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Old 12-30-2010, 08:40 AM   #6
karn1
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Re: Games: A New Critical Approach

I like the article very much aswell. A more theorized look at gaming is very interesting to me. I like the way you dissect games to discover certain mechanics which are present in other art forms.

However, I don't agree with all your points. I am not a big fan of the four criteria to judge the value of a poem. It reminds me very much of the scene from "Dead Poets Society" in which the class is taught the value of a poem can be defined by two axes. I don't believe that any work of art can be valued objectively, but I do believe that we can make compelling arguments for its worth and that we can agree or disagree with these arguments. And it is in this discussion that the value lies, because it opens up new ways of viewing the world and viewing ourselves.

As I said before, I like the dissection, but I feel like Pedro that these terms are more suitable for poetry than for gaming. Perhaps some of the terms can be applied to gaming, but their meaning needs to be adjusted, which makes the term unclear. For instance, with Ambiguity I can understand the criterium for poetry in the sense that words and sentences have double meanings or the reader needs to make meaning actively by filling in blanks or associate. For gaming however, the term Ambiguity is less clear from the get-go and even after your explanation it's still vague.
Tension is a very clear term for both poetry and gaming, but they have a different meaning, I believe. Whereas in poetry the tension is caused by elements of the poem which oppose eachoter, in gaming tension is achieved by combining elements into an intense experience for the gamer, which has more to do with immersion.

I like the suggestion with Pedro to come up with new categories, especially since a traditional category like "gameplay" envelops so many things.
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