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Does arts and culture still mean TV and Film?


Argus

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Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 was released last week. It earned an estimated $310 million on its first day during which almost five million copies were sold. No movie release in history has approached those kinds of numbers, and the sales figures and participation rate for video games continue to climb.

World of Warcraft has something like 12-13 million subscribers each paying, in addition to the cost of the game, some $15 per month. Do the math. For just this single game the company is pulling in something on the order of $2 BILLION per year. Among teenagers, 97% play video games regularly. Yet the average age of gamers is rising, and now in the upper thirties.

Will we see a time when hollywood films and television are simply passé because video games are the new entertainment medium of choice?

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its quite possible, interacting with something is usually far more entertaining then WATCHING something.

Especially when one considers the tawdry and ugly mediocrity that comes out of Hollywood these days.

Spiderman 4 anyone? Howabout another queen latifah "comedy"?

little wonder.

Edited by lictor616
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Argus, as with many revolutions it's happening quietly and somewhat below the radar.

Younger people aren't watching television at the rates their parents did, and the multichannel multiverse is diluting viewership. Online advertising continues to grow. Meanwhile, media continue to reach out and grow together. What once was called 'convergence' continues as movies, television, games and other media are now developed together from the beginning. The xBox will soon have a myspace/twitter/facebook component.

Many will lose, and many will win.

And we at Maple Leaf Web are actually at the centre of the political side of this. I believe that future historians will look at posts like these one day to determine what we were thinking about. Our political systems have always been reshaped with major media changes that redefine how we communicate and the web is the next medium up to bat. (to mix a metaphor)

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Video games might be a cultural phenomenon, but it's hard to say whether they're art or culture in and of themselves. I'd compare it to... say, boxing. Boxing has been part of our culture for a long time. The fact that many people in our society watch boxing might say something about our culture. The rise and fall of certain historical figures in the sport might merit study as a statement about our culture (Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson, for example). But I think it would be hard to argue that a single boxing match in and of itself merits discussion as a piece of culture.

I think one aspect of this is that a film or a book has a unified experience. Everybody who sees that film or reads that book are seeing the exact same thing, although their interpretations of it may be very different.

You can discuss whether an episode of Law & Order is a fair satire of a current event. You can discuss Christian themes or ecological themes in the works of JRR Tolkien. You can discuss the motivations of fictional characters almost as if they're real people. You can discuss what a work of fiction has to say about the real world. You can discuss what our reaction to a work of fiction says about us as people.

Most video games don't lend themselves to that level of analysis.

The fact that approximately a million video games have re-fought World War 2 in various forms might be a statement that says something about our culture. But a series of more or less random combat scenarios probably doesn't contain any message worth talking about. It might say something about our society that millions of people sit in front of their computers and interact with each other through imaginary avatars in games like World of Warcraft... but the Quest for the Enchanted Shield Of Dragon Slaying +5 is not in itself anything worthy of discussion (unless your dwarf warrior really needs better armor to get through the next quest.)

However, I do think that there's an argument to be made for some video games as works of creative art. Obviously some of them have fantastic graphics, but I am thinking more of the experience the games provide the player.

Two of (I think) the greatest video games ever are Knights of the Old Republic, and Mass Effect, both created by Edmonton's Bioware studio. They're billed as "role playing games", but they're really more like interactive story telling. And they're terrific interactive stories. Face to face with impressive animated characters with high-quality voice actors behind them, who talk directly to you and react to what you do, it becomes highly immersive. I found Mass Effect, in particular, so compelling that at one juncture of the story where a moral dilemna and confrontation resulted in the death of one of my squad members, I actually found myself upset by it. I think that in creating something that provides such a compelling experience for the player, they have certainly created "art".

-k

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....The rise and fall of certain historical figures in the sport might merit study as a statement about our culture (Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson, for example). But I think it would be hard to argue that a single boxing match in and of itself merits discussion as a piece of culture....

Don't be so sure about that.....I can think of at least two boxing matches (and rematches) that rise to such status:

Louis vs. Schmelling

Ali vs. Frazier

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Two of (I think) the greatest video games ever are Knights of the Old Republic, and Mass Effect, both created by Edmonton's Bioware studio. They're billed as "role playing games", but they're really more like interactive story telling. And they're terrific interactive stories. Face to face with impressive animated characters with high-quality voice actors behind them, who talk directly to you and react to what you do, it becomes highly immersive. I found Mass Effect, in particular, so compelling that at one juncture of the story where a moral dilemna and confrontation resulted in the death of one of my squad members, I actually found myself upset by it. I think that in creating something that provides such a compelling experience for the player, they have certainly created "art".

-k

If you think those games provide an immsersive story telling experience you should definitely try Biowares lates offering - 'Dragon Age: Origins'. It may be a little slow at the start but is a rich story telling experience. In fact, based on the choices you make, you can experience a different story each time you play it.

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Guest TrueMetis

If you think those games provide an immsersive story telling experience you should definitely try Biowares lates offering - 'Dragon Age: Origins'. It may be a little slow at the start but is a rich story telling experience. In fact, based on the choices you make, you can experience a different story each time you play it.

They're also working on Star Wars the Old Republic, they are descibing it as a story based MMO, which i'll be nice because it will be the first MMORPG that actually pays attention to the RPG part. There also calling it KOTOR 3,4,5,6,7,etc because it's set about 300 years after KOTOR and supposed to explain what happened to many of the people.

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I'd love to see a MMORPG that is what I would consider to be a true RPG. I've heard some chatter about the upcoming Star Wars release but not enough yet. I will definitely have to try it when it comes out.

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If you think those games provide an immsersive story telling experience you should definitely try Biowares lates offering - 'Dragon Age: Origins'. It may be a little slow at the start but is a rich story telling experience. In fact, based on the choices you make, you can experience a different story each time you play it.

Just picked it up yesterday :D

I'm sick as a dog right now so I'll have lots of time to spend with it. :(

They're also working on Star Wars the Old Republic, they are descibing it as a story based MMO, which i'll be nice because it will be the first MMORPG that actually pays attention to the RPG part. There also calling it KOTOR 3,4,5,6,7,etc because it's set about 300 years after KOTOR and supposed to explain what happened to many of the people.

I was extremely disappointed when I heard that there's not going to be any more KOTOR single player games. Turning it into an MMORG can only ruin the storytelling aspect that has made the first two installments special. They're throwing an excellent series in the garbage for an attempt to grab at some of the subscriber dollars World of Warcraft rakes in. From a creative standpoint, it makes me very sad. I'm skeptical of the business sense of it too. The MMPRG market is getting awfully crowded, and I'm not sure whether many of WOW's competitors are exactly striking it rich.

-k

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The PC version of Dragon Age hasn't been patched yet and is buggy as hell in places but is so addictive that it can't be given up regardless. Although I am getting sick of a particular quest I am doing in Orzammar. Too much fighting with too little story/npc interaction with this one. Plenty of death and mayhem mind you.

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