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Games, notgames, notnotgames?

Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2011, 09:36:47 pm »

The links you posted above are not an indication of the people I want to reach, and I believe quite evidently so. You took the cross-section which is the fad of bad contemporary art and a bundle of low-brow television. I see your point that this would be the non-gamer audience on average, but it is also a subsection of people not playing games different to the one I mean. You did not show, in your videos, the people who visit the British Museum, or people who curl up with a cup of tea, reading Jane Austen while stroking a cat. These people also exist, and these people need to play games - they cannot at the moment, because I cannot think of more than a handful of games which I would rather play (myself) than reading Jane Austen while stroking a cat. Once this game exists, the existence of which I myself will know through the internet, the issue I would like to clear up is how to get this game to the people and get them to purchase and play it.

You sketch a dreary view of people outside of games, but watching a few videos of people in games can be just as dreary - my target audience is the right part of both groups, I think I made the fault of being unclear when I said 'non-gamers'. Michaël sketched a favourable image of non-gamers in his post, and I meant 'non-gamers' is this idealistic way.

Thinking on it, that literary types do not care about games is the problem I was (again) pondering a solution to; I do not see it as an ultimate fact of the universe, I see it as a problem that games and 'literary types' do not exist on the same plane. Either these people learn to play games, or I find an audience of gamers massively interested in literary affairs. Perhaps in this my pondering is opposite to yours, in that I do not believe that there is a high chance gamers as an audience will pick up the type of culture. (Edit: By which I mean, if they have not picked it up already as part of their life, I do not think it is highly probable they will en masse.)

I must add that I do not believe gamers to be uncultured in a direct relation, there are wonderful and cultured gamers plentiful. I just believe that the wonderful cultured non-gamers will more quickly become wonderful and cultured gamers than that I can expect culturally uninterested gamers to become cultured gamers, let alone wonderful. One requires people to find enough worth to be pulled over the threshold, the other is an entire cultural shift.

I do not think your social game example to be without merit, actually, but I lack any insight in this as I am not invested in social network sites personally. (Beyond broadcast mediums such as Twitter and Tumbler.) Perhaps getting my game browser-playable and on Facebook would lure in the people who use Facebook while stroking a cat and drinking honey-tea. I would like to see someone do this, naturally, but I am not convinced myself.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 10:14:10 pm by Jeroen D. Stout »
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Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2011, 10:15:33 pm »

Well yes, it was very broad and cheap but I made my point. Smiley

And I believe my point is NOT dreary. Quite the opposite. The interest is there, just not where you want it to be.
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Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2011, 10:24:45 pm »

Slight rant regarding reaching non-gamers:

I also think an important point here is that many of the people that we are trying to convince here have actually already been exposed to the videogames. Even many people in the industry, people that are making games for a living in some form, have stopped caring. They have gotten to the point where they realized games is no longer for them, and that they rather do their intellectually stimulating escapism elsewhere.

For example, Richard Garriot (of Ultima fame) gave a talk at GDC, where he said his current platform of choice was the iPhone. What this tells me is that what his view of games has shifted towards time-wasting toys, ie what the vast amount of iOS games are (I doubt he was spending all time with strange rain, etc). I am sure he does read a lot of fiction, but he never looks for games for any intellectual stimulation. Now, I am doing a lot of guessing here Smiley But do not think I am that far off.

The point I am trying to make here is that many people who do not see themselves as "gamers", might have been this in the past. I do not think this a small portion of non-gamers either. Pretty much everybody I know have been playing videogames at some point and might have continued to do so, but only in very limited scope. For example, most people read lots of comics when they are young, when they grow up they think that comics is no longer for them, except some specific strips in the newspapers. It will be very hard to convince these people to read "Maus" or some other more adult comic, they have just let it go.

In the same way, people have now made their choice on what they think video games are. I do not think it is possible to lure these people in. I think the only way is to make games that are so damn interesting to them that they simply cannot ignore. And the scary part is that this might be impossible for many.

Even more sad is that if any of these people do think that they might give videogames another chance, picking up the latest block buster, they find that games are still in the same state they remembered them in.
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Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2011, 10:35:47 pm »

And since I am already writing negative stuff, I might as well continue. This article is worth a read:

http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06/10/the-backfire-effect/

Basically, if people have set their minds on something, trying to convince them otherwise will only make them believe their viewpoint more! This makes me believe that any sort of viral approach is bound to fail.


So all is doomed? I do not think so yet. I think the ways to fix the problem is to simple make games that are so exciting that they cannot be ignored. My hope is then that a cumulative effect of many games that have this property is that they will become more noticed in the game community, more games like it made and then finally hit a critical mass where it gains mass appeal. I am not sure I would bet on it happening though...
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Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2011, 10:37:37 pm »

I always thought there´s a problem somewhere when it´s obvious that everybody likes to play but not everybody likes to play videogames.

Probably the best way to reach this audience is to simply keep doing games that challenge what games have been so far, and eventually our work will reach that public, no matter how. First we should care about doing a good work, I don´t think that so far there are enough good pieces of interactive art to make this audience believe in this medium.

EDIT: Oh, Thomas just said what I was writing!
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Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2011, 10:32:59 am »

Quote
time-wasting toys

Toys aren't necessarily a wate of time, anymore than anything else. Toys can be stimulating, interesting and worthwhile. Strange Rain in "wordless" mode is a toy!
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Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2011, 08:49:02 pm »

Quote
time-wasting toys

Toys aren't necessarily a wate of time, anymore than anything else. Toys can be stimulating, interesting and worthwhile. Strange Rain in "wordless" mode is a toy!
Agree, which is why I called them "time-wasting toys" Smiley What I tried to get across was the view of games of something you use for no other thing than to let time pass faster, e.g. playing angry birds on the bus.
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Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2011, 08:50:48 am »

I have thought in the past about making a novel/game combination and finding a way of getting them combined and sold in a book-store as a book-with-mini-DVD

We had the exact same idea for 8. We even contacted Amélie Nothomb to write the novel, or short stories -and she put a very long apology about not having time for this on our answering machine Smiley.
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Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2011, 09:04:15 am »

There are literally millions of people playing games on Facebook that have never played any type of computer game and probably still wouldn't consider themselves "gamers."

I think these people are playing games on their computer because they have a computer and they have always played games.
But the video-games that we are interested in are very very different from this games. The games on Facebook and other casual games are an electronic version of the board games and card games that people were already playing. Our type of games, games-as-a-medium, doesn't have such an analog forefather that we could transition an audience from.

But it may be possible to find interested people in the audience for literature, fine art, dance, theater, opera, design, etc. In fact, I know this to be true: I personally know many people interested in the games that we make. Yet it often seems to be very difficult for these people to make the step to actually play them. The reasons for which I can only speculate about (I guess both technical and social issues are involved before they even start playing).
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Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2011, 09:10:26 am »

I think the only way is to make games that are so damn interesting to them that they simply cannot ignore.

If nothing else, this sentiment will keep us on our toes! Smiley
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Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2011, 09:12:59 am »

I always thought there´s a problem somewhere when it´s obvious that everybody likes to play but not everybody likes to play videogames.

By that same token there's also a problem somewhere when it´s obvious that everybody likes to see pretty pictures but not everybody turns to videogames to see them.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 09:16:06 am by Michaël Samyn »
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Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2011, 09:53:56 am »

Deep down I believe that video-games can turn people into those "who curl up with a cup of tea, reading Jane Austen while stroking a cat." Modernism seem to have caused serious damage to the very idea of a cultured existence. And many modern writers, painters and film makers have contributed to this onslaught. So we shouldn't idolize this cultured life outside of the games community too much. It may have become much more sparse than we imagine.

In my restless dreams, I imagine video-games could actually re-introduce the idea of a cultured existence in our societies. By being a very wide-spread medium that is capable of interacting with the spectator, perhaps video-games can pull people on board of the ship of culture. Perhaps instead of thinking about turning non-gamers into gamers, and following Thomas's objections, we should focus on "turning gamers into non-gamers".

Turning the uncultured into cultured might in fact be a long term strategy towards success. Because if more people within the gamers niche become cultured, cultured people from other fields will be more attracted to video-games.

And given that many gamers are young, it's not so far-fetched to think of our work, at least partially, in terms of eduction. Maybe video-games offer the new generations their first artistic experience. It's quite a responsibility!
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Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2011, 05:38:49 pm »

Quite an inspiring though, Michaël! We should stay positive.

By that same token there's also a problem somewhere when it´s obvious that everybody likes to see pretty pictures but not everybody turns to videogames to see them.

I can´t think of many games that offer pretty pictures actually, so yes, we have a responsability.
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Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2011, 05:50:56 pm »

Perhaps instead of thinking about turning non-gamers into gamers, and following Thomas's objections, we should focus on "turning gamers into non-gamers".

Turning the uncultured into cultured might in fact be a long term strategy towards success.

This seems to be the side that ghostwheel is arguing.

I guess my experience so far has suggested that the people interested in using Weiv aren't generally hardcore gamers. But I guess that could be because our scenes are still a little simplistic (some of which is intentional) and don't yet look like a big budget game. I can't wait to finish some of those scenes to see what the reaction is, hopefully we can subversively draw them in and shake up their assumptions a bit.

All I know is I'm thankful for the ease of use of the Wii Remote. Even something as intuitive as that is still intimidating to people. Some people are just really afraid they're going to break something due to negative computer experiences, and some have a very ingrained concern about what others will think of them, which comes out even in a holy space.
Re: Games, notgames, notnotgames?
« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2015, 05:15:33 am »

In the same way, people have now made their choice on what they think video games are. I do not think it is possible to lure these people in. I think the only way is to make games that are so damn interesting to them that they simply cannot ignore. And the scary part is that this might be impossible for many.

I do think we have to make games that are better than existing games in every way. And I know that the only way that can be done is deliberately and collectively, and I know if it's not done no one else is going to do it ever. So someone does it, or it doesn't happen...

Unfortunately in our culture I feel like nothing happens collectively ever. One person must do it all, maybe two people if they are a lucky couple, up to a point, about 90% of the way, and then everyone will jump onto that bandwagon. It's just the nature of our species. I'm long resolved to doing it all, alone if I must.


EDITED: I read this thread backward from a quote link. I'm a little worried how often WASD appears in this forum. I don't think most people can even use WASD and when they say it what they really mean is pressing the W key with one finger while using the mouse for everything else. The keyboard should be taken out back and shot. There are no magic bullets in video games but there is at least the certainty that the keyboard is doomed (sorry keyboard Smiley)

I don't know what the answer is, but there's no reason that a game controller should be a second class peripheral. If you have a mouse, then why not a game controller? They are on equal footing, or should be.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 05:35:37 am by Mick P. »
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