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February 27th, 2007, 12:14
Safe to say I absolutely disagree with the guy from Armchair Empire. What he gives us here is a nostalgia tinted version of a game era that I hoped was gone for good until Bethesda released that contentless Elder Scrolls crap.
It's nice to hear that there are people like Jeff Nash from The Armchair Empire who are so easily to entertain - but not me, not anymore. The glorification of your own imagination as a substitution for lacking content is something that makes me angry. Storytelling is called storytelling because someone tells a story to someone else, if it were about someone making up a story for himself, they propaly would have given it another name. There is a reason why novels contain text and not just pictures.
Jeff Nash's approach is one that I have learned to totally reject over the years because it uses nicely sounding phrases to justify a style of gaming that I despise. People like him pretend that they are themselves highly creative and only need their own imagination to create places, characters and plot. Truth is that we're dealing here with a very narrow-minded and egocentric approach that focuses on things like character and setting, but dismisses story as negligible. Ask youself - would you ever buy a novel that contains no text, but just images, or watch a film that does only show scenery? I sure wouldn't…
The argument that free exploration is at the heart of this approach is also nonsense, since every kind of exploration has the ultimate goal to find something AND to find out about it. In the Elder Scrolls games there is often no way to find even the slightest clue about certain places which makes them very boring places to explore. Of course you can use your own creativity to make something up, but let's face it - that's more speculation than imagination.
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