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Author Topic: Games- Killer of Creativity?  (Read 11968 times)
increpare
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« Reply #40 on: July 29, 2008, 07:13:31 AM »

(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! )
MUDs (and probably MUSHs) far predate the advent of the N64!
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« Reply #41 on: July 29, 2008, 07:30:03 AM »

But Orel, you say that just as you wouldn't be able to improvise with other strangers in any other medium, you couldn't do the same in games. Well, whoever said you had to collaborate with total strangers? If you're wanting to make something, be it a map or a painting or a jazz piece, wouldn't you want to work with your friends? If so, then the question isn't whether or not you can successfully collaborate with total strangers; that has more to do with the individual's social skills than the mechanics of any medium. It's instead whether or not the medium can allow you to make something with your friends.

Besides, the random bouts of iScribble and Sauerbrauten are productive too, in a way. As I said before, working with total strangers is something that depends on social skills rather than the mechanics of a given program, and is often necessary in life. Even if you can't walk out of the session with the Mona Lisa, you can still say that you developed your social skills. And who knows, you could get a spark of inspiration from someone you had never met- top-fez, anyone?
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« Reply #42 on: July 29, 2008, 08:42:03 AM »

Playing videogames can't involve creativity as much as other games or activities because typically, with a software, you are bound to remaining within the limits dictated by the interface and programmed behaviours(unles it is bug-ridden). You can't "think out of the box" or "bend the rules" as you could do with say, pencils, or playing cards, or even a tabletop boardgame.

Creating videogames, on the other hand, is as creative as anything else.

That was my 2 cents, I don't know how usefule it will be, I didn't even read the rest of the thread to be honest  Gentleman
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0rel
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« Reply #43 on: July 29, 2008, 09:08:48 AM »

@Otaku42:
you're right about all this points.

i'm only that upset/negative because i once really wanted to make something like that myself, kind of a trendy collaborative nu-media-net sculpture, but that's only fluffy words... it didn't work out at all. i realized that it is absolutely not the thing where i'm good at. it needs so many artisic/technical and SOCIAL skills, which i simply can't come up with. and at the end, i'm now sure that it would never work out conceptually as well in the way i thought it could sometime. like you say: "....that has more to do with the individual's social skills than the mechanics of any medium. ". that's really true... creativity can't be put in as add-on-feature. games are machines after all.

#ifdef UTOPIA
glEnable( GL_CREATIVITY );
#endif // UTOPIA


i came down to a more realistic view: when something really is creative about games, then it is primarily CREATING GAMES itself!

and that's what i should do now. all the trendy mmo- and whatever-hype isn't imortant for us indies... we should just make games as standalone works, like most indie devs already do. - Jon Mak's concept of making games as GAME ALBUMS is the quintessence of all these ramblings for me...
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« Reply #44 on: July 29, 2008, 09:19:46 AM »

Playing videogames can't involve creativity as much as other games or activities because typically, with a software, you are bound to remaining within the limits dictated by the interface and programmed behaviours(unles it is bug-ridden). You can't "think out of the box" or "bend the rules" as you could do with say, pencils, or playing cards, or even a tabletop boardgame.

Tell that to these guys.
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muku
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« Reply #45 on: July 31, 2008, 02:52:24 AM »

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)

I once, for one night in my life, played Armageddon MUD (http://www.armageddon.org/). To be precise, I had spent many days before that reading through the extremely detailed background material on the homepage, trying to understand the world this MUD is set in and writing up the backstory for my character. You see, in order to join, you don't simply roll a character, you have to write up your character's entire history, where they were born, how they grew up, what they think like, what they look like etc.

Now this world Armageddon is set in is a pretty hardcore desert planet setting, pretty unique stuff actually (well, Dark Sun is similar). In order to mask my newbishness and to make it less embarrassing when I would get my ass kicked, I created a character who wasn't some fighter brute, but a rather young boy who had been raised in seclusion by his father alone and was more the shy and cowardly type. So I typed this up and embellished it best as I could within the backstory of the Armageddon world. When your character is done, you have to send it per email to a mod of the game who will review it and tell you whether it was accepted. So I did, and this was actually a slightly scary moment: would they approve of what I had created, or would I fail to meet the lofty standards established on the homepage? Luckily, I soon got a reply from a mod who personally congratulated me on my character and said that it was one of the most original and interesting characters he had received for review recently. That felt pretty good, and to keep on the topic of the thread, I had been rewarded for my creativity already at that point.

So that night I finally joined the game server and got dropped into Armageddon. I've probably never felt this much that I actually was exploring an alien, hostile world as that night. I encountered shady types who robbed me of what little money I had in the first few minutes of playing, and I encountered slightly less shady types who took me to bars to discuss me working for some greasy noble. I also met that noble then, my character all the time buckling and stammering for nervosity of him just offing me for uttering some ill-received word. Generously, he let me live and sent me on some errand (the details of which seem to have slipped my mind since).

The whole thing was probably the most intense gaming experience I've had in my life; my pulse was rushing and my heart thumping all the time through it. It isn't even the game mechanics so much as the fact that Armageddon requires 100% roleplaying (no powergaming or OOC interaction), so it's really like playing in a non-stop improv theater play with people you've never met before. It's incredibly taxing when you're not used to it, and I guess I was experiencing some form of stage fright when I was playing.

That said, after that intense night, I never returned to the game. Perhaps I was too intimidated by it all, or perhaps I really want my gaming to be a tad less edge-of-the-seat and creatively challenging after all?

Also, after that experience, I never looked at computer RPGs the same. No matter whether it's something like Baldur's Gate, some generic MMORPG and don't even get me started on that JRPG stuff: they might be fun, but they really have no right to be calling themselves "role-playing" games.

To be fair, though, most MUDs aren't that hardcore, and many are far more lax with respect to roleplaying than this one. However, if you are looking for that "live-in-a-self-written-story experience", something like Armageddon is exactly what you're looking for; just read some of the player logs at http://www.armageddon.org/rp/logs/. I think there are some other MUDs/MUSHes which go all the way, I seem to recall some scifi MUSH which had extremely long (we're talking years) player-created story arcs which simply arose out of in-game roleplaying. I can't remember the name though. I think it's worth the experience, even if like me you only do it once in your life.
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« Reply #46 on: August 01, 2008, 08:00:40 AM »

hey muku, that's really interesting! thanks for sharing your experience... - surely the best example for creative gaming in this thread so far!

Quote from: muku
if you are looking for that "live-in-a-self-written-story experience", something like Armageddon is exactly what you're looking for.
i didn't expect that.
Quote from: muku
some scifi MUSH which had extremely long (we're talking years) player-created story arcs which simply arose out of in-game roleplaying

that's a completly new dimension of role-playing-games i wasn't aware of! okay, RPGs were never one of my favourite genres, but now i see that JRPGs (like 'Zelda'?) aren't the end of this genre. they are much more role-taking- than role-playing games somehow..

the whole MUD-genre is new to me... now, after some reading around, i've found out that MUDs are even one of the most archaic genre ever in computer game's history (first MUD in 1978!)... the roots of online-games seem to be quite academic though Wink.

Quote from: muku
after that intense night, I never returned to the game. Perhaps I was too intimidated by it all, or perhaps I really want my gaming to be a tad less edge-of-the-seat and creatively challenging after all?

maybe these hardcore MUDs are too similar to working in real life to be enjoyable...

the main reason why games can be fun is because they offer a *simplified* alternate reality, which the player can enter to get distraction/entertainment/reflection/abreaction/inspiration/training/relaxation/education/medition... stable off-spaces, basically. that's also the reason why people like to have clear objectives in games: nobody can say what the meaning of "first life" really is, but in games, there's (mostly) always a clear answer, reasons for all elements to be like they are (e.g. lines in football and other sports / or when mario can jump only x feets high, there will be no option (thus, no problem) to change this in that game universe / why all this suffering? -> save the princess! and so on). - destiny: all is preconstructed, what is something desirable for the majority of players. they mostly enjoy that kind of reduction of possibilites in games. it gives them concetration: un-focus / re-focus first-life. if this can't be supplied by the setting, it isn't really a game! for example poker, playing with real money, is that a game? (player == real gambler). is a MUD where all has to be written by the players really game? (player == real author). -- i can't see where the boundery is here...

by the way, this OOC-term was new to me too... so, wikipedia said: OOC (Out of character) / IC (In Character) ... maybe, this separation could be used to "proof" that real creativity isn't possible in games. - like described above, games seem always to make up simplified, alternate realities (e.g. like in chess). now, if the player is in the game, he will be simplified too, with all his abilities to express himself. if he plays mario, the game will see him as mario too (x, y, velocity, big/small). he can only do what the rules of the game world allow him to do in a certain situation (e.g. one can't fly in chess). this rigid system of rules (which all games have, cause if not, the game would be realitiy itself) makes up this 'in character'/'out of character' distinction. or more general: 'in game'/'out of game'. so, if the game wants to enable really real creative actions, the player would have to exit the game somehow! writing in MUD is something 'out of game', cause the player writes as a real author, it's not something that comes out of the game. equally, the editing in 'LittleBigPlanet' is something which involves the player as real human being, not as a game character. the abilities to be creative can't be supplied by the game-system, cause creativity isn't integrable in a rigid system. but if the system can be changed in the game, by writing stories, changing the world (code/data), then it becomes dynamic, so the players MAKE the game and don't only PLAY the game... conclusion: creativiy is always REAL! (wisenheimer afternoon-dump :S)

(btw: augmented reality games (like GridLockd!) make this game<->reality / real<->unreal distinction even more unclear... the play-ground is real, the humans are real, but the game is computer-based, dots on a grid...)

hmm, but i don't know if all this blahh really leads somewhere. i should probably stop it now.

for me, three type of new games were on my check-list for a while:
- album games: small/artistic/weird/experimental/innovative/"poetic" games (-> no $$$, needs an open mind -> canceled)
- collabortive/creativitiy-centered editor-games like discussed here (social/complicated/... -> (probably) not possible -> canceled)
- expressive games: normal games stylized/twisted as expressive instruments (like 'Rez'/'Every Day Shooter' -> okay)

i think it makes more sense to make a real game now, before i'll be allowed to talk further about all that, cause i actually have almost no experience in makeing games! (besides ZICZAC) - so please don't take these long posts all too serious, it's just cross thinking around...
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« Reply #47 on: August 02, 2008, 11:01:45 PM »

I think everyone is creative whether they believe it or not and if games didn't challenge that innate creativity, we'd stop playing them.  Who doesn't love finding out how to do something in Super Mario Bros that your friends can't do and showing off your new found talent?

You'll find that with rules and boundaries put on a person, they are more likely they are to do something creative to try and stretch the rules as far as they go without breaking them.  But, put too many boundaries on a person, they'll feel trapped because there's no room to flex their creativity.  Put on too little, and the options are overwhelming to a persons decision making process and thus they feel lost.  You really can apply this to much more than just games.  But, for the sake of argument, let's play a little game i made up:

   You're standing in the middle of a grassy field.

That's it.  So?  Did you like it?  When you pictured that field(which takes a little creativity Wink) did you do anything there?  I can't speak for everybody, but i think a lot of people would at first be waiting for further instruction or doing the text adventure game equivalent of typing "look".

See, the rules to my game were a little fuzzy at first, but now that you know the boundaries of my little game, you might picture yourself running around, singing at the top of your lungs or, i don't know, flipping off some unsuspecting blade of grass.  You might even start making up your own rules within the game.

So, for my answer, no, games do not kill creativity, they even give us a way of exercising our creativity.  But, they may also provide a too easy outlet for a person's creativity because the rules and boundaries are always so clearly and explicitly defined (edit:) as opposed to real life where the rules and boundaries are pretty much limitless and often overwhelming.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2008, 10:46:28 AM by feeblethemighty » Logged

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