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The Only Thing I Know

The Only Thing I Know
« on: February 11, 2010, 10:09:31 pm »

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/527091

Very interesting meditation about videogames fan lifestyle. Animation.
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Re: The Only Thing I Know
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 11:59:20 pm »

Have any of the people here feel guilt at involvement in the production of something they felt was ultimately an abuse of others?
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Re: The Only Thing I Know
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2010, 12:44:52 am »

That lil clip was better than I thought it would be and was actually quite connected to the not games cause.

Have any of the people here feel guilt at involvement in the production of something they felt was ultimately an abuse of others?
Nah, I have only made short single player games with no replay value Tongue Minimum wastage of people's life so far Smiley
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Re: The Only Thing I Know
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2010, 12:53:47 am »

Have any of the people here feel guilt at involvement in the production of something they felt was ultimately an abuse of others?
Nah, I have only made short single player games with no replay value Tongue Minimum wastage of people's life so far Smiley
But do you regard it as being a contribution to a wasteful culture?
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Re: The Only Thing I Know
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 02:04:59 am »

As much as I approve of meaningless entertainment for the sake of relaxation once in a while, I do try to put something more in the work that we make. We want to make games that become part of people's lives, and not games that replace them momentarily. And we always consider the time not playing the game but being affected by it as more important than the time actually spent playing.

I believe people today are in desperate need of ways to deal with the complexity of our contemporary lives. And I believe thoughtful games can fulfil this role.
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Re: The Only Thing I Know
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2010, 09:16:19 am »

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But do you regard it as being a contribution to a wasteful culture?

Wow, that is a really interesting question! Actually, I have never really thought about it until now, not at least directly. I have been pondering the meaninglessness and slot-machine-like behavior of many games, but not really the significance of my own stuff.

I do not think anything I have been part of producing have had any significance other than as pure entertainment. There has been some attempt at raising questions in Black Plague, but it was a very small part at the end of the game and few seemed to "get" it. So to sum it up, I would say that the games I have made so far have been mostly wasteful entertainment.

I hope that will change, and have been slowly been moving towards more deeper meanings in the games made. This is not something I want to force though, as in: "This game must have large impact on people's lives!". Instead I would like to create things because I find it interesting myself and then if someone else thinks the game had great meaning to them, then that is a great bonus.
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Re: The Only Thing I Know
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2010, 11:01:58 am »

I don't entirely agree, Thomas. Because, by virtue of the fact that you create environments, you offer the players a travel destination. And travel is always enriching! Smiley
I think games that have environments to justify their puzzles are far more abusive.
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Re: The Only Thing I Know
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2010, 01:34:30 pm »

I believe people today are in desperate need of ways to deal with the complexity of our contemporary lives. And I believe thoughtful games can fulfil this role.

This is interesting and important. It's actually a huge topic to discuss but... I remember that when I studied philosophy I was encountering similar thing that I encounter now on these forums. Just like them, you guys like to talk a bit too much (for my taste, of course) about theory, not about practice. Like the idea to create notgames because you THINK it might be great. Practical way would be to do it because you find it better or more accurate to your needs. In other words: searching through practice is more exciting and gives better results as searching through thinking. The difference would be like between a person who tries to paint something on canvas and person who writes long books about it but sits in his academic room.
And I remember that the only period of human thought that I ever found really inspiring and amazing is Ancient times. Ancient Greeks were trying to answer the question "how to live a good life?". And they were actively looking for this answer. Somewhere later in the history of humanity this question was lost or forgotten or (how?!) were suddenly considered not important or already answered (again, how?!). This question is what is so fundamental for us, humans. How to achieve happiness and not lose it? How to stay in constant feeling of goodness and pleasure, whatever we find pleasurable and good. Is it harmony? Is it chaos? Is it active creativity or laziness? Is it learning or teaching? Or perhaps is it playing latest PS3 hit?

I find this question so fundamental that I think it would be appropriate for parents to encourage their children to first answer this question in their lives before making any serious decisions. Finding the way before walking forward.

Now, I highly, highly doubt games are capable of helping people organize their lives, finding answers. Look at us right now. Do we make games about this subject or do we use the internet and use English language to communicate? We meditate and philosophize (is philosophy the answer? Smiley). Use of language in many mediums is what makes those mediums really valuable. Theatre and literature. So old, and so experienced in asking and answering many questions. Finally cinema that follows the same path as videogames. Technical excellence over plot. And it is plot that is capable of carrying everything that valuable and enriching. I think that videogames are lost. It's enough to me to see how many copies of Modern Warfare 2 has been sold already and, basing on it, how does "your typical gamer of 2nd decade of XXI Century" looks like. He isn't really another Socrates Smiley

But, I believe that notgames (or however we are going to call them) are capable of it. And that serious, interesting, encouraging to think and fulfilled with emotional content interactive stories can be (in the same time) entertaining. And I do not necessarily think of "boom boom bang bang" entertainment. "Lethal Weapon" isn't really the way (although it isn't completely worthless). But perhaps "Shawshank Redemption" is ("Geology is the study of pressure and time. That's all it takes, really. Pressure and time"). Perhaps "The Prisoner" ("I'm not a number!") or "Evangelion" ("Humans found a god, and thus tried to obtain it. As a result humanity was punished. The god that they found vanished."; ironically, there is a lot of "boom boom" in this one). Perhaps many others. Not to mention movies, plays and books considered classics.

How could games be capable of doing something like that? Do we get a candy every for every minute of movie we have watched? We don't, and that's how games work. They do not really nurture our inner child. What they do is they infantilize (reduce to an infantile state) teenagers and adult people. Winnie the Pooh (original books) is capable of nurture our inner child but I believe it's due to the fact Winnie the Pooh is really a taoistic wise man, not an equivalent of Spongebob Squarepants.

I see no hope for videogames. But I see hope for what videogames not stand for. Maturity.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 01:37:08 pm by Kaworu Nagisa »
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Re: The Only Thing I Know
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2010, 02:40:20 pm »

I still use the word "videogames", or even "games", when I mean "notgames". Sorry. I just don't think "notgames" is a good name for a category. So when I say "games" or "videogames" I usually mean that in the hopeful, idealistic sense, in the sense of their ultimate potential (which I used to think of as wide open, and still do in theory).

As for the talking and not doing, I don't think anyone here is guilty of that. We are all very active. I find talking among artists interesting because it can speed up the doing by allowing us to skip over some steps.
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Re: The Only Thing I Know
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2010, 05:05:01 pm »

As for the talking and not doing, I don't think anyone here is guilty of that. We are all very active. I find talking among artists interesting because it can speed up the doing by allowing us to skip over some steps.

I do not blame anyone for anything, I simply shared my personal opinion.
It seems that what speeds you up slows me down Smiley

Nature of nature is difference.
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Re: The Only Thing I Know
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2010, 08:55:13 pm »

Quote
I was encountering similar thing that I encounter now on these forums. Just like them, you guys like to talk a bit too much (for my taste, of course) about theory, not about practice.
Talk about practice is theory : P

Ok.  You seem quite interested in discussing existing works, and I am appreciative of many that you have linked to, but I must say talking about these works is, for me, further away from my practice (making games), than many of the other discussions that are going on around here.

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Like the idea to create notgames because you THINK it might be great.
What do you think a better/alternative approach to this matter might be?
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Re: The Only Thing I Know
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2010, 11:37:52 pm »

Have any of the people here feel guilt at involvement in the production of something they felt was ultimately an abuse of others?

Yes.  Totally.  I made a recent game but haven't released it yet, and the friends that are helping me test it have become pretty addicted to it.  And that makes me feel guilty because the game is basically entertainment + joke + psalm.  My intention is that people play it for 30 minutes or maybe an hour, get a kick out of the joke, and then after playing it think about the subject of the joke more seriously as they continue to entertain it in their minds.  But these guys have played it for maybe 20-30 hours each, or more, which is clearly more than needed for testing.

And why?  Because I had to make it a game that's fun and addictive so that portals will want it so that I can pay the bills.  I have to sell it and make it sound like it has value, because that's how capitalism works.

Huh.  Guess I went from guilt to bitterness there. Tongue
Re: The Only Thing I Know
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2010, 12:39:42 am »

I guess in the same vein, I'm somewhat uncomfortable with the amount of time some children are spending in The Endless Forest. Though we have received email from parents who actually thank us. I guess they figure if their kids are going to be online, they prefer them to be in a friendly forest playing with other kids than in less child-friendly corners of the internet. Still. We did not design the game for extended use (we even launched it as a screensaver to point out its casual nature). We never expected so many kids (I'm talking teenagers here) to latch on to the game. We though we were making art.  Cheesy
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Re: The Only Thing I Know
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2010, 02:11:03 am »

I'd imagine that quite a few people playing the game of *game development* would envy the unexpected addictiveness of The Endless Forest and your unnamed game, God at play.

I'm not sure what it all means, but it's interesting.
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Re: The Only Thing I Know
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2010, 03:34:23 am »

Michael, it's actually quite great that parents react that way. This means some of them have some brains left under their skulls Wink I would definitely prefer my kid to play in your forest than keep running killing boars in WoW.

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Talk about practice is theory : P

Ok.  You seem quite interested in discussing existing works, and I am appreciative of many that you have linked to, but I must say talking about these works is, for me, further away from my practice (making games), than many of the other discussions that are going on around here.

There is a huge difference between academical theory and theory arriving from practice. Also, again, I didn't mean to offend or criticize anyone, I just wrote how I feel about those discussions. If they (discussions) help you, I'm fine with that.

And yes, I prefer discussing anything on examples, ideas, prototypes, etc. Although the reason why I really give links to things is that I find those things interesting or inspiring, and why wouldn't I share it with others hoping for the same impact? Smiley
Talking about them is further from your practice? Sure, it is. And that's why I find it more inspiring than talking about making things. Want to talk about making music? This sound here, this sound there? Get off my private intimate creative space, you bastard!

Smiley

And last thing. Alternative to thinking is feeling.
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