"Don't be a dick." That simple notion is the first of Victor Lucas' 3D rules. The others? Don't dick around and don't hang out with dicks. Some would lead you to believe the games press is filled with dicks. It's not. With this in mind, I seek out the best games writing - from news to interviews to reviews and beyond - and highlight it here.
Just when I thought enough had been said on dumb and stupid games, Taylor Clark opens up a whole new can of worms.
The problem, though, is that smart games like these are vanishingly rare, particularly among mainstream developers. This is what I meant when I wrote that “games, with very few exceptions, are dumb.” Out of the hundreds, if not thousands, of console and PC games that emerge from the dark and mysterious caves of development studios each year, only a handful are what a reasonable observer might call smart or artistic — a disturbingly low batting average by any metric. The rest are… well, as I said, they’re typically pretty dumb.
To which Matthew Burns responds…
The dissonance of the Uncharted series is a famous example: the experience implies two completely different worlds. One is where Nathan Drake is an affable hero, and the other is where Drake murders hundreds of fellow human beings and feels nothing. Though the developers took care to paint over the seams where they could, even the cleverest narrative design couldn’t change how completely incongruous that really is, on a basic, fundamental level.
Fascinating discussions ensuing here. Be sure to give both pieces a read.
Clark, Taylor. “Most Popular Video Games Are Dumb. Can We Stop Apologising For Them Now?” (Kotaku AU: May 1, 2012) <http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/05/most-popular-video-games-are-dumb-can-we-stop-apologising-for-them-now/>.
Burns, Matthew. “Dumbess in Games, or, the Animal as a System” (May 1, 2012) <http://www.magicalwasteland.com/mw/2012/5/1/dumbness-in-games-or-the-animal-as-a-system.html>.