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Brett Boessen

On Authorship in Games - Click Nothing - 5 views

  • interacting with a work does not shape the work, it ‘only’ reveals it.
    • Brett Boessen
      Well put.
  • Because a game is a complete formal system
    • Brett Boessen
      Is he implicitly arguing here that games with emergent elements -- especially MMO's and games with heavy player-vs-player interactions -- are not games, or is he arguing that they also represent "complete formal system(s)"? Or did he simply misspeak? Because I don't see emergence as falling within any kind of closed system.
    • Ed Webb
      I take him to be talking about elements that belong to the game proper, not to things that might emerge within and through the game as a result of player interactions. So in-game actions are part of the game. Forums for player discussion, clans etc are not part of the game, at least not part of the authored game. But I agree, it's very ambiguous and should be debated.
  • The rebuttal to this argument lies in a comparison to film or to music or to any other collaborative artistic creation.
    • Brett Boessen
      Woops -- I thought he was going to address my points above, but he went in a different direction here. (I'm enjoying the point-by-point-rebuttal structure of the post immensely, though. I'd love more of my students to write this way. :)
    • Ed Webb
      I agree. The noise point is quite good. And careful comparisons with other media are useful.
  • ...19 more annotations...
  • The Argument from Legitimacy
    • Brett Boessen
      He rocks this entire section -- well done.
  • “I believe art is created by an artist. If you change it, you become the artist.”

    This is a much easier point to tackle simply because there is a fallacy in Ebert’s argument. He is implying that interacting with a work is the same as changing it. But this is not true. My ‘paint’ is not ‘what the player does’. My paint is ‘the rules that govern what the player can do’.
    • Brett Boessen
      Agreed. Ebert probably should have read Bogost's Persuasive Games before he started all of this.
  • the audience must always interact with a work on some level
  • The artist is also capable of creating an entire expressive system space that explores a potential infinity of different notions
  • Where most other media require the audience to induce their meaning, games afford the audience at least the possibility of deducing their meaning.
  • GTA: San Andreas on the other hand – which I played for a good 100 hours or so, gave me such a world transforming view of racial tension and inequity in early 1990’s California, that I have been shaken to the core, and have been forced to re-examine a huge part of my world view.
  • while there can be an art of expression in the way someone reveals the art, this does not necessarily diminish the art in the design of the work itself
  • There is noise in these systems too – some of it comes from the collaboration of others, and some of it comes from random noise
  • Many filmmakers, from Taratino to Inarritu to Haggis and dozens more have been increasingly attempting to explore stories from multiple angles in an attempt to mimic – in a medium severely limited for this purpose – what games can do innately
  • Ebert is wrong for two important reasons
  • there is authorship in games, no matter how much we abdicate
  • I will accept Ebert’s roughly stated thesis that art requires authorship
  • Because a game is a complete formal system, the entire possible range of outputs from those systems is determined by me
  • how do you know you are able to express your thoughts and feelings in the design of interactive systems’
  • I know because I understand it. What I am expressing makes sense to me both intellectually and emotionally. If others do not understand it, it is not really a question of whether I am expressing myself, but rather one of whether I am expressing myself clearly
  • The next argument is whether or not it is, in fact, true that the entire possible range of outputs from a games’ systems are really determined by me
  • The next argument would be that audiences cannot reconstruct the meaning I intend them to by way of interacting with systems
  • Another argument against the existence of real authorship in games is the argument about the legitimacy of the kind of authorship I am talking about. In his responses to Barker, Ebert says:

    “If you can go through "every emotional journey available," doesn't that devalue each and every one of them? Art seeks to lead you to an inevitable conclusion, not a smorgasbord of choices.”
  • The final argument that I see remaining is the one that asks ‘who is the artist here anyway?’ Ebert says:
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