Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Videogames rule??

I just came across this:

"Denis Dyack is the president of St. Catharines-based Silicon Knights, an interactive entertainment company that has produced groundbreaking video games such as Too Human with Microsoft on the Xbox 360 and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes with Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube.
Dyack believes that interactive video games are destined to be the dominant art form of the 21st century. "It is the eighth art form that merges storytelling with nonlinear interactivity," he says, noting that the average video game player in the United States is 35 years old and has been playing for 13 years."

Dyack has been arguing for the primacy of videogames for at least a decade, and sceptics might think that if they really were so predominant no one would need to keep asserting that they were. After all, I don't recall anybody promoting the status of TV in the 1980s. This argument is constantly being put forth: the market for videogames is said to be greater than that of films, although what's actually compared is box office receipts versus sales of games -the other ways in which films make money (sales to TV, airlines etc) aren't included in the calculation. A friend of mine calls videogames "films you control", i.e. more interesting movies, but in saying that he reduces movies to their lowest generic form - action, violence, fantasy. There aren't many videogames which look like films by Kiarostami or Wong Kar-Wai.

Nevertheless, there does seem to have been a shift in the last decade or so in the relationship between videogames and other forms. Increasingly videogames are the force field in which the others move - they seem to be the fundamental, determining and decisive form. The others have started to move in their orbit, not the other way around. Videogames chime with Web 2.0 - they're at the cutting edge. Society will I think eventually have to catch up with this - our assumptions as to what's interesting in culture are at least a generation out of date. Videogames are right at the heart of digimodernism - their time has come and is now.

No comments:

Post a Comment