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Strong Bad E-mail #94

Where do I begin? I admit that when he was going through the types of video games and what they would be like I laughed out loud when Interactive Fiction was mentioned. This genre is one that I always tend to go back and forth on. I hated it two years ago, warmed up to it during the MWG:Video Gaming class and now I am indifferent I suppose. Anyway, it wasn't necesarily funny that SB brought it up, but rather the quote about the people that play these types of games immediately struck me.

"You know for those intellectual people with better imaginations"-Reminded me of Jerz...and then the mention of Dennis as one of the things that you see. Is that like some weird reference to Jerz and his appreciation of IF games?

The one thing that I will say about this Strong Bad e-mail is that all of the elements he describes in each game are not far from what really happens in them. The first game, which would be seen as primative compared to the systems and games of today used shapes and other objects to represent the character and his/her surroundings, weapons, and obsticles. This to me is a direct reflection of the statement that some game critics have made that the story of the game is not really as important as some gamers make it out to be. The objects in the game were not exactly created to be a likeness of the things the story was calling them. In games like these the rules, methods, and tasks which you use to win the game are more important than a story.

Take into consideration that geometric figures such as boxes, moving from one place to another on a path and picking up dots. This hardly represents a heroic character collecting gold coins in order to free his lover from the clutches of a villian. Is it a fair assumption to state that as the technology surrounding video games advanced, the importance of a story line became more of a concern?

Then you have the txt adventure and IF games that are 100% dependent on story, but lack graphics. I feel like this is a little bit of commentary on the idea that in order to have a great story your game will be lacking and the antithesis which is in order to have great graphics the story might suffer. Independently they would survive, but it seems almost like there is no happy medium when trying to have great graphics and a great story.

I can't relate too much to the representation of the 3D vector game. I will say however that the emphasis placed on the "super photorealistic game" is something gamers and more importantly game designers are constantly striving to obtain. You always here these game commercials and the first thing they stress is that this version has the most realistic graphics yet. Its weird that the emphasis is on reality in a world that strives on things that in many cases are completely impossible for us to run out and do. I wonder if adding more realistic graphics would ever take away from the fantasy/escape element of the game? But then you see games like GTA (with real goals) that are fantasy in the regard that people are running around and getting away with illegal deeds that in the real world would likely not happen. It all makes you wonder where is the balance between story and graphics as well as fantasy and reality.

Comments (1)

Oh, Leslie. I wish that I had intelligent things to say about games like you do.

I laughed at the NORTH, SOUTH, and DENNIS directional thing, too. I mean, I've never been exposed to interactive fiction before in my life, so this whole Inform thing seems waaay over my head... But I do enjoy creative processes... and storytelling (even though I think I'm terrible at it), so maybe this will be okay?

Well, regardless, I think you bring up some great points about the ideas that are presented in the SB email. I'm still having a tough time understanding this concept that all games have the same objectives...

Regardless, it's funny that in the cartoon (which is obviously highly animated and really smooth and modern looking) SB mentions having a game that takes tons of memory and other high requirements (reminds me of that HalfLife game that I'm not looking forward to) and what shows up looks like a cop-out for an Atari game like Barnstorming (which I enjoyed). So what era does that put SB in? He's quality computer animation, while the games he imagines are not quality. I just thought that it was funny... :)

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 5, 2006 12:02 PM.

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