The lights are on
[story by Andy Reiner, who is covering the D.I.C.E. convention for Game Informer]
David Cage, the writer and director of Quantic Dreams' upcoming PlayStation 3 game Beyond: Two Souls, spoke at D.I.C.E. today about the video game industry refusing to grow up. His speech, titled "The Peter Pan Syndrome," passionately pointed out the mistakes he feels the industry is making."We make the same games over and over," Cage said. "The lack of innovation is an issue for any industry. We need to find ways to reach a wider audience. We need to move beyond our tradition market which is usually kids and teens. Think about your friends and parents who don't play games."He pointed out that people can talk to their parents and grandparents about movies, but there's rarely a common understanding between the groups for games. Cage believes the industry is ready for change. He wants to see developers make games without guns and focus on the journey the game offers more than its challenge. Cage said the first steps to getting to this future are to make games for everyone, and change game paradigms. He stressed the need to move away from violence and making the same game over and over again. "Can we create games that have something to say? Can we create games with meaning?" He outlined a number of topics that games could potentially tackle, such as politics and human emotion."All real world themes should be used," he said, pointing out how many games are set in separate dimensions and are not mirror reflections of who the gamer is. He wants games to deliver an experience that "by the time you turn off the console, it leaves an impression."Cage also said developers should embrace talent outside of the video game industry, whether it's authors helping with stories or actors bringing characters to life. He wants developers to establish new relationships with Hollywood. "It's time for meaningful and constructive and balanced relationships. We can work together to create a new form of entertainment."Cage ended his speech by saying press can help improve games by giving meaningful analysis and opinions, not just scores about game components. Gamers play a large role, too. "Buying or not buying a game is almost like a political vote," he said. "You decide what direction the industry goes in with your vote. Buying a game is also a matter of responsibility. You vote where you want the industry to go."
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"many games are set in separate dimensions and are not mirror reflections of who the gamer is"
I thought that was kind of the point of gaming. It's a form of escapism like books and movies. How boring would Grand Theft Auto IV have been if it was Heated Political Debate About Immigration IV? Or if Nathan Drake uncovered some ancient treasure and immediately went home to face a legal battle with the government of the country he found it in?
I want to play a game where I'm on an alien planet blasting the crap out aliens and skydiving out of exploding spaceships. Because I don't get to do any of that in real life.
Yes, deep thought provoking games are good and I applaud any effort that doesn't get too heavy handed with their message. But I don't think games need to grow up because people are already forced to do that. So what if a game doesn't send a message about politics or the environment. I just want to have fun when I play them.
Nope, the best games are the ones that don't take themselves too seriously.
Interesting. I see this as a great place to go for the games he develops. I can't say that for the industry as a whole. I'd be disappointed to find all games trying to force feed a message, or lose all too much challenge in them. That's kind of what makes games special, that they already are so different. And let's be honest. Not all gammers play or talk about all games. He made a comparison to film, and in theory, I could talk to my grandmother about the plot in the watchmen movie. She wouldn't get that anymore than me talking about portal or heavy rain either. As for the press I think they do a decent job throwing in more than just a score and some notes. Look at game informer, The current editor and chief reviewed cyberia as one word "yawn" and the score. I'm sure that wouldn't fly today. Because there is an effort to truly inform readers about the games and offer the editors true opinion on all aspects of the game.
I would like to see where his games go, but the industry has changed considerably since I was young, and I'd be sad if all games went down the road he thinks is best.
he has some decent points but i can't fully agree :/
Some valid points
From what I see in the comments, a lot of people don't understand this guy or frankly, gaming. Gaming isn't just a way to have fun, it's an entirely new media, on par with movies and literature. If the people that play games don't understand what gaming is, why do they demand that the press and general public must? Gaming is art, and that is not a topic of debate. A video game can deliver a story and emotion just as well, and usually better than any other form of media. Sure, there are plenty of awful games, but the same goes for books, music, movies, and paintings. This guy is definitely right about the "Peter Pan" syndrome, and if somebody doesn't step up soon, the whole industry could crash. It's not just about what happens inside the market anymore, because the influence doesn't stop anywhere. With more talk of "game-caused violence", the whole media is getting seriously hurt. To give a recent example, Journey is probably the most enotionally powerful game to come out this year, and it had no dialogue and hardly any interpersonal relations. It was the story of one person's quest to reach a goal that seemed impossible, but had an inexplicable draw to it. With the occasional help from outsiders, you made your way to a new understanding of yourself, others, and the world around you. That is a journey, and it is most definitely a respectable and valuable art form that cannot be laid to waste by greed and corruption. No other media has had to overcome challenges and obstacles as great as gaming has, and if it succeeds it will be a true testament to gaming's power.
Gamers play a large role, too. "Buying or not buying a game is almost like a political vote," he said. "You decide what direction the industry goes in with your vote. Buying a game is also a matter of responsibility. You vote where you want the industry to go."
The most important and true statement to how the industry works and why it has morphed into the same crap over and over.. people buy it. Simple as that..
I'd stand and cheer if I could.
He is so pretentious, i'm sick of him saying things like this. There are plenty of games with violence and guns that have amazing storytelling.
this guy is such a turd ferguson let people make what they want to make and let people play what they want to play
1) There is no lack on innovation.
2) How good does David Cage's games sell.
3) Who cares?
Although I agree with some of the things he is saying, I don't agree on how he wants to solve the problems. Not only that, but it is also a matter of opinion. Gaming is almost like a religion, nowadays. So saying that ALL games need to grow up is incorrect. The developers use games as a form of artwork to interpret their own stories or beliefs. One of my personal heroes, Hideo Kojima, is a fine example for that. The Metal Gear franchise has a complex story and his own personal opinion of where war will lead us if we don't stop (Metal Gear is an anti-war game, just in case you didn't know). Other people might think differently and that's okay because everybody has their own style. If he wants to change his own games, that's fine. But don't push other people to do the same because YOU think we need to evolve.
I'm all for new games.