Is 'gamedom' mature enough to handle certain subject matter? - Page 2 - Adventure Forums
You are viewing an archived version of the site which is no longer maintained.
Go to the current live site or the Adventure Gamers forums
Adventure Gamers

Home Adventure Forums Gaming Adventure Is 'gamedom' mature enough to handle certain subject matter?


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-06-2006, 12:15 AM   #21
capsized.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5,534
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trep
What's your perspective on this?
Fun is where it's at, but: I'd like to see some more games that dig deeper beneath video gaming's shiny surface, for example a World War II game that doesn't put you in the role of a grunt, special soldier or special agent or whatever. At least ONCE, please. Yet, as has been said before, I'm too not at all convinced there are many people working on games who could actually handle more sophisticated subjects. Let's be honest here.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurufinwe View Post
Furthermore, I don't believe being serious and relevant necessarily means having to tackle everyday, real-world problems. As a matter of fact, I tend to believe that the more you stick to the news of the day, the more you risk missing fundamental ideas and the more you tend to get irrelevant after a few years. So I can't see why fantasy, or SF (by which I mean "real" SF, not just today's world + flying cars * la Tornquist) couldn't deal very appropriately with deep and serious matters.
True, true, true. What can change the nature of a man? Another one of these usual suspects that won't go down.
__________________
Look, Mr. Bubbles...!

Last edited by samIamsad; 12-06-2006 at 12:21 AM.
samIamsad is offline  
Old 12-06-2006, 12:46 AM   #22
Senior Member
 
phankiejankie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 125
Default

Are computer games entertainment or art or both? Is it all about fun or education? If people need to be super cool, all guns blazing killing machines where does the story fit? Is it just plain fun or brain sickness to virtually decapitate, kill, annihilate etc. moving things with a great deal of satisfaction in the process? And what about people that ask questions first? Do we expect too much from a business sector that started with… Pong? Why should computer games feel the gap that the film industry so shamefully left?

Dunno but I am really enjoying Oblivion nowadays because it is “open” enough to shape the character the way I want. You can play it in mature ways or not, you can twist it, turn it upside down, everything you want, you just live in it… for me you can’t get more mature than just living…
__________________
Current favorites...

Games: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, World of Warcraft
Music: Laurent Garnier - Restrospective, Squarepusher - Hello Everything
Movies: Terry Gilliam - Tideland
phankiejankie is offline  
Old 12-06-2006, 07:15 AM   #23
Not like them!
 
MoriartyL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Israel
Posts: 2,570
Send a message via AIM to MoriartyL
Default

I'd like to see as many adventures as possible which attempt to deal with serious issues, not because I think they'd be thought-provoking but because it would be tremendous for the adventure game's image.

Imagine we've got a whole bunch of adventure games with serious subject matter. They wouldn't really be successful at dealing with that material (and I'll explain why in a moment), but they would get lots of press from journalists surprised to find "meaningful" videogames. The game's writers would get interviewed over and over about how they wanted to deal with this or that issue and about their feelings on society and indignation over the perception of videogames ("Games don't have to be just mindless entertainment! I make art!") etc. etc. Then, whenever an argument gets started about how videogames have just been publicly called a lesser form of entertainment/kiddie stuff/escapist fantasy/substitute for masturbation, someone will pipe up, "But hey! There are adventure games which are serious!". Whether or not they actually are serious is almost beside the point in this context- The point is, adventure games could start to be seen as the "respectable" branch of videogames. And I certainly can't see any harm coming from that.

But let's back up a little bit. What makes me think that this scenario is at all likely? Well, the adventure game market isn't getting any bigger, and yet there are still a bunch of developers who love the medium and want to continue to write for it. Sooner or later, one of those developers is going to realize he doesn't want to be selling to a tiny niche and he's going to look for an easy opportunity to get attention (and sales) from the mainstream. Maybe not -maybe they're all so risk-averse that the thought won't even occur to any of them- but this is my hope, and I think it's a reasonable one. I expect that it's more likely to happen with adventures than with other better-selling types of games because they've already got the sales by just sticking to formula. They don't want to muck around when their huge profits are on the line.

Now here's why it won't work. The concept that everything should serve the telling of the story is still not understood. Even adventure designers whose sole intent is to tell a good story hold on to the old formulas even when they interfere with their ability to tell that story. When making their "serious" games, they'd surely continue to do as they always have, throwing in puzzles and exploration which don't specifically service the story. If the puzzles made the player make ethical choices, that would obviously be great, but who here believes that such puzzles would outnumber the generic inventory puzzles? Having people around with valuable insight on the issue would of course be great, but who here believes such people wouldn't be outnumbered by the number of people just thrown in to make the game world seem more lively and real, without anything meaningful to contribute? They'd still be designed as adventure games first and topical storytelling second -a distant second. In the bottom line, these games would be at best only half-way dealing with these serious subjects, and at worst only superficially. And when that's the case, an adventure game can't possibly be expected to be as meaningful a way of dealing with an issue as other mediums.

So we're left with only the image enhancement, which I think is a good first step. Once adventure games are already seen as dealing with this stuff, it'll be easier to get a game approved which really is.
MoriartyL is offline  
Old 12-06-2006, 08:07 AM   #24
Ronin
 
Crapstorm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 429
Default

When the mainstream media reports on video games, it's usually to suggest that the games are too violent, graphic, sexual, &tc, and the games are causing all the ills of society. Of course, they're never talking about adventure games. Adventure games are still incredibly tame compared to other genre games like Grand Theft Auto, Bully ... ah, what's the name of that one where you're an escaped serial murderer with "kill me" written across your face mask?

Anyway, my point is "gamedom" has already pushed the envelope pretty far in terms of violence, gore, and maybe sex too. Has it handled those subjects with any depth? Maybe in the battlefield simulators, but I don't know much about those. Adventure games, despite being touted by many as "the storytelling genre" (it's not, by the way) is still in its dramatic infancy. I think it will be a long time before literary scholars become interested in the medium.

Last edited by Crapstorm; 12-06-2006 at 08:51 AM.
Crapstorm is offline  
Old 12-06-2006, 08:45 AM   #25
Aj_
Beyond Belief
 
Aj_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Blighty
Posts: 2,186
Default

I finished Fallout 2 (RPG) Saturday, I don't know what political or moral issue that game doesn't cover (even genocide), but it treats them lightly. TLJ, Grim Fandango, even The Shadow of the Templars have mature themes in them, but also lightly dealt with. I prefer this, I seriously don't need to be depressed to notice what evils are going on in the world.

It's not that Adventure games don't have these in them, but they're not as heavy as Shindler's List. It's lacking in games, gamers are mature enough to handle them, we're just as mature as movie watchers and book readers, I do those too. If anything, you don't get many Shindler's Lists, even The Pianist, and Hotel Rwanda deal with the same kind of themes much more lightly.
Aj_ is offline  
Old 12-06-2006, 11:13 AM   #26
Senior Member
 
Periglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 340
Default

About deep, mature stories: bring them on! I love games that touch mature themes, and I think adventures are ideally suited. Anyway, I wanted to comment on our weird cousins, the I.F. guys. In my (brief) experience with these games, I was amazed at the literary level of these works. Some of them are just crying to get some graphics, some voice acting, and voila, masterpiece.

See:
http://www.ifarchive.org/
Periglo is offline  
Old 12-06-2006, 11:39 AM   #27
merely human
 
Intrepid Homoludens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 22,309
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurufinwe View Post
As a matter of fact, I'm not sure the terms of the problem are really clear in this discussion. There's a huge difference between "deep and serious" (what "mature" should really mean) and "violent and/or full of sex" (what "mature" tends to mean now because of those dumb ratings). I'm not really interested in seeing more of the latter in games just for the sake of seeing more -- but I'm not against it if it's actually justified by the depth and seriousness of the game.
I think there's plenty of room for different kinds of maturity. In a game like Gears of War or Still Life, for example, graphic violence is used for visual - and visceral - dramatic impact. It's really one of the (and I mean to say this in a most non-judgmental way) necessary elements in this kind of game, I can't imagine these games being successful without it, just as I can't imagine the movie Kill Bill without any of its graphic violence.

As much as some of you may disagree with me, graphic violence does have its aesthetic value in media, whether it be in film, games, literature, and plays. It has a lineage - ancient Greek tragedies featured it, as well as Shakespeare's works. I imagine that for him and for Homer, violence, whether shown or implied, had its necessary place.

So in that sense it seems to require a certain level of maturity from its audience to keep it firmly in such context, and not stray off into the juvenile 'Oh cool, flying body parts!!' territory.

Quote:
As to depth itself, I'd be glad to see more of it in games, but it requires some actual writing talent, and a real capacity for saying relevant things -- something I've yet to see much of in this industry.
That, I believe, is one of the big problems. So far, with the exception of a very scant number of talented writers, the games industry is stuck in a level of immaturity, and to make it worse, tons of money involved seem to ensure that it stay this way for a while. Gratuitous violence and sex are great commodities here, and many times we're left wondering what exactly a game's intent is when it shows something that looks mature. Again there's the graphic violence, for example. Is it to sell more games by appealing to the lowest common denominator in people? Another new game about serial killer if only to catch gamers' attention away from the other cartoon style games or Egyptian/Atlantis/Templar clones? In some ways it's rather refreshing, but it still makes me wonder how much exploration the game's writers have done into such themes and to what ends.

Quote:
Furthermore, I don't believe being serious and relevant necessarily means having to tackle everyday, real-world problems. As a matter of fact, I tend to believe that the more you stick to the news of the day, the more you risk missing fundamental ideas and the more you tend to get irrelevant after a few years. So I can't see why fantasy, or SF (by which I mean "real" SF, not just today's world + flying cars * la Tornquist) couldn't deal very appropriately with deep and serious matters.
I think it depends on the intent of the writer/game designer. They could be exploring relevant themes through contemporary real world dilemmas. And that could go both ways - some people miscontrue it as fashion, others could see beyond the concurrence and apply the abstracts to other situations, historical or not.

When I was playing the sci-fi RPG Knights of The Old Republic I immediately understood the message implied when I was early in the game on the planet Taris. There was a big rift between the humans living in the more posh upper levels of the planet's cities and the struggling alien races trying to survive in the ghettos of the lower levels. It was racism, pure and simple, and it was presented quite well, I think.

Quote:
And finally, whatever your subject matter, a game always has to be entertaining, one way or another. Too many people equate making boring movies or books with doing something relevant, and confuse incomprehensibility with genius -- and just end up producing pretentious, irrelevant hogwash. I hope we'll never see that happen to games.
I totally agree. Who the hell ever said that entertainment and profundity or something like social relevance must be mutually exclusive? However, it seems very challenging to find an elegant balance between the two, and that's always been the case in all media, from films to books to games. I'm curious to see how future games writers can handle this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsie View Post
Fun is where it's at, but: I'd like to see some more games that dig deeper beneath video gaming's shiny surface, for example a World War II game that doesn't put you in the role of a grunt, special soldier or special agent or whatever. At least ONCE, please. Yet, as has been said before, I'm too not at all convinced there are many people working on games who could actually handle more sophisticated subjects. Let's be honest here.
Again I think most people in the games industry, whether or not they want to tackle it, may lack the necessary drive and/or experience to do so. And yes, much of it is tied into money. Will a great adventure game with a deep and meaningful theme sell? And that of course is in relation to everyone's perception and knowledge of what games are, who they're for, and why they would be in a position to warrant exploration of such themes.
__________________
platform: laptop, iPhone 3Gs | gaming: x360, PS3, psp, iPhone, wii | blog: a space alien | book: the moral landscape: how science can determine human values by sam harris | games: l.a.noire, portal 2, brink, dragon age 2, heavy rain | sites: NPR, skeptoid, gaygamer | music: ray lamontagne, adele, washed out, james blake | twitter: a_space_alien
Intrepid Homoludens is offline  
Old 12-07-2006, 10:54 AM   #28
merely human
 
Intrepid Homoludens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 22,309
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squinky View Post
I'm certainly all for deep, controversial subject matter in games, and support the existence of serious, mature games wholeheartedly. Whether I'd play such a game myself, however, depends on what kind of mood I'm in. As with movies and books, sometimes I want to be entertained, sometimes I want to be made to think, and sometimes I want a bit of both.
That's pretty much my stance on it. I want to plunge deep into 'mature' subject matter - in games, literature, film, etc. - because I'm always up to being enlightened, even if I have to go through tears for it. Who knows, it may change how I view the world, and how I view myself in the world. But then there are times when I'd like to simply experience a game as a game and have fun. Not all games should feature depth and serious issues, just as not all games should only be about blue skies and pink bunny rabbits.
__________________
platform: laptop, iPhone 3Gs | gaming: x360, PS3, psp, iPhone, wii | blog: a space alien | book: the moral landscape: how science can determine human values by sam harris | games: l.a.noire, portal 2, brink, dragon age 2, heavy rain | sites: NPR, skeptoid, gaygamer | music: ray lamontagne, adele, washed out, james blake | twitter: a_space_alien
Intrepid Homoludens is offline  
Old 12-07-2006, 03:18 PM   #29
It's Hard To Be Humble
 
Lee in Limbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,557
Default

I want to read through this thread properly, and have read as much as I can, but my head is groggy and mildly achey, so I'm just going to say that games with mature themes and subject matter (as well as the violence and nudity, neither of which should be gratuitous, but both of which should be considered) are very strong draws for me, and the more intelligently these themes are handled, the more enjoyable I find them. I don't mind games where I get to goof off a bit, but really, I'm in it mainly for the storytelling, and find that mature stories usually engross me the most.

*hugs Trep*
__________________
Lee Edward McImoyle,
Author
Smashwords eBooks
Lee in Limbo is offline  
Old 12-08-2006, 10:40 AM   #30
merely human
 
Intrepid Homoludens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 22,309
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee in Limbo View Post
I want to read through this thread properly, and have read as much as I can, but my head is groggy and mildly achey, so I'm just going to say that games with mature themes and subject matter (as well as the violence and nudity, neither of which should be gratuitous, but both of which should be considered) are very strong draws for me, and the more intelligently these themes are handled, the more enjoyable I find them. I don't mind games where I get to goof off a bit, but really, I'm in it mainly for the storytelling, and find that mature stories usually engross me the most.
I think that word, 'intelligent', is key, just as is another word, 'responsible'. I think too many times developers stick in things like sex and violence just 'cause they think it's 'cool' or, more so, salable. Annoying, but true.

So on that note, which games have you played in the past that handled mature subject matter in a most intelligent and responsible way while retaining creativity and good game design?

Quote:
*hugs Trep*
Ooh. Now wot have I done to deserve?
__________________
platform: laptop, iPhone 3Gs | gaming: x360, PS3, psp, iPhone, wii | blog: a space alien | book: the moral landscape: how science can determine human values by sam harris | games: l.a.noire, portal 2, brink, dragon age 2, heavy rain | sites: NPR, skeptoid, gaygamer | music: ray lamontagne, adele, washed out, james blake | twitter: a_space_alien
Intrepid Homoludens is offline  
Old 12-08-2006, 11:27 AM   #31
Headbanger
 
Henke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The North
Posts: 2,233
Default

Serious and harsh subjects are often what interests me the most. I really hope that The Witcher will be all they're claiming it to be.
__________________
NP: Botanicula, Catherine, Dear Esther, Okami
Henke is offline  
Old 12-08-2006, 02:26 PM   #32
Psychonaut
 
Lucien21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 5,114
Default

I certainly think Adventure Games should push the boundaries with more serious storylines.

All too often it sticks to the same old conspiracy or detective genre.

It's capable of blending itself to virtually any genre. Romantic games, drama, comedy, Sci-Fi etc.

The Gabriel Knight games showed that a decent script and an adventure game can co-exist it just needs waaay better writers than currently exist in the genre.
__________________
I'm not insane, my mother had me tested!
Lucien21 is offline  
Old 12-09-2006, 12:02 AM   #33
It's Hard To Be Humble
 
Lee in Limbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,557
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Intrepid Homoludens View Post
So on that note, which games have you played in the past that handled mature subject matter in a most intelligent and responsible way while retaining creativity and good game design?
I'm thinking that games like The Last Express, Still Life and Fahrenheit tackled mature themes rather well, despite the latter two getting flack for violence and/or sexuality. Personally, I don't find the level of sexuality in the latter games to be gratuitous (even if the sex scene you actually play out is pretty awkward and incomprehensible, and the violence in both was mroe than the average adventure game delves into. they were far more poignant than the average FPS, and the sex was far less salacious than GTA. But then, I'm a bit incorrigibly corrupt, so I'm perhaps not the best judge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Intrepid Homoludens View Post
Ooh. Now wot have I done to deserve?
You showed up. That's good enough for me. *hugs again*
__________________
Lee Edward McImoyle,
Author
Smashwords eBooks
Lee in Limbo is offline  
Old 12-09-2006, 10:40 AM   #34
Senior Member
 
aries323's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Denmark, Europe
Posts: 577
Default

HI

I've reminded of an article I once saw in a Danish newspaper. The article was about organisations such as Red Cross etc. used games to further peoples' understanding or what they do.

The game may not be an adventure game pr. se but it has you dealing with all aspects of e.g. delivering food relief and such.

More connected to the topic, raised by the OP, I have to agree that I think it is essential that adventure games have plots i.e. is used to tell great stories about ourselves and our place in the world.
aries323 is offline  
Old 12-09-2006, 12:43 PM   #35
Not like them!
 
MoriartyL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Israel
Posts: 2,570
Send a message via AIM to MoriartyL
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Intrepid Homoludens View Post
So on that note, which games have you played in the past that handled mature subject matter in a most intelligent and responsible way while retaining creativity and good game design?
Only one I can think of, really, is Beyond Good & Evil. Metal Gear Solid would be the more respectable choice, but really I can't call that "responsible" or even particularly intelligent. I don't know of any adventures which might qualify -except for Photopia, come to think of it, that was intelligent and respectful and creative and well designed; I guess I can think of two games, then- but I'm sure there are others.
MoriartyL is offline  
Old 12-09-2006, 02:44 PM   #36
Rogue Agent
 
Adventurous One's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: California
Posts: 122
Default

I think that games should have mature subjects. I wouldn't mind having some more adventure games that deal with such topics (Gabriel Knight and Police Quest are about the height of what I've experienced).
Adventurous One is offline  
Old 12-09-2006, 05:10 PM   #37
Senior Member
 
Terramax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,595
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacog View Post
I find it ironic that often games rated M are quite durn immature. Graphic nudity? Squarely aimed at immature teenage boys. Gore purely for shock value is the same.
I too see the irony. But I don't agree that this should be stopped. There are plenty of men (and women) who go out buy magazines, books, films and other mediums which provide explicit sex and violence and this, for the most part, or a certain degree is acceptable, but it isn't so much for computer games.

Do I play games with sex and violence? Well, as much as I love the story to Max Payne I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited in the extre,e action and violence. And I'm currently playing 'Leisure Suit Larry 7' which is one of the most comically erotic things I've ever seen. Get rid of games like this, and stick to more conservative pap? Hell no.

I think computer games should exercise the right for sex and violence. It's arguable that these are the most basic traits of human existance. And computer games are, IMO, very much the evolution of other mediums.

I think it's about balance. In the film industry, I can't stand these stupid no-brainy comedies like 'Click' and the endless, shocking horror movies released almost weekly in the cinemas, but things would be just as boring if every film were these intellectual arthouse films too.

Leading this back to games, I don't mind no brainy shooters and horror games or even these stupid erotic games like BMX XXX, just as long as there is a fair share of investment, advertisement and PR in more real mature games like Still Life or Myst.

What I find most ironic and what bugs me most is that, these immature games like 50 Cent 25 to Life are made, but not enough is done to prevent the underaged from playing them. I've imported a few American movies and there aren't even any physical age certificate shown on the front cover of the boxes!!!!

Back to the original point, yes there is great potential for mature stories, but because adventure games aren't the cool genre at the moment, and aren't appealing to the mainstream, who really cares?

Metal Gear Solid has one of most complex, contraversial and interesting stories ever, but how much of the general audience who played it either understood or even cared for the story? Most of the people I knew in school didn't care about the story. All they cared about was the amazing feature of hiding the main character in a box...

Even now, when I hear a 'grown up' talking about computer games, they talk about playing them for exploding scenery and heads, etc.

You can't just blame it on the teenagers. There are plenty of adults who thrive on the sex and violence in games.

I'd like to say sorry for this rant in advance. Let my beating commence!
Terramax is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 12:30 AM   #38
Senior Member
 
phankiejankie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 125
Default

I believe its all coming down to the question "Is there really a market for mature games TRULY aimed at 25+ ages?"

Personally I can't say I've played a game that I would consider mature, partially mature yes but full mature no. Most of them are primarily aimed at the 12-18 year old target group and you can't blame the marketing department for that. I don't know if the game studios are ready to invest in a story that focuses mainly to the after college/university crowd. Those of us that are over 25+ have little free time to spare; kids, family, jobs take most of our precious time. The studios consider that this crowd doesn't have the time or doesn't want to play games because it’s a matured target group and games are for kiddos

Things are just like that so far. Every one I believe would like to see a more mature game but do the studios really want to explore this opportunity?
__________________
Current favorites...

Games: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, World of Warcraft
Music: Laurent Garnier - Restrospective, Squarepusher - Hello Everything
Movies: Terry Gilliam - Tideland

Last edited by phankiejankie; 12-11-2006 at 05:51 AM.
phankiejankie is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 05:23 AM   #39
Slim Shady
 
Solid Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Outer Heaven
Posts: 727
Default

How about Postal games?
__________________
I’m gonna make you hate me cause you ain’t me.
Solid Snake is offline  
Old 12-11-2006, 06:45 AM   #40
Senior Member
 
aries323's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Denmark, Europe
Posts: 577
Default

IIRC, the average age for the gamer is about 35 or so and the average
gamer buyer is abouty 30-40 years. Half of them are women, as well !

I do think, game companies could earn much more money if they targeted some of their games to the more adult (or mature) gaming audience i.e the 25+ crowd.

Unfortunately, adventure games are seen as either kids games or old folks games. (by the developers e.g.)

I haven't any advice as to how to rectify this situation.
aries323 is offline  
 



Thread Tools

 


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.