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The Old Man and the Game

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I’d like to thank you guys for your comments. I wasn’t expecting anything positive, but you guys proved me wrong and I appreciate the encouragement.

“My question is about whether we need new signs for this. Should we create our own esoteric language to describe these things? Does one exist already?” -soul3150

This was a very good point that I had not thought about. The gateway to any area of knowledge is having an understanding of the subject’s vocabulary. Look at science, math, law, business… If you were to open a textbook of any of these subjects you’d find words that you would probably be unfamiliar with and therefore unable to derive any sort of information from the book. To answer your first question, I don’t think we need to create our own language; we’ve already done this to a gross degree.

We, as the generation of the internet, have done exactly what George Orwell’s 1984 predicted: the degeneration of our language. “LOLCATS” “OMGWTFBBQ” “A/S/L?” To anyone that is unfamiliar with the internet they’re going to have absolutely no clue as to what the hell we’re typing. This oversimplification has bleed into the gaming culture and if you’ve played a MMO you’ll know exactly what I mean. These acronyms are used to describe virtually everything; it is its own language.

To answer your second question I’d say yes. Video games, like film, are a meta-art. They are a form of art that is compromised of other forms of art. The arts required to make a video game have their own vocabulary so they too will be used when describing a video game. For instance, when generating a cut scene we’re most likely going to be drawing from the vocabulary that film has already established.

“Interesting, but it's more of the same problem-solving techniques than art. Just because games/movies/books often use the same mechanics and methods for solving problems like "locked door", "sniper on the roof" etc, doesn't mean it's suddenly art. It only means there is a lack of creativity in designing puzzles or plot devices.” –Professor Pew

You are correct, just because there is repetition does not mean that something is suddenly art. However, you have hit upon an interesting point I wanted to talk about: Genre Theory. Repetition may be a lack of creativity, but it is also an indication of genre. A single game will not create a genre; it takes a multitude of titles for classification to occur. I am with you in terms of a desire for creativity, but we must understand that in any form of art, everyone learns from the same catalog of knowledge. More than likely we’ve all played a couple classics and whether we’ll acknowledge it or not these have formed the base impression for us as to how a game should be. Of course there is a limit to when homage turns into repetition, but that is subjective to the player. I’ve played games that have done nothing new, but I still had fun and in the end that’s all that matters to me.
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About simjaehyunone of us since 1:14 AM on 11.20.2007

My name is Jon and I am a college student studying Creative Writing. The purpose of this blog will be to challenge established conventions and hopefully elevate the budding academics of video games. I want to remind everyone that opinions are merely just that, you don't have to agree with what I have to say. I'd be more than happy to enter a civil discourse with any of you, but I will not tolerate ignorance and illogical arguments. Failure to comply with common sense results in a loss of the game.

3/6/08 - I plan to post more often, but don't expect me to soon since finals are coming up. I'm also contemplating on whether or not I should start reviewing games. Go play No More Heroes if you haven't already. It's an incredibly original experience and one of the funniest games I've ever played.

Currently playing:
Super Smash Brothers Brawl
No More Heroes
Team Fortress 2
Halo 3

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