February 15, 2011

Better to burn out than fade away!

Filed under: General — bilbo @ 7:47 pm

So, Clash over on I Fly By Night had a commenter talk about the good ole days when games were “very punk rock” and I had to smile. I am not so sure I am nostalgic like that and I was a hard core punk rocker until I was a hard core new waver…yeah, it was like that. Anyway, it brings up an interesting point of commercialism and whether monetization of a market enhances or devlaues the artistic merit held within. Yes, I am channeling my inner thesaurus.

We have to ask then, do better illustrations, higher price points and product lines designed to separate us from our money really a bad and inherently non-artful endeavor. The answer seems to be “Not inherently so”. You can still do all these things, hire artists, editors and professionals to work on a game and still have it be an art worthy game. A fun game.

Here is the news, fresh from satellite V, you can make a crap game whether it has a $50K budget or a $5 budget. Likewise high art or great fun can come out of either. Worse yet, it is a subjective valuation. Just like a piece of art, a game can be a thing of beauty for one person and a total wreck and wast of time to another.

So, what do you loose? In my opinion, when you focus on the business, you loose passion. This, again, can either be good or bad. Passion can lead to incredible flights of inspiration and long hours spent doing something you love. It can also lead to a blindness to critical flaws and a denial of the realities of publishing a book. That is not as serious a lesson as it was even 10 years ago, but can be quite sobering when you are passionate about your work.

Despite what it sounds like above, passion is where my heart is. I have nothing agaist the people out there making fine products but I would rather burn out then fade away.

February 13, 2011

The Sin of Creativity

Filed under: General — Tags: — bilbo @ 3:29 pm

There are many people in many professions who will tell you how horrible it is when YOU are not creative. They are, of course, creative as all get out. They love to tell you about how creative they are but more than that, the love to tell you how uncreative everyone else is. This often amazes me for the simple reason that it often applies to those people who are enjoying that person’s hobby. They cannot be excited about others sharing their interests, they must attack those people for not sharing them correctly. That seems odd to me.

It would seem an observable division in hobbyists are those who are inclusive and those who wish to be elitist. Let’s think about that. Inclusive hobbyists are those that want to see people involved in what they do. They want to meet people and share an interest. When I go to a Jazz festival, I want to be around folks who listen to jazz. Sure, I tend to be more of a swing jazz guy but I have no problem if there is a modern or guitar jazz going on. I might get up and get something to drink then but I would never dream of interfering with someone else’s enjoyment of it. The elitist however, has a “right” way of doing their hobby. They are elite and “play the game at a higher level”. For instance, the guy who will go on and on about his martial art and how “those amateurs” just do not get it. The guy who will tell you, ad nauseum, about his train collection and how it is superior to anything you can possibly understand.

Now, here is the part I do not get. Why do people tolerate or even praise these people? Seriously, I will just get up and walk away. I have no interest in hearing a bigot ramble on about his superiority. Now, do not get me wrong, if you have a passion for what you do and you can tell me about a better way to study martial arts or the fine points of collecting trains then rock on! But one is exclusive or elitist and the other is inclusive and participatory. We should always be aware of the difference and strive for the inclusive over exclusive.

* Before anyone says I am living the definition of irony, I am all for a person believing they are elite, just not preaching about it. When a person decides to invade your sphere of consciousness, they violate you and then must subject themselves to social justice.

Powered by WordPress