On Auteurship in Games – and what makes them art. Clint Hocking, creator of Far Cry 2 and one of my favorite developers lays his view of game design and his worldview on the line:
Every other artistic medium is authored in the traditional sense: the message passes down from author to audience through the medium. But games (as we know) are different. Input is expression, and when players input their expression it passes back into the medium, where it feeds back against predictions the author(s) made about the kinds of things players might express (never reaching the author directly).
In McLuhan-ian terms the message of all (okay, most) other media is that the Author is ‘above’ and ‘primary’ and that meaning and art ‘declines’ from His Wisdom and Grace. The message of games is that the Author has ‘recused’ Himself and that he has willingly set himself outside the system of his work so that meaning and art can ‘incline’ from the Player.
That’s, like, the most beautiful thing ever.
It gets even more interesting, candid and relevant for this particular blog after that part. If you’re interested in the artistic validity of video games and how Christians should think about it, this (as well as the New York Times article he references) should give you something to chew on for a few weeks, months, or years.