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mewse
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« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2008, 05:08:43 AM »

Oh, please.  Games have been around for as long as there has been intelligent life on the planet.  Picasso played games.  Manet played games.  Virginia Wolf played games, Tom Stoppard played games, Groucho Marx played games, Tolkein played games...  I'd wager that every single creative person you'd care to name played games at one point or another.

This "games make people uncreative" argument is absurd.  We have plenty of historical evidence that shows that it does no such thing.
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0rel
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« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2008, 03:09:11 PM »

This "games make people uncreative" argument is absurd.
true.
I'd think playing a game would allow you more creativity than other forms of art, since it's, you know, interactive.
maybe, the opposite question, if and how

"games make people uncreative"?,

could be more interesting maybe... actually, it is much more likly on first sight, because no other artistic medium involves interactivity that explicitly.

the point why games probably make one mostly still less creative than other forms of art could be exactly because of the common use of interactivitiy. - when you read a book or listen to music, you are more open to what the author wants to tell with his work. in some way these "passive" art forms can be even more interactive than games sometimes, implicitly. a good example is a poem i've seen in an other thread a while ago. reading is quite interactive and creative there. but playing jump'n'run like in super mario can't be considered very creative, although it is totally interactive. - but jumping as a game action can be expressive and reflects directly the character/mood of the player. is he sloppy? accurate? does he want to get all hidden items? flow in play... which isn't the same as creativeness, i think.
playing games is mostly an expressive activity, which is comparable to playing an musical instrument with a sheet of notes or drawing a still life for example. but most games don't make players creative at the same time, cause ideas/new behaviour can't be interpreted by the machines in a meaingful way. that's the point, i think. either, there have to be other humans involved in the game, or the player has to evaluate his actions himself, like when working with an editor like photoshop or in an improvisation with a musical instrument.

A distinction needs to be made between stimulating creativity and functioning as a space for creativity to emerge. (...) games can be creative or they can be reactive
i've posted something about that too a while ago in the Purity thread (a / b (diagram) / c). surprisingly, i came exactly on the same categories there. two for interactive media, and one for passive (impressive), classic media like books, movies, music records. the two intereactive ones were divided into a creative and expressive category, the latter one is the same as reactive in your definition. these two make up that wicked conflict zone there.

creativity is non-linear, and not really measurable but absolutely possible in games. goals can be creativitiy killers... but does a game like fl0w make one creative? for a potentially creative game, the gameplay has to be very responsive and versatile, and first of all: intuitive. the player has to have a broad range of choices between possible actions. combos like in fighting games are great. simple controls, but infinite set of meaningful combinations/paths (like pressing keys on a keyboard). in short: expressive gameplay is the main condition for a creative game, but it is not enough.

for example, mario64 was the first game i've played with analog stick. the first big 3d platform game too. the controls were great and never seen before. - but that's still not enough for a creative game...

i'm not sure why... even though i'm not big fan of strategy games, i think they are overall more creative than most other genres, although they have mostly no realtime controls. mmorpgs could be used in creative ways too, just because there are other people around. everything is possible there (net theaters for example in second life). but that's not too interesting, somehow.

editing must be involved. if a realtime action game (regardless of whether fight, shooter or jump'n'run) with expressive controls would involve procedural dynamic realtime world editing (preferably in multiplayer-mode), that would be the most creative game i can think of...

(damn, that Love project looks sooo great...)
« Last Edit: July 26, 2008, 03:16:13 PM by 0rel » Logged
0rel
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« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2008, 11:02:27 AM »

rule:
the more creative the game, the less expressive the creator of the game.

extreme case:
an empty file is the ultimate creative game! everything is open, all has to be done by the player... the most creative game is game making itself!
( creation <-> ( expression ( <-> impression ) ) )

desirable case:
good balance between impressive, expressive and creative aspects.

a) all passive data, all assets are creations of the game developer. they will act as predefined impressive elements in the game.

b) the code for the gameplay mechanics and the in-game tools define how expressive the game will be.

c) the open spaces (holes) in the game, the variables which depend only on the player, the data which has to be created at run-time, defines how creative the game can be. finally, only the preformance of the player with the in-game tools can decide whether it will be a creative game or not. the developer looses control here (risk!). he can only define the bounds of the open spaces in the game, how far the player can create and change something himself... if these spaces will be too open, the game will no longer be perceived as game, it will be a boring editor, and the gameplay wont be fun for a majority of players. thus, the developer should make the impressive and expressive aspects enough motivating to inform the player by (short- and long-term) feedback, encourage and inspire the creativity of the player. he should be rewarded by impressive media, and immersed in a tangible scenario, possibly by story elements. all his creative actions must have clearly noticeable effects on the gameworld, so that the editing will be intuitive and uncomplicated. cerativity is only possible if it can be applied in realtime, if the player can act spontaneously.

problem:
whether his creations can be measured in terms of score or other goal-oriented variables depends a lot on the type of the game. fact is, mental values like 'beauty' are not possible to interpret with code, so the feedback should mainly consist of qualitative reactions (e.g. particales on different materials, or variable sounds), so that playing and editing will be fun enough and not just the same as "working". quantitative values like "height" (e.g. of a tower or a jump), "count" (hits), "complexity" (graph math), "structure" (?), "analogy" (database -> ai), which finally decide if and how the player progresses in the game, could be extracted out of the creations, so that the actual creative results are not influenced directly by this (creativity as byproduct). fact is: if the gameplay is fun, the player will keep playing/creating independent of score (e.g. funpark in 'Tony Hawks'). the arcade mode could be used only as an optional training mode, to learn and master the controls/tools and evolve the skills of the player/avatar. the main game is basically free form playing, without goals...

...but this point is still quite unclear. creative games are shurly possible as sandbox or multi-player game, where the creations don't have to measured by code. but most players like the challange of clear goals and some kind of progress...
this is still the main problem: creativity is free and can't be measured.
possible solutions:
either games without goals (and without hard fun) -> sandbox games / toys
or net-play + in-game-showcase -> people feedback -> score/level -> mmog

just some further thoughts... i don't want to make such a game at the moment (just because i can't), i'm just interested in that topic, that's all... and yes, i believe, it would be really a good thing if there would be more 'creative' fun in games... that's it.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2008, 11:23:00 AM »

I don't think that's true, because a blank file with 0 bytes in it doesn't inspire creativity in the player as much as, say, the Spore creature editor. It's true that a blank file *allows* more creativity than the Spore editor, but it doesn't inspire more creativity.
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« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2008, 11:40:49 AM »

I don't think that's true, because a blank file with 0 bytes in it doesn't inspire creativity in the player as much as, say, the Spore creature editor. It's true that a blank file *allows* more creativity than the Spore editor, but it doesn't inspire more creativity.
I can imagine contexts where a blank file might be more inspirational.  Especially to people with non spore-related tools to hand.
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« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2008, 11:48:09 AM »

I guess it's possible, but I doubt it happens very often. But let's see. Here's a blank line of text:



See what you all can do with it!
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policedanceclub
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« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2008, 12:06:31 PM »

I guess it's possible, but I doubt it happens very often. But let's see. Here's a blank line of text:

MONOCLE + TOPFEZ = LOVE

See what you all can do with it!



More love plz.
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0rel
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« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2008, 01:49:59 AM »

Quote from: rinkuhero
because a blank file with 0 bytes in it doesn't inspire creativity
that's only the most extreme case, when the creative aspects of the game are maximal overweight. like i tried to explain, the other things, which the player can't change (fixed assets/mechanics) should feed the creative "holes" in the game. if they do that not enough, the game won't be fun and not creative at all. creativity has to be enforced somehow and inspired by the setting of the game, thus it will be narrowed in some way, and not all will be possible like in with an empty file, so the player will have freedom only in some focused areas...

Quote
Spore creature editor
yep, that's the most critical example... as an editor it's extremely good. the tools are so easy to handle and still quite complex. all responds very directly, and feels alive. to a certain degree this can really make someone/everybody creative... but: it's not a game.

i don't know if the anatomy of creatures will be evaluate in some way, to decide how strong/intelligent/fast they are in the game. if so, these "quantiative" values could be independent of the creation itself. for example, if the number of arms decides how powerful a hit-attack of a creature would be, these decisions could be easily integrated into the game. one arm would simply cost a certain amount of gamepoints... in that case, the styling of the arms would be the free creative act by the player (creative byproduct). - but if the whole creation would be measured, for example by how thick and long the arms are, the creation process wouldn't be free anymore. even color could have a function, like bio-signals. althought it sounds like a mini detail, i think that's exactly the tricky unclear area...
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increpare
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« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2008, 03:53:28 AM »




Beer!
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Arne
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« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2008, 05:40:24 AM »

My mom has been a kindergarten teacher for 30+ year. She mentioned recently that she have noticed changes in how kids play. Nowadays they need to be fed entertainment and they're less likely to be creative and come up with their own games. Maybe it's because there's so much *easy juice* around them, there's no incentive to *squirt* their own *happy spices*.

I suppose a very figurative and literal game with very little player choice might encourage creativity less than other games.
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« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2008, 02:17:56 PM »

I say we bring back text adventure games. Every child shall play the Infocom adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. When they break down in tears at the babel fish section, we'll say it builds character.
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Seth
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« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2008, 02:24:40 PM »

When my grandpap was a kid during the Great Depression he taught himself to play the banjo, fiddle, harmonica, mandolin, how to whittle and work with wood, and many other things I'm sure.  What did I do with my childhood?  Mostly play video games.

I did want to make games from an early age, and I would do drawings of monsters and levels and things like that.  In that sense games did inspire creativity, but I think there is a significant difference when growing up you always have something to entertain you.  Nowadays with television and video games and the internet, it seems like there is always a steady output of entertainment (worthwhile or otherwise) for kids (and adults) that they never have to be creative about anything to get by.

I think boredom, along with stimulation, is an important component towards cultivating creativity.  I'm trying to think of times when I noticed kids were most creative while growing up.  I keep turning towards the middle of a dull class when kids would make up games to play while the teacher had his back turn or when they would doodle or make different types of paper airplanes.

If there is any reason video games hinder creativity, I think it's as Arne said, it's just so easy to be entertained these days.
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Cymon
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« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2008, 02:34:15 PM »

I say we bring back text adventure games. Every child shall play the Infocom adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. When they break down in tears at the babel fish section, we'll say it builds character.
Nah, just bring back text mode games.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை
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« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2008, 06:42:06 PM »

I don't think you can know for sure if easier entertainment and less boredom leads to less creativity -- there are a lot of factors that have changed over the years. We also have much poorer diets than we did in the 50s or 60s, soda is now the #1 source of food calories in the US (I'm not joking), there's tons more fast food and junk food now, so it's just as concievable to me that the decrease in creativity is due to poorer nutrition.
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« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2008, 07:05:32 PM »

I think there are 2 sides to this coin. On the one hand, I think all the media we have today including video games has enabled kids and our generation to have a more vivid imagination than ever before. I think there is a large gap between media that while inspiring an increased imagination, does nothing to encourage people to take that imagination and turn it into something creative, and those that do. I believe many popular chart topping console games out there at the moment are designed to inspire the imagination but don't go the extra step of having you ever DO anything with that which it has inspired.

A lot of games use your imagination to transport you into a place that is merely a guided tour along situations that have been imagined by someone else. These types of games I would argue do not do much to inspire creativity.

But there are lots of games out there, which use your imagination to understand some sort of structure and environment with rules - and then simply hand it over to you and leave it to the player to use it for themselves. The fact that there are bounds to what they can do does not negate the creativity required to create experiences larger than the sum of it's parts. Lego bricks are very restrictive. They can only snap one to the other, but it would be hard to dismiss their creative powers. Writing a novel is incredibly restrictive, you must pick out words from a pre-defined language and arrange them into something that describes what you want someone to feel, think or envision. But still a great deal of creativity arises from that. In the same manner I think any game that gives you a vocabulary to be creative, no matter how small (Nintendo Mii generation is a great example) can be effectively used as an outlet for creativity.

Also, anyone who says that games which give players some sort of creative vocabulary to work with never experience emergent situations or creations that the game developers had not envisioned must have an extremely limited experience with them.
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« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2008, 03:09:49 AM »

Quote from: Seth
If there is any reason video games hinder creativity, I think it's as Arne said, it's just so easy to be entertained these days.
Quote from: Arne
I suppose a very figurative and literal game with very little player choice might encourage creativity less than other games.
Quote from: marshmonkey
I think any game that gives you a vocabulary to be creative, no matter how small (...) can be effectively used as an outlet for creativity.

two good concrete examples i'm still not sure about what they are:
BlockOn! by Cactus
Crayon Physics
by Petri Purho

Editing is part of these games. Does that really make them more creative than others?

my first impression:
all actions are clearly oriented on puzzle solving, so playing the game isn't much more creative than in other puzzle games, although the player literally creates things in the game. the minimal graphics and the nice music were more creativity inspiring than the actual game in my experience.
(i still admire these games, i referring only to the creative aspect here)

@text adventure games: ooh, probably the most creative genre i completely forgot about (because i never played them in the past, mainly cause of the language barrier)

(small off-topic idea: a mmog text adventure would fun sometime. each room could be filled with player-generated small texts, describing things in these rooms, telling linked stories, like in a forum somehow. words could be linked and tagged/categorized, so that each post could be understood by the game-engine as well. like with hyper-links and meta-tags. the textes could be editied like in wikipedia... -- / unexamined, no workable examples at the moment.. %) /)

(and something thought it could be interesting to use for a new game a while ago was iScribble. maybe something worth a look...)
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« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2008, 04:13:12 AM »

(small off-topic idea: a mmog text adventure would fun sometime. each room could be filled with player-generated small texts, describing things in these rooms, telling linked stories, like in a forum somehow. words could be linked and tagged/categorized, so that each post could be understood by the game-engine as well. like with hyper-links and meta-tags. the textes could be editied like in wikipedia... -- / unexamined, no workable examples at the moment.. %) /)
Sort of like a customizable MUD?
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« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2008, 04:19:43 AM »

(small off-topic idea: a mmog text adventure would fun sometime. each room could be filled with player-generated small texts, describing things in these rooms, telling linked stories, like in a forum somehow. words could be linked and tagged/categorized, so that each post could be understood by the game-engine as well. like with hyper-links and meta-tags. the textes could be editied like in wikipedia... -- / unexamined, no workable examples at the moment.. %) /)
Sort of like a customizable MUD?
Aka a MUSH.
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« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2008, 06:21:08 AM »

bit late to the chat -

QUICK ANSWER Wink
In reality some games are pretty creative and others are less so. Also in the mix, different people get inspired by different things, and some people `want to be`/`are` more creative than others - GAME EXAMPLES:

Some game stimulate a lot of creativity (in this case through construction within the game):
Fantastic Contraption - http://fantasticcontraption.com/
Bridge builder - http://www.bridgebuilder-game.com/

Some games stimulate a bit of creativity:
In R-TYPE you choose how to utilise your force pod, you choose which weapons to pickup - which then creates a certain narrative (how you play the game).
In Secret of Mana you choose which weapons you prefer, and level them up accordingly - again having a certain creative input on how the game progresses.

WAFFLEY BRAINDUMP ANSWER:

Lots of games allow creativity, and in a variety of ways. And remember that what might seem dumb and uncreative to one person may be a trigger of inspiration to another.

EG - gears of war, person X wouldn't say the game encourages creativity one bit, but  young person Y may think it so super awesome they try to draw vehicles/characters from the game, and then design new bits to levels, new monsters etc. So it becomes a seed to someone from which they can grow and find their own creativity through initially mimicking someone else's.

Of course others may just consume the game and move onto a new one with little effect. It all comes down to the individual really, and its up to them to lead a balanced life where they read books / watch some films / watch some tv / play some games / fly a kite / make a sandcastle / paint a picture etc etc etc (consume and create).

Talking about media in general - I'd say that books encourage peoples imagination (which leads to creativity) more than film might, as in a book you have to create the peoples voices/world etc. With film/tv you are fed the visual and audio, so your brain tends to have a little less work to do (Book adaptations of movies are a good example, as you are seeing someone else's interpretation of a book - they interpret it on your behalf).

Then - mainstream games could then be seen as more `creative` than mainstream films, as they also tend to have linear stories but (am having to generalise of course) but you do choice as you progress from plot point A to plot point B. But both feed you a lot of information (images/sound) meaning less work for your imagination than a book might give you.

Which makes me think again, that what's important is just personal balance. In any form of media you get highbrow examples which make people think and create debate, as well as the super simple/dumb - if you expose yourself to just the dumb stuff you won't stretch your brain as much as you could.


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« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2008, 06:55:09 AM »

@MUD/MUSH:

now that's something! :D

well, i'm not that hardcore, you know. i never played something like that... actually, i have still serious difficulties to get into an ascii-only game like 'Dwarf Fortress'. it probably demands too much creativity and dedication to get something out of them... (lazy me)

but i can remember that a friend of mine played something like that a couple of years ago. i couldn't get into it, and all didn't look that interesting to me at that time. they had guildes and all that... when i remeber right, it was kind of mafia game with "realtime" events to fight each other only on text basis. he always had to think about the game-events in real life too, what was quite strange somehow. but i really don't know how it worked technically, how much content was really player-generated and tagged/link, like i meant before. i don't know...

(i was only a real gamer till N64 came out, mainly on nintendo consoles. console-games after that and all the net-based MMO-stuff is still new to me. i played some FPS over network, but nothing more. just so you know. -- indie games made me to a gamer again. Doh! )

Quote from: muku
Aka a MUSH.
thanks, i'll have a look at it, cause i'm actually searching around already... Wink

do you have some experience with this sort of games?
are they really that much like live-in-a-self-written-story-experinece?
are MUDs creative? (i really don't know anything about them)

(pop-up: all the wikipedia-like-linking-editing stuff could be applied to images, photos, 3d-models, music/souds and even code as well. just because there would be a problem with text-only-games for many people... not only the gameplay is important, that assets are at least as equally important in my opinion. if the players could contribute and change passive elements, that would be surly a creative thing, although it could get quite messy very fast without clear restrictions. - ok, but 'Second Life' is out there already - and i hate it (played it only twice, without too much editing). but people can even make games inside the game there, what is quite amazing. WoW is big too, but i never played it, mainly because i would never spend money on a that addicting game... -- hmm, although these things seem to be crazy cool somehow, i don't know if they are any good and inspiring for humanity as a whole (big spoken). creativitiy would be something desirable in games, to set the medium apart and make it stronger/unique as interactive experience. but as much as i know, the best thing to be creative is still creating things in classic way, not in agame. alone or in small groups, with whatever tools of choice. -- best example is  LittleBigPlanet, which really enables and promotes creative gameplay. but because most people can't and don't like creating (complex) things, they let the users now charge for their creations (levels). it wouldn't really work out otherwise. i don't know if that was intend initially by the inventors... or as another example for creativity here more in mmogs is Sauerbraten. enableing creativity is even much more difficult when it comes to mult-player-mode. in Sauerbraten as an example: everybody can join the collaborative 3d-map edit-party there. i mean, just everybody. in my experience, that can be fun, but it isn't really constructive much of the time. it's more a skirmish-thing.... same as in iScribble. if some random people try to paint a picture together, and they don't knew each other before, it is too difficult to have good results/experiences there... in the same way, it would be highly difficult for musicans to play together, improvise together, when they don't know each other or share a defined common style, or they must have very high broad ranged skills, what is quite rare. so i think, at the end this creative-game-trend is simply utopic,    illusory... (temporary afternoon dump :S))

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