Monday, April 18, 2011

The Alternate Ending : A Manifesto of Sorts

Of the many choices we're allowed to take.
I believe the debate is ending on whether or not video games are a new artistic medium. Examples of video games incorporating themselves into culture, evoking emotions, and provoking discussion alongside providing entertainment are growing in number and are in demand. Games have been made with distinct ties to visual art, music, and the cinema, and further explores how its unique quality of interaction can engage the player. They are important and speak to and of culture, meaning they can be read and interpreted. My aim in this blog is to further facilitate conversation about how games can further use their functions to challenge the medium and the player experience in a way novels and movies cannot; I also hope to chronicle some of my experiences in gaming and the gaming community.

Now, not everyone's opinion is the same and it's possible all aren't created equal, so I want to be open about my background and influences as to show where there can be weak-spots and to recognize that I don't believe my perspective to be whole and complete.

Power to the Text: I have a strong Creative Writing and Literature background that has me approaching video games as "texts" to be "read." I use methods such as close readings and find importance in elements and techniques that are inherent to literature. Narrative is very important to me, and it seems like more developers are including narrative into their games, and spending more time creating compelling ones appropriate to their aim. I am specifically interested in interactive narratives and hope to figure a way to write for video games. I am, however, aware of "Video Game Studies" as a field, and will be using concepts from there to avoid turning video games 1-dimensional.

The Personal is Political: There is a focus on the player in games, because without them, the game would never complete! How games represent people, and how the player is represented, is important to me, especially when it comes to the idea of making relatable characters and fostering empathy. So topics of gender, race, sexuality, disability, and others in the same vein, will find a comfy home here, both in games and in the gaming community.

With this in mind, I hope to still encounter opinions different from mine but still provides answers (and more questions) to what this blog as a whole is getting at. Here's to a good run!

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