Feedback Field Trip -- DICE 2010 Edition

Posted: February 20, 2010
Feedback Field Trip -- DICE 2010 Edition
G4's Away Team took Feedback into the field at DICE 2010, sitting down with Gearbox's Randy Pitchford of Borderlands fame, and Dr. Peter Raad, Founder and Executive Director of The Guildhall at SMU.

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  • UltimaRatioRegum

    Hey guys, great show as usual, and thanks for bringing Dr. Raad out, his talk was very interesting. I do have to disagree with him on one thing though, and that's that games are the only interactive art form. I mean, besides the more obvious stuff like that whole Dada log with the ax in it thing, when you get into art theory, all art is interactive. You take in whatever is presented to you, and rearrange it according to your own values to get meaning, which is why different people can look at the same thing and get a different take on it. While games are interactive, it's actually not as free and creative as you might think since most of the interaction is limited by whatever the programmers decided was necessary. Sure, you have to press buttons to make things happen, but what happens is mostly predetermined. Therefore, the only time you're ever really creating anything in a game is when you glitch, or do something that the programmers didn't intend you to do. Not to say that I agree with glitching, since it goes against the intended presentation of the work by the people who created it. It would be like cutting up a painting and saying that the artist wanted you to do it.

    Or, at least, that's how I see it, which brings me to a big point about the whole game/art debate. One of the first things you have to do when you go to art school, which I did(stop laughing), is go to various art theory classes. The first thing they always ask is, 'What is art?'. What proceeds is a deluge of poorly thought out sound bites that are either too nebulous or too specific. I guess what I'm saying is that one of the reasons people have so much trouble thinking about games as art is because they have such a hard time defining art in the first place. When you add in the fact that games are a mix of a lot of different mediums, this complexity of definition is compounded.

    For me, the heart of a game, and what should be measured as a work of art, is the game play itself, because that's what makes games unique. Look at a game like Tetris, which has minimal visual and audio appeal, and no story to speak of, but is still one of the best and most popular games ever made. Therefore, in my opinion, Tetris is one of the purest games around, and one of the best examples of art as game play. Conversely, there are a ton of games that look and sound way better than Tetris, but are nowhere near as fun to play, and therefore fail as games, even though many of the assets that were used in order to create them are closer to being works of art in their respective mediums.

    I have absolutely no doubt that video games can be works of art, and one example of the healthiness of the video game art form comes from an unlikely place, specifically, Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard. This may seem like a strange statement at first, but one sure sign that a medium is creatively maturing is when it starts to examine itself. In painting it was the Impressionists, in film it was guys like Sergio Leone and his 'cine cine', or film about film. While Eat Lead was not the highest minded game ever, the fact that it shows that developers are examining game logic and history, in this case lampooning it, is a very good thing.

    Like the good Dr. Raad said, not every game has to be a work of art, and I totally agree with this. I see the future of artistic expression in games mirroring the film industry, due to the large sums of money involved in the creation of both. Basically, going into the future, most of the really crazy, creative, artsy games will most likely be produced by smaller, independent studios while the bigger studios will most likely stick to more conventional fair.

    I'm done for now.

    P.S. If you're wondering what I went to art school for, it was sequential art. Comic books. It's like calling a janitor a custodial engineer.

    Posted: February 26, 2010 11:12 AM
  • De OriginalGamesta

    love the show guys a fan since tech tv ""gag""......very good info

    Posted: February 25, 2010 11:47 AM
  • Crunchbite4117

    Adam and Patrick rule! and I don't think i've heard someone speak so beautifully about Video Games and how they are art then the way Dr. Peter Raad did he is incredible!

    Posted: February 22, 2010 4:15 PM
  • drangel_jam

    best feedback ever

    Posted: February 22, 2010 11:22 AM
  • curmudgeon

    Nice to see some people actually are ready to take some risks and put some character into their games. too often we see a homogenized mainstream game that overloads us with old ideas and caters specifically to the mass market (hint hint, MW2). I'm glad games like fallout and borderlands exist because I can actually enjoy the unique character that the game has.

    great job gearbox, keep em comin

    Posted: February 22, 2010 9:28 AM
  • V_Translanka

    Nice lil interview chunks here...I wish I could be a guest on Feedback so I could get me one of them fancy silhouette pictures of myself...>_>

    Posted: February 21, 2010 9:34 PM
  • bmben

    God forbid anyone disagree with G4 or criticize anything they do. Here I thought G4 was different from the group-think hype machine. Turns out they are just a different group-think hype machine, and most of the people who comment on here are idiot fanboys. Go ahead, neg bang me into oblivion. I don't care for this site anymore.

    Posted: February 21, 2010 9:33 PM
  • Raisinbman

    Feedback is always good to hear.

    I couldn't put it into words, but that "cycle" you mentioned about blizzard is pretty on spot. I'm seriously about to buy some stock w/ them, even w/ the mishaps of focusing too much on arena/pvp nerfs(making PVE suffer), theydo good.

    The prof's opinion was an interesting one to hear, too. The 21st's century's medium...nice.

    Posted: February 21, 2010 9:17 PM
  • Dwarves

    nice! i'd love to see more feedback field trips in the future.

    Posted: February 21, 2010 6:50 PM
  • IamtheBat

    Thanks for all the coverage at dice, Ive been interested in buying Electronic Arts (ERTS) and Activision Blizzard (ATVI) stock for a while, just seeing all the echelons really secured my investment in the video game industry. Also the stocks are relatively cheap.

    Posted: February 21, 2010 6:26 PM
  • DigitalGibs

    I'd love to see a better coverage of the actual content on the big screen instead of focusing on the speaker for the entire time. After all, given that the content was designed for a large audience, the content on the screen is likely more important than the person giving it. These types of events work MUCH better with at least 2 cameras. Allow camera-1 to focus on the speaker and camera-2 to focus on the slides, jumping between them for every slide change. It gives relevance to every, "as you see here" comment that is made. Even one camera could get a wide angle on the big screen, panning in on the speaker on occasion to change up the perspective. Listening to the speeches was as easy as you making sense of my final statements.

    "Our objective was to reach these up-and-coming markets on the left, while maintaining a position in the markets on the right. (next slide) We avoided the following genres, since we had a negative return due to increased competition from these listed games that were released this holiday season. (next slide) Instead of competing in that crowded market, we've taken the following steps (listed neatly on the next slide)."

    I bet you wish you had some context for that awesome speech huh? =) Yeah.. me too.

    Posted: February 21, 2010 5:39 PM

    an extra helping of feedback, im loving it!

    Posted: February 21, 2010 5:23 PM
  • SKS/RiZzO

    great show!!!

    Posted: February 21, 2010 4:57 PM
  • SKS/RiZzO

    GREAT SHOW GUYS! I'm glad my life isn't an RPG because my XPs would be pathetic lol!!! Keep up the good work.

    Posted: February 21, 2010 4:54 PM
  • SKS/RiZzO

    Quick off topick question. After Infinity Ward and Activision released World at War on PC PS3 and 360, they instead relaunched MW on Wii as Reflex Edition. At the next release will Wii get brought back up o date or will it stay a step behind here out? Thanks

    Posted: February 21, 2010 3:18 PM
  • Reign90

    You know, if Patrick is gonna be Adam's successor, he's GOTTA do something with that hair... maybe shave it off so it's an easier transition to "Sessler" (don't worry Pat, you're young enough to grow it back)

    Posted: February 21, 2010 2:48 PM
  • drug_x

    This Feedback was AWESOME i hope to see more Feedback Field trips with all the other major events like E3, Comicon, TGS, and so on. cus that would be mind blowing.

    Posted: February 21, 2010 12:45 PM
  • Buzzerker74

    another thing, why do ll the hosts of g4's t.v. shows have xbl accounts but no gamer points and no video games to compare? the only person i have seen with any gamer points was munn when she was on my friends list and she only had like 25 points at that, why is is that code monkes is still listed in your group of shows when the only time you get to watch it is at two a.m. monday? where has your sense of humor gone g4?

    Posted: February 21, 2010 12:39 PM
  • BoydofZINJ

    Both guests were truely enlightened and fun to watch. I am a heavy computer and non console gamer - I only played GTA 4 (never finished), Forced Unleashed, and Modern Warfare 2 on my PS3; however, I play tons of games on my computer - including Mass Effect 1 and 2 (I can not even imagine how people play THAT game on a Xbox). When i went t college I became a computer scientist and I had aspirations to make my own game. Sadly, I discovered my art and graphic design was THE PITs. I had money problems and I abandoned my dream of creating games. I have and had ideas. However, he is right - some of those ideas would have bombed. Creating games is not a solo adventure; it is a group adventure. The person with the money and vision dictates the goal. The people under him or her can only hope to put their own ideas into it while helping it out.

    I really enjoyed this weeks' Feedback. thank you.

    Posted: February 21, 2010 7:28 AM
  • Adrenalyn915

    @ Patrick

    Dude, are you wearing velcro tigers? ... nice ...

    Posted: February 21, 2010 6:52 AM