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February 10th, 2013, 20:30
"and your description of what you care about in Hotline Miami proves it - visual aesthetics, music, narrative."

You took my statement out of context and, in the process, entirely robbed it of its meaning. For me, games-as-arts require that esthetics, music, narrative, -and game mechanics- all come together. The problem with voice acting is that, while it can help with immersion, it simultaneously takes away dynamism. Therefore, I don't really think of voice acting as a net positive or net negative when it comes to games-as-art. On the other hand, it also really depends on the genre. In the right genre, voice acting could be hugely important, perhaps even central to what a game-as-art is trying to create. But the fusion with mechanics is at the core of my argument.

Basically, I think all games -contain- art and are made up of it. But to talk about games, as a coherent product, being artistic in nature, you can't just have pretty graphics, nice music, or an interesting narrative. Your mechanics need to be, themselves, central to the overall artistic experience, or you're experiencing art-in-games rather than art-as-games.

"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."

To be fair, I'm not judging movie-ish games as being objectively worse or anything. I like some of them a fair amount. However, I don't think they're good representations of games-as-art because they focus on the aspects of games that are really at the periphery of what gaming is. As I said above, they become almost art nested in games rather than games-as-art. I really think art in gaming needs to focus on weaving the mechanics into other aspects of the presentation in a way congruent with some artistic goal. When the vast majority of what an artistic game achieves could be achieved just as well as a movie, I just tend to not think of it as a piece of gaming art, even if such an object is still artistic in a different sense and even though such a product could be quite fun/great/moving in its own right.

"RPGs are the children of wargames, but I wouldn't go calling wargames RPGs. The father had it's own identity."

I was just identifying Blackmoor and, to a lesser extent, Chainmail as transitional. Blackmoor was arguably the first RPG while also being a wargame. Chainmail was the direct ancestor to the earliest RPGs while also being a wargame. That's all I meant.

"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. "

Just to be clear, I'm disagreeing with your argument, sometimes implicit but often explicit, that tactical elements make a game less of an RPG. It's perfectly fine that you don't prefer that kind of game, haha, and I understand that. I'm not even arguing that tactical-style RPGs are objectively better games. This is a purely definitional discussion.
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