Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Citizen Kane of Gaming - A Rare Facebook Response and Opinion Piece

Hey, ever wondered what I'm like on Facebook?  Turns out I'm a RECLUSE!

Still, I do go on once and a while.  More so during school because a LOT of film kids organize things exclusively through FB and I can't afford to be left out.  These people will be making films and handling real money in the future and it behooves me to ingratiate myself to them now by working on their projects for free, giving them feedback and generally being a guy they'd want to work with in the future.


An old friend of mine, one that goes WAAAAAY back and has recently changed her identity (power to her) has posted once again that comment she brings up every once and a while:  

"Gaming needs a Citizen Kane.  Some grand work to convince the world of its legitimacy as an artistic medium."

Now in the past I've scoffed or moved on in disinterest but this time I've responded.  Its probably because I was at a screenplay writing class today, finished a screenplay and have been buzzing on "How do I engage my audience" all day.  Going with that "I'mma write things" energy has gotten me in trouble before... >.>

So I posted.  It was long and because Facebook is stupid with not allowing breaks for paragraphs in comments, I will re-format it here for you guys to see.  That's right, its an honest to god Redlin opinion.

At least I know better than to post this in Gaming Discussion.  My writing is already getting torn apart at school.  I've got a blog, might as well use it for things and stuff! :D

 Citizen Kane of Gaming?

A combination of Oscar winning voice acting, script writing and art direction as well as rewarding gameplay is just the beginning. It's going to have to be an entire emotional journey that could not be adequately expressed in any other medium while still being accessible enough for people who have never picked up a controller in their life or pressed WASD in any way outside of typing. It can't be sold to just gamers, its going to have to be sold to everyone. That way it can't be written off by people who have turned away from controls before. Like any good story, the hook has got to be so good and intriguing that the outsider will tolerate learning how to immerse themselves like us.

Existing games with great stories are presented but generally through gameplay videos (which causes the "Why isn't this just a film" question which vexes EVERYONE). Its got to be something that generally is accepted to be only shared by PLAYING it because watching it is worthless in comparison. The problem is there is no gaming publisher with the money to fund such an endeavor who would care to take a risk like that when its entirely too easy just to sell genre games to known markets. The spark for something like this certainly is in the indie market somewhere but they don't have the resources (both in promotion and production budget) to do it on the scale needed for it to break out of the normal markets. 

Hollywood might be slosh because of the fear of risk their executives have right now but in its hayday even they knew enough to put enough money into those innovative movies from unknown directors. Before Jaws there was no Steven Spielberg the Director. Someone took the risk of funding a movie filmed on water (the expense, the inexperience, etc) because they saw a story that could be worth pursuing with a guy motivated to see it through. The Game Industry needs to have a Jaws moment, where a publisher puts the money forward for a visionary team to take that leap and succeed. Of course, Jaws existed before Youtube and I know story spoilers and trolls are much more prolific now than ever before in history. 

What's the answer? 

What's the story that brings in more than just the pre-existing base of gamers? 

 What are the control schemes and game mechanics that aren't insultingly simple yet embrace the coming of brand new players? 

What's the answer to preventing people from sneak peaking it outside of the game experience, censorship on a massive scale? 

Could the gaming community as a whole do the impossible and band together, deciding to NOT record the game (in doing so forcing the curious to actually play it for themselves)? 

I don't know the answers but I am positive the raw materials in the ether that is game design can produce such a title. All it needs is the initial spark and someone rich enough to get it going. We just haven't seen it yet. A Citizen Kane of Gaming, something everyone can agree is the pinnacle of the industry at the time of its release is needed. I just don't think it can be sold for us alone and then be expected to be the definitive proof for those outside without it being something they themselves cannot easily get started. 

And once this gem is made, this best game ever made, this purest experience of the form produced... It has got to be shared in the only way games can ever be considered a legitimate medium of art for: It has to be played.

Hmmmmmmm...  Did I just do what blogs are typically known for?  Did I just...


 You didn't see ANYTHING.... <.<


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