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February 10th, 2013, 18:54
First off, I pretty much entirely disagree with your view on games and art. Games don't need to become movies to be art. Movies can already do that, and the further down that line they go, the more they just become.. movies. Not games. The two forms of media operate on entirely different principles, and it doesn't make sense for games to slavishly emulate something that's not interactive. If games are to be art, they need to be both -games- and -art-. It's terribly deep or anything, but a game like Hotline Miami comes closer to game-as-art, IMO, than all the strong-narrative-but-weak-interactivity style games. Why? Because the narrative, the game mechanics, the visual esthetic, and the music all come together to create a common experience. You essentially lose your damn mind playing the game, and it's glorious.
I am not saying that for video games to be acknowledged as fine arts they have to BE movies. What I mean is that they will have to improve what is artful about them, and that is almost the same thing that is artful about cinema - and your description of what you care about in Hotline Miami proves it - visual aesthetics, music, narrative. I just add to it voice acting, because it's the kind of acting in a game. Of course they still have to be games. But the code behind the game, the mechanics will never be artistic, even if people who understand it can find them beautiful.

Now, don't get me wrong, there is a place for movie-style games and thoroughly voiced games. However, they're just different than games that focus on dynamism and role-playing. To some extent, you can compromise. You can voice only so many characters or only so many dialogues. You can reduce the complexity or dynamism of your game. You can streamline the potential choices, a la Mass Effect. However, at the end of the day, you can really make a game of one type or the other.
I don't really want all games to be interactive movies, though I can play them and they are interesting. Mass Effect did what had to be done effectively. Bethesda's games too, in my opinion.

As for this discussion of tactics and RPGs, I think it's worth pointing out that the earliest RPGs were wargames. Chainmail, the immediate predecessor, was a wargame. Gary Gygax developed it with some 'Lake Geneva Tactical Studies Association' acquaintances. After this, D&D co-creator Arneson took chainmail and used it to resolve combats in his own wargame, Blackmoor. This is when RPG progression mechanics were developed, and, not long after, D&D was created.
RPGs are the children of wargames, but I wouldn't go calling wargames RPGs. The father had it's own identity.

In any case, I don't think that tactical-style combat is -less- of an RPG experience, especially when real life skill-based gameplay is the alternative. There's certainly no twitch gameplay in PnP.
No less of an RPG experience, but also not more. Different. Very different, indeed. I do prefer role playing with a reduced element of tactical combat. It is my opinion and my option. Our opinions diverge, as many others do. In here I am at a disadvantage because most people agree with you. And I probably stopped making sense a while ago, because I'm trying to answer a lot of things coming from different people at the same time. I', already lost.
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