In response to "Better Than Film" from The Escapist Forum: The obsession with making games like film is actually going to be more poisonous to the industry than most would think. For the last decade, the comics industry, for example, has tried to borrow heavily from film, and while that resulted in a select few series being good (DMZ and Ultimate Spider-Man, for example), most of what we got from that industry was long, drawn out, pretentious fluff, often consisting of one or two people talking for 22 pages, then a "To Be Continued" caption gets tacked on the end (for example, the entire body of work of Daniel Way...).
Likewise, "cinematic" gaming has only produced a handful of gems (with probably the best one being Metal Gear Solid, the first one, more than a decade ago! And Kojima took all the wrong lessons from his success in that game), and the rest being primarily mediocre imitations of film (the vastly-overrated Heavy Rain).
I'm not saying games shouldn't borrow ideas or techniques from other industries, what I'm saying is developers shouldn't be looking to copy wholesale in an effort to make their games 'Art' with a capital A, because that's not what artists do (that's the realm of hacks). Instead, developers, just like anyone in any creative field, should ask themselves "What lessons can we learn from other works, even in other fields?", "How can and can't we apply them here?" and, most importantly, "What can I add to the mix by making this?" If developers ask themselves those questions, and some already have, then the industry can and will "grow up," so to speak.
Comparing Heavy Rain to Citizen Kane is really pushing it, I'm afraid. And saying that Heavy Rain was a milestone in gaming? Uh, no! Don't get me wrong, I liked the game, but there was as much wrong with it as there was right.
This might be beating a dead horse, but if you want innovation in games look at Shadow of The Colossus: Riding your horse actually felt like riding a horse instead of, say, driving a car as it does in other games with horse riding gameplay. Interacting with skyscraper-tall beings that were beautifully animated, but most of all, it told a story through gameplay instead of cutscenes. Sure, there were cutscenes, but only at the beginning and the end of the game and their only purpose was to set up the game and to conclude the game. The actual emotion of bonding with your horse and coming to the grim realization of your actions, was achieved through gameplay. And that is something I have yet to see in another game, except maybe Ico.
I really liked the big blockbuster games of the last few years like Gears of War 2, Uncharted 2 and Mass Effect 2, but they seem to feel more like movie experiences rather then videogames. In the end, I want the bulk of my games to feel like videogames and not like movies.
In response to "Our Turn to Decide" from The Escapist Forum: I don't particularly think gaming will ever mature past the level it is now.
Gaming, at it's most basic, allows us to live out our fantasies. And, unless you're the most boring person on the planet/never had a childhood, you can bet that most peoples fantasies will either involve sex, violence, improbable feats or some combination of the three. Gaming can be very mature when it wants to be, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but is there really any problem with killing lots of people in the most violent way possible? Assuming you're old enough to play it. No, there isn't. It's fun, and that's all there is to it. Sure, people will say it's immature and morally reprehensible, but who really cares? The games still get made, and they're still fun. You're making a bunch of pixels fall over. And it's fun.
Movies, although touted as more 'mature', are almost the same. I challenge you, look through your DVD collection for films that involve no sex, blood, violence of any kind or swearing. There will be a few, but I bet they'll be massively overwhelmed by the amount of titles that involve one or all of the above. Hell, back in the 'good old days', films, books and theatre were just as violent. The only thing stopping them from being really violent were the same kind of puritans that today hark back to them as some sort of golden age.
Gaming is for entertainment. It doesn't need to be any more mature, especially if we go by the definition of mature that non-gamers want it to be, that is, boring! That doesn't mean games can't be art, but as far as I see it, games are fine as they are.
I don't particularly think gaming will ever mature past the level it is now.
And that, I think, is the problem. People don't want the medium to mature more.
But if we ever want videogames to become, I don't want to use the term 'accepted', but less looked down upon, then the gamers need to step up and make it so. We need to become more than just the CoD dickholes screaming obscenities into XBox Live. We need to become more than just socially inept man-children in our basements playing WoW for 30 hours a week (or more) while ignoring the outside world.
Until society takes gamers seriously, they will not take gaming seriously. And gaming will always be viewed as a child's toy, and will never be an adult.
I like how the article puts it, though. Once gaming stops being looked down upon as a child's thing, gaming can then decide what it wants to be.
I'm not saying that gaming needs to stop being violent, or sexy, or whatever. I am saying that gaming (and gamers) needs to improve its image so that it can be violent or sexy or whatever without causing an uproar. I mean, if there was a movie with the same plot and action as GTA IV, it probably would have done very well at the box office and noone would have cared. But since it was a videogame...well, you know the rest.