We’ve thrown around the idea of better games, and how a way to resist the the current video game industry is by possibly creating our own games. I wanted to look deeper into this idea of a critical game, or a more ‘deep’ game that could potential cause change starting within the industry.
After talking about Dear Esther and hearing about games like Spec Ops: The Line, it made me think about the games that had the most profound impact on me. Often, they weren’t showy or gorey or even very literal – the most hard hitting games were the ones where the meaning was more complex, and that left me with something unsettling that I had to digest on my own.
I reintroduced myself to this game recently – it’s very frustrating, but short enough that I don’t get all ragey about it. You spend so much time and so much error, and then you’re left so…unsatisfied. The meaning behind this game might not be as politically obvious like American Dream or the game Thomas posted a few days ago, Every Day the Same Dream, or purposefully upsetting, but I find this to be an interesting starting point for change within the industry.
In the Super Meat Boy demo, we talked about how Edmund and Tommy were angry and upset about the mainstream game industry, and, as T.L. Taylor would say, they wanted to go “start their own party.” Their game in itself was an act of resistance, but that resistance was also demonstrated in the game and gameplay. When thinking about the things I want to be different about the video game industry, I had this thought: What if there was a game that made people feel how I feel as a female playing games like Call of Duty? Or made the player sympathetic to another discriminated demographic.
This coincides with our discussion on ways to change the industry that are achievable and reasonable on an individual basis. I may not be able to make a game as successful as those featured in Indie Game: The Movie, but I can use the game as a tool to create something meaningful, profound, and that will leave a lasting impression on the audience it does reach.
I’m looking forward to our class tomorrow where we get introduced to Scratch – I don’t expect to see immediate change, but I do hope that my response to that class will be able to connect back to the ideas in this post. As seen in a game like Lim, there can be meaning in even the most minimalist ideas, and I think the key to change on a larger scale is believing that games like that on a small scale can eventually grow into something more.
I’m done being idealistic (at least for this post), and if you didn’t have enough games to depress you, here’s one more.