Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Spector: Video Games In Danger Of Being "Marginalized"

In a wide-ranging keynote address at GDC Europe in Germany, legendary games designer Warren Spector of Deus Ex and Epic Mickey fame expressed his concern that an over-reliance on modern set-pieces could do lasting harm to the video game industry. Among other things, Mr. Spector had this to say:
"If we don't break out of the big buff guys with swords and... space marines, we're going to get marginalized the way that comic books have been in the United States."
The talk covered a broad range of topics, including what games can borrow from movies and the times when they should do their own thing. He believes that developers should not cut-away from in-game action, He felt that games were at their best when allowing the gamer to decide how to frame the world they've been given:
"We will also allow players to create unique experience through play, we will allow them to create art. Player experience comes first - we have to allow them to show their creativity. No other medium has allowed them to do this. We are unique in the history of humankind. Every player becomes an author when they play a game."
Gamasutra and GI.biz have full write-ups on the keynote address. Personally, I admire Warren Spector, as he shows a care for his work that many developers lack, and even fewer publishers understand. The industry as a whole, I feel, would be much better off if they learned to get away from making their investor sheets look better every quarter and instead concentrated on making products that truly enriched the medium, a stance at odds with that of large, publicly owned publishers like Electronic Arts, Activision-Blizzard and Ubisoft.

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