[linux-audio-user] Thesis: Playing and making music

Chris McCormick chris at mccormick.cx
Mon Dec 11 20:48:47 EST 2006

On Mon, Dec 11, 2006 at 12:34:11PM +0100, Fons Adriaensen wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 11, 2006 at 04:28:32AM +0100, Esben Stien wrote:
> But assuming for a moment there is something in there that is a bonus
> to humanity, as art is, I wonder why it can apparently be expressed
> only in a context of violence and killing, and in a simplistic mindset
> consisting of 'good' and 'evil'.


I am not having a go at you, because this is a commonly held
misconception, and many many people in high positions in government
and censorship bodies speak from similar ignorance about video games,
but I must correct this statement.

The majority of games do not involve killing or violence. One of the
largest, and definately the fastest growing sector in the game industry
is the 'casual games' sector. The demographics of players are 76% women,
and 71% over 40, and they are not playing games that depict violence
and killing.

The top selling game of all time is the Sims, which has nothing to do
with violence or killing.

I don't have any statistical evidence to back up this next bit, but
if you walk into a video games store and take a look around, you will
find that most of the games are not about killing. This is especially
skewed for some consoles (such as Gamecube or DS) because companies
like Nintendo tend to steer away from such content and you will find no
killing whatsoever in any of the games for those systems.

In addition to this many games do not have a simplistic mindset
consisting of 'good' and 'evil'. Many have complex plots that would
rival a Shakespearean play, or a Tolstoy novel. First person shooters
are sometimes an example of this, but only one small piece of the giant,
delicious, story-driven games pie.

I think this is one of the difficulties with arguing for or against games,
or game playing as an artform - the field is so utterly varied in style,
representation and content that it's very difficult to generalise. I
think that that in itself speaks volumes about whether or not to judge
games and game playing as art.



chris at mccormick.cx

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