AGS class 2 notes

*Reading Discussion

Story vs. Mechanics

-inherent storytelling in the mechanics or explicitly needed?

Story telling has mechanics

-story arch
-plot device

Q. posed: Why do we care?

Reverse Performance art…

*Games as expressive medium

Where does the expression in games come from?

-designed in the mechanics?
-enacted by the player while interacting with mechanics?
-enacted by the player while interacting with other players?
-player consuming developer’s story + mechanics?

Expression = Meaning?

-author creates meaning, players consumes/understands
-author > meaning > audience


-Participatory medium
-Can be more or less Abstract

Representation used here as the pedestrian meaning:
-a sword is a sword is a sword, not a sword is a sword is a phallic symbol

Archaeological approach vs other (anthropological approach?)

-Need to explore games basic roots/concepts vs looking at a bunch of examples and finding similarities and patterns

*Games Listed (initially as examples that provided memorable story)

Deus Ex
Final Fantasy
Legend of Zelda
Metal Gear Solid
Eve Online
Super Mario 2

*Is story at an acceptable level in games proportionally to it’s development in history?

-general consensus is yes, but only proportionally

*Desires for the Future of Games

-Broader setting/genre (more contemporary environments)
-More elegant balance between story/game play
-More expressive use of mechanics (like Kattamari)
-More player influence over story
-Stories that are unlike anything we’ve seen before, but still recognizable as stories (Super Mario Brothers 2)

*The List

Function of a cannon?

-to create a common lexicon to know where games pushed a genre and how well it worked

Any List needs to be more user-friendly

-usability /form doesn’t make the contents any less relevant

*Do you need to have vast experience playing games to make games?

-general consensus of yes

*List of influential developers: (scribe’s note: sorry, too many names were listed too quickly for me to grab them all)

Romero ?

*Games as a category, worth preserving?

-Works will continue to get lost until they achieve broader recognition as something worth preserving (such as traditional visual arts)
-Sentimental value of preservation is achieved through unique experience with specific hardware such as playing Super Mario Brothers with the retangle controller on the NES

*Are modern Games Baroque?


-People are hungry for ‘low budget’ games such as Geometry Wars

*Our List

What to ask?
-Which of these have you played?
-Which have you not played but are familiar with?
-Which don’t belong in the cannon?
-Which belong but are not here?

List will be redone due to need for specifics related to generation differences in game series

*Use the blog as a continuation of class discussion