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June 27, 2007



What's all this about leaving BBC and LA? All these acronyms you're threatening to abandon. I'm feeling verklempt.


Interesting, but I think Barker is unfair in his treatment of Ebert. Ebert is essentially correct in saying that games could be art, but he's seen no evidence that they are, and Barker tacitly acknowledges the fact. It's true- there haven't really been any (or any big-budget) "games as art" because game designers don't even aspire to that. The vast majority of game designers are aiming for pure entertainment (and in this context, "art" is trying for something beyond just being entertaining). Barker mentions game "addiction" as a sign that games are compelling fiction, but the problem is that games can be addictive in the same way that gambling is, and for the same reason. There isn't anything particularly emotionally compelling about gambling- the reward is more primal than that. Games that rely on this sort of reward mechanism don't even try to be entirely entertainment- they have more in common with Las Vegas than Akira Kurosawa or Charles Dickens, and the designers know it. Sadly, Ebert is probably right that these sorts of games "represent a loss of those precious hours we have available to make ourselves more cultured, civilized and empathetic." Of course, that doesn't differentiate them from most other mass media. Where Ebert is totally and completely wrong is his notion that to be art, it needs to have a (linear) narrative (contemporary fine art neatly destroys that idea). If games *wanted* to be art, they certainly could be. I have high hopes for Barker's project.

This is a (yet another) great post! Whatever initials you find yourself inhabiting in the future, I hope it won't impair the fabulous blogging! ;)


Hehe, thanks you two! I've accepted a job at C4 in the UK, so yes, more initials, more teevee-and-games.. and LA was only ever for a year (secondment).

Not looking forward to UK weather, but the blogging will continue..


Ooooh, did anyone else roll their eyes at the title of his new book?

Congrats with the new job. Working for C4 themselves directly this time eh? Funny how things go round in circles.

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