We’re in a world now that geeks are cool and games are artistic. What the hell happened? I haven’t the faintest idea. And while I appreciate geekness being something appreciated nowadays, I think there are both a good and a bad side to all of this. But complaining about idiotic people requires a time I do not have, so I’ll just concentrate on the positive side of things, shall we?
Artistic. That’s not my adjective, but how they’re labeled these days, by others and by their own creators. Frankly, I couldn’t care less about their title, as anything that calls itself art. I’m a film major and couldn’t be any more tired about the discussion whether something is or ain’t art. It’s not important. Not for me, anyhow, as I don’t consider art being better or worse than something that is not.
That said, despite their labels (indie is very common too, and I won’t even start on that one) they’re noteworthy games, most of which were responsible for my desire to write this blog. The reason, as you all can imagine, is not the insanely good-looking graphics or the gameplay of a lifetime, neither is the difficulty level or the stimulating puzzles you’ll face. No, nothing like that. And as much as I do appreciate all these things, what really matters here is not the game itself, but how it affects you.
I bet for some this could sound very boring, but if you’re one of those people who expect something more than a mere mouse skills challenge from a game, then you might be in for an absorbing experience that can actually make you reflect about grater things than, say, slashing zombies – and please don’t take this the wrong way, I do love slashing zombies. I’m not talking about pretentious subjects, just what we all go through everyday, what we feel and live and know for ourselves in the most subjective way there is. Being able to produce an emotional identification is what triggers my interest in these experimental creations, and what I believe to be one of the most amazing things a game could ever achieve.
In a very simple way, it can make you think about the relationships you’ve had and true love, as well as those heartbroken moments when the world seems very gloomy. It can make you think about long lost friends that you would like to meet again, about waiting, or about helping someone you deeply care for, or self-sacrifice when it comes to protecting someone you love. It can make you look upon yourself or mull over human nature. It can even make you think about faith and spirituality.
But whatever deep meaning, feelings and ideas these thought-provoking games could evoke in any of us, the most important thing here is to demystificate them.
You should play, not because it’s cool and everybody else is doing it, not because now gaming is being part of a modern work of art or because it makes you an indie gamer. You should play it because they’re pretty damn good. And that’s that.