Hello My Game Is … (Red) - Invader 2009
Invader was based in Paris, he uses a lot of pixel type media in his work, he’s famous for his mosaic pieces of the 1970 game Space Invader (from which he took his name).
With this kind of thing. I don’t think that playing violent video games creates violent people, or even killers. People who do horrific things (such as school shootings) have problems to begin with, prior to playing games. I truly believe that gaming is a good way of escapism, just like books and TV is. Although saying that, I can understand why people blame gaming for violent behavior. Because they want something to blame. If gaming can cause violent behavior. TV, films and programs should be considered a danger, as watching a violent program may give children “violent ideas”. Even the news. As the news is a very real coverage of horrific events throughout the world.
An interesting fact is that Japan has a low crime problem. We hardly ever hear of high school shootings or mass murders in Japan, and they are one of the most, if not the most technologically advanced nation in the world. Where as in America it isn’t. I think people should find the actual reason why adults and young people do horrific things rather than just simply blaming gaming or music for your own piece of mind. Because that solves nothing.
Game Addiction Results
I posted a series of questions on the site Survey Monkey. I had 13 responses, and the results are as follows.
What age range do you fall into?
12 (92.3%) Said 19-25
1 (7.7%) Said 13-18
The issue with this, is that the people who take this quiz are friends from facebook and those who follow me on tumblr. So the age results aren’t as diverse as could and should be.
Do you own a platform on which you can play games? (Multiple choice)
8 (61.5%) Said PC (Laptop)
7 (53.8%) Said PC (Desktop)
1 (7.7%) Said Mac (Laptop)
2 (15.4%) Said Mac (Desktop)
2 (15.4%) Said Tablet PC
6 (46.2%) Said Smart Phone
2 (15.4%) Said Xbox
6 (46.2%) Said Xbox 360
2 (15.4%) Said PS1
6 (46.2%) said PS2
3 (23.1%) Said PS3
5 (38.5%) Said Wii
2 (15.4%) Said Nintendo DS
1 (7.7%) Said Nintendo DS Lite
1 (7.7%) Said Nintendo 3DS
3 (23.1%) Said PSP
4 (30.8%) Said Gameboy
4 (30.8%) Said Gameboy Colour
3 (23.1%) Said Sega Megadrive
1 (7.7%) Said Sega Megadrive II
3 (23.1%) Said Dreamcast
2 (15.4%) Said SNES
3 (23.1%) Said Emulators
There are a lot of responses and different types of things people own. On average the people (9 people) who took this survey had between 1 and 7 gadgets. Where as 4 people had between 9 and 15 of the gadgets listed above. Most popular gadgets are PC’s, Smartphones and this generation (Xbox 360) and last generation consoles (PS2). People use phones quite a lot for various things and one of those things is on the move gaming such as games like Angry Birds, and Doodlejump. Although, people seemed to be more inclined to to buy Xbox 360’s while people who buy Playstations seem to be more in favor of PS2’s, whether that is because they have owned them before the PS3 or prefer it to the PS3.
When someone says “Game addiction” What do you think of?
With this question most of the responses centered around the idea that males are the only ones who can become addicted to gaming. And the idea that these people who play games do it obsessively and constantly foregoing bodily needs such as sleep, showering and a decent diet in favor of gaming, and spend most of their time thinking about it, spending a lot of money on it. A lot of the responses give the idea that these people have a “pathetic” life due to game addiction. There is a lot of preconceived ideas that gamers who spend a decent amount of time gaming are “Geeks”, “Nerds” and “Smelly”.
What games do you associated with game addiction?
A lot of the games mentioned were MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) such as World of Warcraft (WoW) and Call of Duty (CoD). A lot of the games mentioned are by massive companies such as Blizzard, Bethesda and Activision.
What do you think of internet gaming, such as MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games)?
Most of the responses for this are that most of those answering these questions haven’t heard of or played an MMORPG. Where as a couple people said that MMO’s are amazing and can be an amazing tool when used in moderation.
What type of people do you generally associate with MAKING games?
However, on the flipside of the questions above, where as people PLAYING games are considered by some as pathetic, sad, unhygienic, lonely people. People consider games designers and developers to be highly creative, intelligent. and “Computer Whizzes The polar opposite of those playing games.
What type of people do you generally associate with PLAYING games?
The answers for this are very similar to the ones on the MMORPG question. Males, social recluses and people searching for escapism are those commonly considered to play games.
Do you have any thoughts about gaming or game addiction?
A fair few people wrote about the comparisons of watching TV (soaps?) compared to playing games. Where playing games for 5 hours straight everyday is considered an addiction, watching TV for 5 hours straight everyday isn’t an addiction as TV is socially accepted where as gaming isn’t.
Bethesda Game Studios - Lucas Hardi
Hardi is lead Concept Artist for Bethesda Studios. Hardi worked on various games such as Warhammer Online (A Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game or MMORPG, by Bioware Mythic) and Skyrim (A sandbox roleplaying game for various platforms from Bethesda). Hardi has 10 years worth of experience with making games.
So, it is no surprise he gave a talk about art within games in November 2012. I, being a great fan of gaming and games in their entirety, attended the lecture with much enthusiasm.
During the lecture, Hardi spoke about various ways of creating the visual aspect of gaming (as he is a concept artist you can understand this). He spoke of Polycount, which is a fiddly term for game art style. People use polycount when they are creating 3D models, it’s just basically the amount of polygons used in a 3D model, and the more polygons there are the more memory and power is needed to display it.
In the 80’s video games art style were refereed to as graphics, every gamer was obsessed with the graphics. The companies promoted their “amazing realistic graphics” on their promotional posters. For example the NES, had power graphics. Art style matters to game style. It has to blend rather than be “thrown together”.
Creating a game is a bit like creating a piece of music. You have to layer aspects for it to look right. Layering the background, foreground, etc.
With long generation games, such as Mario it was a great achievement when Mario had thumbs. Pixel art and a jump to 3D. With Long generation games such as Mario you can see the progression in style.
The Style Triangle (See top image)
The style Triangle is the basics of all games. To make a game you need to have aspects of at least one or more of the corners: Reality, meaning and abstraction.
For example, under Reality, we would have racing games. Under Meaning we would have a game like Line Rider, while a simple idea, it was a very popular online game. Under Abstraction we would have RES.
Most games are interested in getting into the bottom left hand corner (Reality) the purpose of that I think is the immersion aspect. The more real it is the more a player can relate to the game. However, you can’t take a game all the way into Reality because if it was as real as can be it would be real life. Games need an aspect of Abstraction to be fun.
Game developers try to smooth out gameplay and cut scenes. Two good examples of these are Heavy Rain and LA Noire. But, it’s always going to be a problem blending animation and gameplay. Lining gameplay and style, use the triangle to create your game.
YOU CAN’T MAKE A GAME LIKE A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE.
You have to recreate the real world by hand.
Start with inspiration, photographic style, 3D animation, illustration and drawn.
Composition is largely down to the player.
With 2D games (platformers) backgrounds are best in illustration.
Drawn animation, layering drawn elements into 3D can get noisey. What will look good in the game engine AND for the player.
Modeling, silhouette and and shadow. Mario is round where as Gears of War is blocky.
Dmaking modern games can be popular, such as making a modern game and re-imagining it as a retro game.
WoW (World of Warcraft - MMORPG) is limited by what you can put on the screen. Working with Blizzard (creators of WoW) the style of WoW (blurred) is their own and that is accepted.
Studio Ghibli (Makers of films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke and many more) hire painters specificly to paint the detail within the movies, such as details in the backgrounds and foregrounds.
Lighting is the only thing the same between all media (Films, photos, drawings, comics, games and real life). How are surfaces going to react to light.
At this point Hardi showed us a video of Sumo Warrior Dreams by Yogscast.
The thing with light is trying to simulate the eye. Bloom, for example. Moonlight looks blue not grey. Skyrim takes this into account with it’s “Epic reality”.
Game art is nothing special without amazing gameplay (See Style Triangle). Trial and error is the key.
Art Direction. Concept art - Draw.
“Great Games are played, not made.” - Bethesda.
You can find the videos of the lecture on Lucas Hardi’s site: Here.
Concepts, by greggletron
Contemporary Art Forum: Critical Play—The Game as an Art Form
Note: The sound on the video is very quiet.
Miltos Manetas, PERIPHERALS (Playstation controller) 1997, Oil on Canvas.
I have been attempting to find artists what use gaming or games within their practice. I came across Miltos Manetas, who is a visual artist, who paints electrical equipment in oil. I find his work relevant as I am looking at gaming and games. However, while his medium isn’t what I was specifically looking for, I find this combination of fine art and modern technology interesting. Console controllers are a source of interactivity where as an oil painting is not. A theme within my research at the present is the interactivity of games.
On the face of it, this game is very simple with it’s design, soundtrack and system. There are very few enemies in this game. The game is primarily PvE (Player versus Environment). This game if you don’t know is a platformer (like games such as Super Mario Bros and Sonic the Hedgehog). While games such as Super Mario and Sonic are very colourful, as you can see LIMBO is not. This game (unlike the others I’ve mentioned) certainly are not for children, while there is a gore filter in LIMBO, I would not recommend putting a child on this game. Simply because, no matter how simple or filtered this game is, it can be scary (depending on the type of person you are). I think that is due to the lack of enemies within the game (However as I have previously mentioned, there ARE some enemies) there is a certain atmosphere, created with a combination of the design and the soundtrack.
Seeing as though the foreground is black it is hard to distinguish between the normal environment and things what may potentially kill you. I find that the most effective way to scare a player in any game is to have invisible enemies (literally invisible or what blend seamlessly into the environment, like with LIMBO). The progression throughout LIMBO is quite interesting, you go from a forest to what looks like a city. The thing with this game is it lacks story. There is no words within this game (Which is new) so the player just progresses along without knowing what the ultimate goal is.
The themes within LIMBO is death, as there are things in the environment which appear to be hanging corpses of children, it also gives off a post apocalyptic feeling, there is a lot of ruin and despair within LIMBO. The title LIMBO signifies some sort of purgatory and within religion purgatory is a part of hell, which is in the Divine Comedy by Dante. With there being no obvious story or goal within the game other than progression, it is left up to what the player thinks. Which is drawing the player into the game more as they attempt to find clues to what the story is.
There is no level progression within LIMBO, it is just one continuous level with a difficulty curve as you go along. What is fascinating is that the final part of this game, is actually the beginning of it. So it is one continuous loop.
LIMBO, I think was as successful as it was due to the fact of the design and potential fear factor. It gives puzzles and draws the player in, even if there is a significant lack of story and zero dialogue. This just shows that if a game has amazing visuals (Which LIMBO has regardless of it’s monochrone theme), and amazing sound track and the right atmosphere (due to a combination of the two). A game can be highly successful in both the monetary sense and player engagement sense.