t prevent people from making great experiences that find a special place in peoples mind. Despite all that is different about video games, that is what makes if just like any art form. The impression that it leaves on us.