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Default Dragon Age - Elevating the Narrative @ Grey Wardens

November 26th, 2009, 01:23
Exorzist at the Bioware forums points to a short article on the Grey Wardens blog talking about the narrative in Dragon Age: Origins. The author discusses how the hero usualy wins the day and how this game the hero may have options than the good or the happy ones.
Do you agree with the author's final comments:
Art, real art, has a place for human pain, for heartbreak. By very definition the interactivity of video game allows for a depth of connection to that emotion greater than words on a page, or even colourful images on a screen, because it's your character, your adventure, your heartbreak.
Can this ever be true in a videogame? Is this true in Dragon Age: Origins or in other videogames?
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November 26th, 2009, 01:23
I would disagree that "by very definition", video games necessarily evoke or even allow "emotion greater than words on a page". I've been profoundly impacted by many books I've read, and probably to a greater extent than from video games.

I tend to believe that games are a riskier medium than books or movies, and so the stories have to be safer, or at least disguised by safer game play.

And while I could say a game like Braid really touched me, the story and game play are somewhat separate. The story of Braid touched me; the game play was fun and innovative. But the two didn't complement one another outside of making the overall experience more memorable. The fun game play, that is, didn't make the story more poignant.

As for DA, I'm not to the end yet, but I agree that typically with BioWare games (and similar to what I just said of Braid) I'm more impacted by the summary of what happens to my character and my henchmen — after the game play is said and done, although I can think of a few decisions I made during KotOR where I felt everything converged.

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November 26th, 2009, 01:29
Imagination beats any book, movie, or game . That's why i don't think Bioware's movie-like games are that good or interesting i guess…

I prefer player driven games like Morrowind, Oblivion or Sims way more than story driven ones, it's what makes games unique, "make your own story", "live a virtual life" kind of thing. Linear games arent very interesting, especially since they dont compete with good quality movies or books, yet.
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November 26th, 2009, 02:31
Originally Posted by bobisimo View Post
I would disagree that "by very definition", video games necessarily evoke or even allow "emotion greater than words on a page". I've been profoundly impacted by many books I've read, and probably to a greater extent than from video games.
Right. I have been profoundly impacted by books, music, and films. Art in each of these has media has altered the course of my life in huge ways.

Videogames are fun. They are entertaining. They immerse me in an alternate reality for a while. They can be intellectually stimulating. And they are occasionally moving. But they have never come remotely close to the impact of other art forms.

Even when I am moved by a videogame, it is a transient thing, not much more significant than the experience of being moved by some random TV show or ordinary movie. I feel it, it fades, and the experience passes away without changing my life in any way.

Games fail my personal criterion for real art (or maybe I should say high art), which is that it changes the way you see (perceive, experience) things — it makes it deeper or better somehow — and as a result changes the way you interact with the world. Books, music, and film have all done that for me. Games never have. I don't expect they ever will. Which is fine, of course. That's not why I play games.
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November 26th, 2009, 04:31
Originally Posted by Anderson View Post
Books, music, and film have all done that for me. Games never have. I don't expect they ever will. Which is fine, of course. That's not why I play games.
Well said, and I agree. I think the only "game" that has really affected me based on the playing was Passage, but I say game in quotes because there's not a lot of playing.

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November 26th, 2009, 10:27
Sorry to out myself as happy ending fan, but I HAD ENOUGH HEARTBREAKS IN RL FOR 20 LIFETIMES THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

When I play a GODDAMN video game, THE LAST THING I want is a bad ending again! DAMMIT.
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November 26th, 2009, 12:46
I'm not sure I see the implicit connection between art and human pain. That said, since I've been in pain throughout every single Michael Bay film I've experienced - it's apparently a working theory. I mean, art doesn't get more genuine than that
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November 27th, 2009, 05:39
What I think is interesting is, while they may not have gotten there yet, video games have the capacity to be high art. Their combination of visual, audio, literature, interactivity, determinism and a dash of unpredictability is unique and could someday produce deeply meaningful "art experiences".
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November 27th, 2009, 06:50
Originally Posted by chamr View Post
What I think is interesting is, while they may not have gotten there yet, video games have the capacity to be high art. Their combination of visual, audio, literature, interactivity, determinism and a dash of unpredictability is unique and could someday produce deeply meaningful "art experiences".
Absolutely. And even today, you can see glimpses of it, little suggestions of the possibility. I look forward to the day when it is realized.
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