Warren Spector and David Cage: You are wrong.

A few days ago at DICE (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertainment) Summit which is annually held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls creator David Cage gave a keynote speech titled: “The Peter Pan Syndrome: The Industry That Refused to Grow Up.”

“I have no interest in guys who wear armor and swing big swords. I have been the last space marine between earth and an alien invasion. I really just don’t need to go there anymore. I want content that is relevant to my life, that is relevant to me, that is set in the real world. If we’re going to reach a broader audience, we have to stop thinking about that audience strictly in terms of teenage boys or even teenage girls. We need to think about things that are relevant to normal humans and not just the geeks we used to be.”

For the entire keynote speech he argued that video games were, more or less juvenile and disconnected from reality. Why should we be sick of it David Cage? Don’t you realize that not everyone is a pretentious gamer who needs to look for “maturity” in the videogames we play. Gamers will never grow out of the hero with the giant sword or space marine fantasy. And I will say it now: Realism in games will be the death of the industry that much I can tell you. David Cage wants more realistic, “grown-up” games with realistic graphics. Which would end up being less challenging and fun to play. I do not need a game that is fucking hyper realistic or relevant to my life. I play games to escape reality. (See escapism)

Especially Heavy Rain

Especially Heavy Rain

Gaming is not always about art, but most of the time it’s about having fun. Marshall McLuhan once said ‘The medium is the message”. Cage kind of forgot that mantra when he was busy with his keynote speech. Games can be meaningful without it being based in reality, as many games have already proven. For a game to become great, you first have to enjoy playing it. Things like fancy graphics or enthralling story are all well and good, but when it comes down to it if you do not enjoy playing the game then what is the point really? There is nothing wrong with games like Heavy Rain and Walking Dead that want to tell a story with limited gamer interaction, but there is also nothing wrong with games that want to make the mechanics the reason we want to play them.

Warren Spector is no a fan of the Chainsaw.

Warren Spector is no a fan of the Chainsaw.

And just as David Cage was making an appointment to surgically remove his foot from his mouth, Warren Spector joins him at DICE and after using Lolipop Chainsaw as an example says the following:

“I’ll try not to be too obnoxious,” he continued. “When I was younger, that’s all I needed. All I needed was to differentiate myself from other people. If it was going to convince my mother that I was a juvenile delinquent, I was there. I needed to be transgressive. Adrenaline rush and spectacle were all I needed. I don’t think I was alone in that. Maybe I’m just shallow…. When you’re this age, spectacle is plenty.

And bloodsprays and all that stuff is really kind of what you’re looking for because you really want to alienate people in a strange sort of way. You want to shock people and you want to be different. “If we’re going to reach a broader audience, we have to stop thinking about that audience strictly in terms of teenage boys or even teenage girls. We need to think about things that are relevant to normal humans and not just the geeks we used to be.”

I really hate it when people like Warren keeps on telling us that games need to “grow up” or that certain games should no longer be created. All because their tastes have “matured” and now that they having nothing to play, they want the gaming industry creating different games. Statements like these make me think these guys feel like the entire gaming industry revolves around them and their opinions. Sorry, Warren but you are not the sole audience, and you are most definitely not the barometer for what makes a game good or bad. I also find that his words are a little insincere considering that the two Epic Mickey games he created, targeted a specific demographic and were not set in the real world. Practise what you preach much?

Not Really

Why are David Cage and Warren Spector even making such statements? Maybe it’s just so they can feel more relevant and current in the gaming industry, which stems from the fact that they haven’t created anything decent and noteworthy in ages. They both have such selfish views of what they want from the gaming industry and not the gamers themselves, and that’s why their current games have been received so poorly. The diversity of the video game industry is ultimately what makes it fun to play the games that it creates.

About larch

I am a cucumber in a fruit bowl.
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3 Responses to Warren Spector and David Cage: You are wrong.

  1. Pingback: Beyond Two Souls (PS4) Review – Minor Spoilers – | Suitably Bored

  2. torgny hylen says:

    I read the article and I disagree. The gaming industry does (in part) need to grow up. Why? Because I’m the hardcore gamer. I’ve been playing games for a long time and I’m bored of most of the experiences, because they are rinse and repeat.

    I want new things. I want innovation. In all things. In gameplay. In subject matter. In genre. In graphics. In AI. In art direction. In story-telling. If that means I need to broaden my definition of what a game is to include an interactive movie with QTEs, then so be it. It doesn’t for a second mean that COD 13 won’t be a box-office hit or that it won’t be made, that shit is solid gold and has a market to the new twitch generation I am no longer a part of… it just means we can have DIVERSITY in an market heavily saturated by sameness. I don’t know why Fruit Ninja is readily classified as a game, but the verdict is out on Heavy Rain.

    The idea that “relevant games” that may have a commentary on “real life” is somehow “pretentious” shows, to me at least, the naïvety of this blogger. If a game developer came out with a war game (BF, COD, MOH) about the tragic consequence of war… and not in a bullshit “they shot my brother in arms, now they’ll pay” way… I for one would be interested in playing that. Hell’s Highway is the nearest example I can think of.

    The best war films are those that are anti-war. Platoon. Full Metal Jacket. Born on the Fourth of July. Apocalypse Now. Deer Hunter.

    Our games about war don’t even come in the same galaxy of a meaningful story that advances the discussion of war (as told through the arts & entertainment) as the short list of movies above. Our games are in the realm of Rambo and Universal Soldier. It totally has it’s place, but I for one, would like more “thoughtful” content.

    I think it is telling that The Walking Dead did so well at the award shows. Why? It was good story with tension and meaningful player choice. It was a souped up sequence of QTEs across multiple episodes. And guess what, the fans and the critics lapped it up.

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