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Game idea development Ludology vs. Narratology (and Concept) Ludology vs. Narratology • Differing approaches to video game studies. • There are many different frameworks that can be used, but the two most prevalent (or at least most argued) – – Ludology – Narratology Ludology • A video game is first and foremost, a game. – It should be evaluated for its – • Rules • Interface • Concept of play Ludology • Pure Ludology argues that plot, character, etc are irrelevant to gameplay. – “…the dimensions of Lara Croft's body, already analyzed to death by film theorists, are irrelevant to me as a player, because a different-looking body would not make me play differently...When I play, I don't even see her body, but see through it and past it.” • Espen Aarseth This is NOT a new idea • And it is not exclusive to the game industry L'art pour l'art • Art for art’s sake • Art should be independent of all claptrap — should stand alone [...] and appeal to the artistic sense of eye or ear, without confounding this with emotions entirely foreign to it, as devotion, pity, love, patriotism and the like – James McNeill Whistler Ad Reinhardt • Art is Art. Everything else is everything else. Willem deKooning – Paint is as much a part of life as anything else. 1. I might be misattributing this because I can’t find this quote on the web 2. But this is the way I remember it from my own education 3. You could argue that this work is about more than just paint – it has a connection with nature and spiritually 4. But the orgy of the paint is what is first and foremost with this era of deKooning’s work and I think it is a good example of art for art’s sake 5. This work celebrates paint. Theatre for theatre’s sake – Improv everywhere • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkYZ6rbPU2M • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwMj3PJDxuo Language for language’s sake. – Goldsmith (we will watch the first 8 minutes) • http://www.ubuweb.com/film/goldsmith_sucking.html Arnold Schoenberg Abstract Expressionist Composer When asked by his superior in the military – are you the notorious Schoenberg he said “Beg to report, sir, yes. Nobody wanted to be, someone had to be, so I let it be me.” He did with music what deKooning did with paint His music is typified by the abandonment of key centers or “free atonality” Father of the twelve tone technique http://www.lunanova.org/pierrot/2003rec.html DADA • [French, from dada, child's word for a horse] Nihilistic movement in the arts that flourished chiefly in France, Switzerland, and Germany from about 1916 to about 1920. It was based on the principles of deliberate irrationality, anarchy, and cynicism and the rejection of laws of beauty and social organization. What a b what a b what a beauty What a b what a b what a beauty What a b what a b what a a What a beauty beauty be What a beauty beauty be What a beauty beauty beauty be be be What a be what a b what a beauty What a b what a b what a a What a be be be be be What a be be be be be What a be be be be be be be a beauty be be be What a beauty. Kurt Schwitters http://www.marshallmcluhan.com/ • The Medium is the Message – The title of the book is The Medium is the Massage – this is a misprint that an editor did not catch according to his official site. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7GvQdD Qv8g In class assignment • The Exquisite Corpse Ok I think you get the picture about Ludology now. • There are more examples from literature and theatre and whatever else you can think of…. • Language poets could be included here…. • I could go on forever and ever • But I gotta stop somewhere Narratology • Janet Murray’s “Cyberdrama” – – The major concern of video games is storytelling, derived from interactive fiction. Through a game, we seek to become a character in a story, or at the very least something other than ourselves. – She defines interactivity as the combination of the procedural and the participatory property which together afford the pleasure of agency. Lord of the Rings • http://www.lordoftherings.net/trailers/ Narrative in art and music • First of all – I think you are well aware of the narrative in games so I don’t want to spend class time on it • So we will talk about art and music instead. Allegory Allegory is a form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas as charity, greed, or envy. Thus an allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning. Allegory: The Lorax • Literal: Story is about a guy who makes an industry on trees • Symbolic: question of sustainable development The Voyage of Life Thomas Cole's elaborate series The Voyage of Life is presented as an allegory in four parts. The sequence follows the protagonist from infancy to youth, adulthood, and old age. The human voyage parallels the cycles in nature, including the times of day and the seasons. Not only is there a moral message of the need for salvation, but possibly also historical meaning--some observers relate the castle-in- the-air optimism of Youth to the abundance and promise of the young nation. Childhood, Youth, Manhood, Old Age Political narrative: Murder of Edith Cavell • George Bellows • Protests the execution of a British nurse during World War I. Political narrative: Francisco Goya Napoleon occupied Spain in 1808, a lot of Spaniards, including the Romanticist Goya, hoped that the French would bring in a number of liberal reforms. Instead the French were barbaric. After this Goya, now very bitter at the whole experience focused his work on what he perceived to be political tyranny. This piece, created in 1814 is called The third of May, 1808. It shows the execution of a group of rioters who had rebelled against the French. He portrays his people as martyrs, like many religious paintings that influenced his style of work, and in so doing of course the French, take on the role of the minions of the devil The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise • Benjamin West Siegfried and the Rhine Maidens Albert Pinkham Ryder The work depicts a scene in Wagner's opera Götterdämmerung, the last opera of Wagner's epic "Ring Cycle." Ryder claimed, “I had been to hear the opera and went home about twelve o’clock and began this picture. I worked for forty-eight hours without sleep or food.” Lit by an eerie moon, the Rhine River nymphs recoil in horror when they realize that the German warrior Siegfried possesses their stolen, magic ring. After he refuses to return it, they predict that he will die violently. To evoke impending doom, Ryder devised tortured shapes, crusty textures, and an unearthly green color scheme. Ryder • Wagner – http://hodie- world.com/cms_fr_full/c omponent/option,com_ docman/task,cat_view/It emid,32/gid,20/orderby, dmdate_published • Schoenberg – http://www.lunanova.or g/pierrot/2003rec.html Richard Wagner • Narrative music – Opera • Controversial – Anti-Semitic – Appropriated by the Nazis • Superiority of the Nordic race • Mankind is doomed because of mixing of the races – Parsifal was seen as an opera that promoted racism and anti-semitism Wagner http://www.wagneroperas.com/indextwilight1.html The story of Parsifal and the Holy Grail has survived in several forms that date from between 1170 and 1220. Wagner, who always wrote the words of his operas himself, used a mixture of several of these versions of the story to fit his ideas for the opera. Parsifal is a young man who is a “pure fool”, which means that he is an innocent, good man who slowly starts to understand the world. The Holy Grail is the cup from which our Saviour Jesus Christ is supposed to have drunk at the Last Supper. The Holy Spear is the spear which is supposed to have been the one with which the Roman soldier pierced Jesus’ side when he was put on the cross. The Holy Grail and the Holy Spear are sacred relics (things from the past) which have been given to Titurel and his band of Christian knights to look after. Titurel has built a castle, Montsalvat, high up on the forest rocks, to guard them. In particular, he has to watch out for Klingsor who lives nearby. Klingsor is a magician who has a garden full of beautiful flower-maidens. These maidens are in his power. One of them is Kundry. She has already been made to lure several young knights to Klingsor’s power. Even Titurel’s son, Amfortas, could not resist the lure of Kundry. His spear was taken from him and he was badly wounded before being rescued. At the beginning of the opera he is lying in pain. The only thing that could heal the wound would be the touch of the Holy Spear which Klingsor now has, and the only person who could get that spear back again is a “pure fool”, a young man who knows nothing about the evil of the world and who can resist the beauty of the flower- maidens. The story of Parsifal is an allegory. A lot of books have been written about the true meaning of the opera, but the general meaning is that the young man Parsifal represents Christianity, Klingsor represents Paganism. Christianity triumphs over Paganism. In class assignment • Take your sentence from the exquisite corpse exercise and create a narrative for a game A NEW DAWN - CONCEPTUALISTS I am making this up you wont find anything written about it on the web. Because I think it is missing And it is needed by the game medium to reach its full potential And needed by the audience who wants more than just another toilet brush Purpose is king. It is everything. It determines gameplay, narrative, character development, level design, idea etc. Spectrum of purpose • Theatre of the Absurd • Purpose Driven Life The Theatre of the Absurd In the first edition of The Theatre of the Absurd, Esslin saw the work of these playwrights as giving artistic articulation to Albert Camus' philosophy that life is inherently without meaning as illustrated in his work The Myth of Sisyphus Samuel Beckett To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. What do I know of man's destiny? I could tell you more about radishes. The characters in Absurdist drama are lost and floating in an incomprehensible universe and they abandon rational devices and discursive thought because these approaches are inadequate Waiting for Godot The Least Equipped • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_vE5ExW kEY Trying and failing • Reveal purpose • Show the possibilities of path and outcome. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner • “All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.” • Purpose comes from within you. Search for meaning (as inspired by my brother, the pilot) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD1512_X JEw Joseph Beuys gives direction for “Crabbing” “Let's talk of a system that transforms all the social organisms into a work of art, in which the entire process of work is included... something in which the principle of production and consumption takes on a form of quality. It's a Gigantic project. “ A life of purpose • The point of the conceptualist is to make games with purpose • Disclaimer – look beyond the religious comments and consider what he says about purpose. • http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/ 71 What is in your hand? In class assignment • Now take your exquisite corpse narrative and give it or identify its higher purpose. Homework Preparation for the midterm: Be prepared to talk about where you fall conceptually as a game designer – Ludologist, Narratologist, or Conceptualist Tell us why.
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