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    • CommentAuthorandycon
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2013
     (11106.1)
    Hey quick question that is kinda tied with whats going on here.

    In The Witcher 2, am I collecting nude cards for every female character I come into contact with like I currently am in The Witcher 1? I really like the game but that aspect of it is really bugging me.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2013
     (11106.2)
    I don't remember it doing that in Witcher 2, but I didn't play it all the way through. The sex did seem a little more 'in context of the story' in 2 than the original though.

    I'm not against sex in games, not at all, I just don't think anyone is really doing a good job of it. It's telling that the best depiction is probably still Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy if you're in the US, although they cut most of it out in the US version...)
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      CommentAuthorMorac
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2013
     (11106.3)
    @James: The point is not that they don't have unique gameplay functions, it's that those functions are determined by their race rather than their profession. It's got an ugly racism undertone (granted, this one is pretty standard fare in fantasy games, but that doesn't mean I have to like it).
  1.  (11106.4)
    I just know that I'm totally playing the "Chinese guy" class in the next brawler that comes out. I want me some kung fu.
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      CommentAuthorOsmosis
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2013 edited
     (11106.5)
    I'm not against sex in games, not at all, I just don't think anyone is really doing a good job of it.
    This. This, where sex = sex and/or emotion and/or relationship building. I'm only recently returning to games after several years away, but I'm struck by how much more sophisticated and immersive the graphics are compared to when I went away, and how completely similar the storylines and emotional depth are. I'm playing mainly AAA fare for now, which explains a lot of this, I suppose, but I really hoped things would have moved on. It's annoying.

    massive generalisation alert

    People who complain that "videogames are art / aren't taken seriously" are the same ones who defend supermassive space marines as identifiable characters, and ultraviolence as the legitimate interaction of the medium. As ever, 90% of everything is crap, and going to see a succession of AAA blockbuster films would end in a similar level of emotional engagement, but, just, c'mon. Even big games that were well realised and received (Assassin's Creed 2 (yes, that's how long I've been out)) made me yearn for some other thing I could do with people. I was riding around this beautiful Tuscan countryside, passing through paesano villas where people worked and lived, and there was literally no way to interact with the residents other than stab them.
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      CommentAuthorcjkoger
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2013
     (11106.6)
    Oh man, I feel like I'm about to wade into it...
    Elf as archer archetype. This goes back to gauntlet in video games, and even further in fantasy in general. Would it have been better if he was an 'archer' who happened to be an elf? Or then, would it have been, "Well of course the Elf is the archer..." We live in a world where a large part of society is more socially aware of the concepts of -ism, whether it is based on sex, race, age, sexual preference, or a myriad of other things. I know a long history of trope doesn't make it right, but it seems like the smallest thing to get huffed over. Are we worried about bias against fictional race, or think it will actually bleed over into real life? Now, I love the Hawkeye Intitiave and it's take on shining a light on the comics industry, and I get the huge problems in video games and movies and our culture in general. Jesus, I got all teary listening to the women's panel at SDCC this year (probably my white, male guilt), but some things just aren't worth the trouble. Anyhow...as for Dragon's Crown, burn it, burn it all!! Or not, you know, whatever.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2013
     (11106.7)
    Got talked in to Dark Souls. When I finish Last of Us, I'll pick that up and deal with my first brutally unforgiving game.
  2.  (11106.8)
    Dark Souls is amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing.

    You won't regret it.
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      CommentAuthorMorac
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2013
     (11106.9)
    @Osmosis: I may be going out on a limb here, but I feel that anyone who says that games aren't a legitimate art form is wrong, though I will freely admit that the vast majority of games are very bad art. I just don't think that the quality of the existing art should invalidate the potential for art in a medium. Much like how a child's finger painting is technically art, the designation of "art" for video games does not make every game inherently worthy of an art-based dialogue.

    @cjkoger: By itself it might not enough of an issue to stop me playing a game, but it is questionable enough that it makes me uncomfortable. I've seen how much video games can influence behaviour, and though it is not to the extent that the sensationalist media outlets may have you believe, dismissing the effects entirely would be equally as foolhardy. Elves only being skilled at archery and dwarves only being good at melee combat brings to mind the arguments that used to be used (back when slavery was a thing) about how black people could never achieve the same level of education as white people because their brains were fundamentally different.

    tl;dr: vidjama gams r srs bzns.
  3.  (11106.10)
    Moarc, you're on a very slippery ideological slope when it comes to your use of the word art.

    Especially considering older games.
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      CommentAuthorMorac
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2013
     (11106.11)
    That's entirely possible, but I'm also not opposed to the idea of just calling everything art and doing away with the entire argument. The upside of that is that then we could focus on what is good or interesting art over whether or not something is art in the first place.

    A large part of this notion comes from observing that every definition of art I have come across has been unsatisfactory, and there are many interesting and notable works of art designed around taking to task whatever definition of art seems to be prevalent.


    However, this is also not an idea that I have explored very deeply, and it is entirely possible there are consequences of this line of thinking that I am missing. I would be very interested in hearing some further discussion.
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      CommentAuthorD.J.
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2013
     (11106.12)
    I'm sick of art. I just play games for fun.

    I miss fun. I miss challenges.
  4.  (11106.13)
    Art isn't a consideration for me as to whether or not I enjoy a game, but there's no question in my mind that games are art. I'm not honestly sure what the arguments against it are, honestly. Thomas Was Alone, Proteus, Space Giraffe, Papo & Yo, I Get This Call Every Day, World of Goo, whatever. There's plenty to choose from.
  5.  (11106.14)
    @D.J.

    Hmm. Doesn't look to me that there would be a dearth of those in gaming today. I freely confess that I'm one of those arty-farty gamers who like the game equivalents of a black and white Polish indie film about the love life of fish and I'm extremely happy that in the indie side of this that stuff has been popping up more and more in the latter years. Then again, I find plenty of games where I can just blow shit up and have fun and challenges. The ratio of former to latter is still like 1:50.
  6.  (11106.15)
    Vornaskotti- Papers Please, just came out yesterday after an excellent demo got them full Steam Greenlight attention. As long as you're talking about obscure lo-fi indie games suffused with the crushing hopelessness of an Eastern European influence, I mean. :)

  7.  (11106.16)
    @James Cunningham

    ...as it happens, I bought that just this morning ;)
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2013
     (11106.17)
    I...holy crap I would love to play that game.

    I think a big problem people have is that they seem to think that games can either be artsy or fun and it can't be both at the same time.

    Hell, I played Machinarium not too long ago. Absolutely gorgeous game with a brilliant world in it. I also had a fucking blast playing it.

    People also seem to forget that there are different forms of art out there. I personally believe that getting people to enjoy and even be addicted to a game is an artform in itself.
    • CommentAuthorandycon
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2013
     (11106.18)
    I have nothing against saying games are art, I just have yet to see a game that will stand the test of time and will be talked about/studied/copied 20,40,100 years from now the same way films, music,literature are. I hope to see that game and show it to my grand children, just right now I have yet to find it.

    Well, besides Super Mario World
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2013 edited
     (11106.19)
    Actually, Day of the Tentacle is that game for me. Not even from a nostalgia point of view, but from an awesome art/promotion of creative problem solving standpoint.

    ...and a little bit of nostalgia.

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      CommentAuthorOsmosis
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2013 edited
     (11106.20)
    I should probably be clearer that I'm 100% on the "games are art" side of the argument here. And I was maybe inadvertently dishonest by starting out using a strawman, or not following logically through, by complaining about the emotional content of games from the higher budget, mass market end of the spectrum.

    For me, art is when a person or people makes something with meaning, that elicits an emotional response. So, by that definition, sure, CoD or whatever is art - lots of people get fired up, excited, or exhilarated when they play. I've got no problem with that. It's an emotional response, and an enjoyable one, for sure. The meaning is fairly limited, though.

    I'm sure a lot of the games further across on the indie side of the spectrum have fairly simple emotional payoffs, too. It's an area of gaming I want to find out more about, and for now I'll leave it to folks who have played the one about the love-life of the goldfish to say more about that. It seems like there might be more on that meaning side of things, though.

    But the CoD responses are fairly simple ones - responses, too, rather than anything at a deeper emotional level. It's like when a review of a film says, "It's a rollercoaster ride all the way through!" Meaning it's exciting. But also meaning you're flung along a linear track and dumped out at the end without any chance to think or engage.

    So it's what Morac said, really: art, but bad art. (Which may not mean bad game, because who wants to watch Ingmar Bergman the whole time? There's always room for James Cameron blowing shit up.) It feels like what I need to do is go away and find more games that are like the Polish arthouse movie, because I am enjoying the games I play, but they feel pretty shallow right now. So this thread is great, James's and Janos's and everyone else's suggestions are great, because they're about games that go beyond that obvious rollercoaster approach.