Games get no respect

  • So I recently read this article on Cracked basically bashing video games as an artistic medium. I think it's pretty obvious that a lot of the points don't hold up to closer scrutiny, but it really made me think about why games get no respect in general. Sure, the biggest games out there are often juvenile or violent, but we're in a huge indie explosion full of all different kinds of games. Plus, while you see plenty of people criticizing trends in Hollywood or pop music, those people would never associate those criticisms with smaller artists, but in the realm of games the trends in AAA gaming are all people talk about. People say there are nothing but violent video games but so many smaller yet beloved games feature absolute no violence.

    Ultimately I think one of the big problems is that there isn't a developed scholarly community around games yet. I think we've all heard someone ask "where is the Citizen Kane of gaming?". The thing is, though, that when I saw Citizen Kane I wasn't blown away. It didn't transcend its medium and become a masterpiece in my eyes. But what I think doesn't matter because people who pay way closer attention to films than I do were blown away by Citizen Kane and have written many articles, essays, and books about how great it is. The film's lofty reputation then spreads through culture and we all accept Citizen Kane as a masterwork even if a lot of people wouldn't say so if they just saw it having heard nothing about it (somehow). If there were more gaming scholars writing about the best gaming has to offer I feel like more people, when asked to name the best game in history, would say things like Shadow of the Colossus instead of Super Mario Bros. and this would do a lot to help video games overall perception in the public eye.

  • The more I read of this article, the less I liked it. I went from thinking the author has an interesting opinion, to "Is this guy for real?!"
    He glorifies movies, literature and music as an art form, but compares games with "brightly-colored wooden blocks"!

    When I read his second point "You're Realizing That Games Won't Make You Look At Life Any Differently" I stopped taking him seriously. I consider videogames as a thing that had the strongest influence on me, second only to my family. i believe that videogames will influence you only as much you let them to. But if you give them a chance, they can teach you so much. History, trade and many values are just a small sample of it.
    According to this article, I'm underaged. But if that is the case, then being grown up truly sucks

    It gives me some comforting to know that, when he pitches his patreon at the end, EZA deservingly so, had much bigger support. And that at the top of Patreon are two gaming outlets.
    Nice to see that there are still some smart people around.

  • That article sucks. I mean it's fine if you think the current state of games isn't something to be blown away by (I don't, personally), but it strikes me more as attitudinal than anything else. It's like people who say movies suck because they're all remakes and sequels, which is wrong and completely uninformed.

    Also I think we should drop the whole Citizen Kane thing. Look, it's a great movie, but I don't think it's even the best film of its year or the best film directed by Welles. It's a great, impressive, entertaining production in nearly every way, but it isn't a radical film. It shows everything possible within the boundaries of its time, it doesn't shatter them. Comparing a cornerstone of one medium to another doesn't get us anywhere---it just leaves us in a moment of waiting for something to come instead of appreciating what's already there.

  • I will not lie about what I think is the best game in the history just to help the irrelevant perception in the irrelevant public eye, this is not what gaming is about.

  • If you're going to use big budget dumb action games as an example, then the comparison is to big budget dumb action movies.

    Attempting to compare big budget dumb action games to a more meaningful, thoughtful narrative not only looks dumb but like a completely intellectually dishonest attempt to smear rather than discuss.

  • I remember watching Troy Baker on one of the Kinda Funny shows and he said that what separates games from other mediums is that there is an element of skill involved. I'd never thought about that before, but I think he has a good point. I think a lot of people probably turn their nose up at games because they aren't any good at them.

  • I'm not sure that video games getting no respect is a bad thing. When people write off something like video games, you aren't going to win their respect without having to live up to their standards, and to do that you'll probably have to lie to yourself.

    I can only speak for myself, but I respect video games a lot more when they don't lie to themselves.

  • @SeanMcGowan I agree to a certain point. There are many games that really don't require much skill, as they put forward story or some other feature far above skill. The Journey and Minecraft come to mind. So there's a game for all skill levels.
    Also, to read a book you must first learn the alphabet and an entire language. And even if you did that as a child, that doesn't mean it's easy or that it doesn't require any skill. Try to learn a new language and writing like Russian or Mandarin. It's really hard (unless you have extreme talent for languages). I would say that most games are easier to learn than a new language, that is needed to absorb content from other mediums like books, movies and music.
    It is also possible that he just didn't use the best word for it (skill). Games require for you to make certain actions and accept some decisions, unlike with other mediums, where you usually just passively absorb it. It is that activity that separates games from other mediums in my opinion.

  • Cracked used to have good thought provoking content and even rather interesting write ups on obscure things like odd jobs, but it's gotten beyond awful. It's juvenile at this point.

  • Global Moderator

    @GoTaco said in Games get no respect:

    Cracked used to have good thought provoking content and even rather interesting write ups on obscure things like odd jobs, but it's gotten beyond awful. It's juvenile at this point.

    The biz of getting hits and clicks on written material has gotten so warped that it's likely many of the better writers probably moved to other outlets. Social media, content production and clickbait is a dirty and lean business without a lot of room for sustaining many talented writers.

  • This is one of the worst opinion pieces I've ever read.

  • I'm sure Cracked picks articles like this purely for the controversy. It probably gets them a lot of views

  • Citizen Kane is the definition of style over substance. I personally consider Seven Samurai to have the best balance of of art and accessibility.

    By accessibility, I mean entertaining to a wide audience. Many games that people consider art are either interactive movies, walking simulators, or hardcore RPGs that the average person will probably find boring or too obtuse.

    Games that I've played that I consider to be the "Seven Samurais" of their genres:

    Myst (Puzzle)
    Banjo-Kazooie (Platform)
    The Legend Of Zelda; Majora's Mask (Adventure)
    Halo 1 (First-person shooter)
    Super Smash Bros. Melee (Fighting)

    I don't think any of these can possibly be compared with coloured blocks...

  • I was really hoping this thread would relate to Rodney Dangerfield in some way.

  • Banned

    Cracked is the Newgrounds of this generation.