Monday, September 16, 2002

Narratives again
What intrigues me in this story is that for years, computer-game creators have aspired to create something more than games—to make real, narrative entertainments. Trip Hawkins, founder of Electronic Arts, used to say that he wanted to create a computer game that could make you cry. But somehow that higher goal always got lost in the need to make a compelling game. In my own brief time writing for the game industry, I would often hear: We want this to be a truly great story. And then the next question would be: how many rooms do you want in the dungeon?

Lisbeth links to the article Girls Just Want to Have Games, a nice article about games for girls, some that work and some that don't. And then, in the middle of that nice article, when I think the conclusion will be that the gameplay is more important than the fiction: WHAM there's the narrative again.

I haven't really looked at the games created for girls only - that might actually be an interesting next project: girl games and girl gamers! But this article indicates one reason why they haven't become such a great hit. Games need to be good games first. If you then can incorporate a great, moving, beautiful story, nothing is better. It's like ballet: if the dance and the music isn't good, it doesn't matter whether they perform War and Peace or Amazons From Space II. If the Music is good, and the choreography is great, and you have dancers who love the challenge - then you can start to tell stories as well... and make people cry.

No comments: