Thursday, November 18, 2004

Thoughts on Interactive 'art' and storytelling.

It's ironic that my love of classical music, renaissance Art, and literature was birthed partly by playing computer games. One of my favorite Artist and Storytellers is Robyn Miller who (with his brother) made Myst and Riven His favorite authors are Lewis, Tolkien, and Jules Verne .He designed most of the art, composed the music, and co-wrote the story for Myst and Riven. After Riven, he left the game industry to go into film because he thought games or"interactive worlds" as he liked to call them, were too weak on storytelling ability. Since '97 he's been working on some sort of film ( )

Adventure games (like myst) are, in a way, interactive stories. Which is sort of a paradox. But, then again, that is what our lives are. It like playing with providence and free will. It will be interesting to see how this medium develops. It seems to be the least popular form of video game these days.

Playing a good adventure game is really like looking at a beautiful painting, listening to good music, watching a movie, and solving a puzzle or a mystery all at the same time. Maybe one of the reason people avoid the genre is because it's sort of inbetween video games and movies or books. When people play 'games' they wnat action, when they watch movies, they don't want to have to think, and make decisions.

Anyway, I was just thinking that I would buy an old computer so that I can always come back and play all the old adventure games that are now impossible to play. I guess that's the difference between art and entertainment. Art is forever. Entertainment is meant to be consumed. And the lines are blurred in our society.

Just because the Arts of Film and Interactive entertainment began in "Consumer" society, doesn't mean that they are destined to be less then high art. Maybe....

I wrote that yesterday, odd thing though, today I stumbled across this: Which is a great example of interactive art. The first word that comes to mind is Odd. A little frightening, and strangely beautiful. (warning, this site may be unsettling to some visitors)

This week I've been listening to The Count of Monte Cristo on tape while I ride my bike, or work on my projects. Listening to a book instead of reading it is a very interesting experience. It is really storytelling, as you are actually listening to someone tell you a story. I think every reader should occasionally listen to a book. Very enjoyable.

The odd thing (I say that alot now, don't I) about listening to portable cd/mp3/tape players is that the music or voice is totally disconnected with the person and performer. So I have a voice in my head telling me about Edmand Dante while I'm waiting at a stoplight on my bike or drawing or checking out a library book. Same with music.
There are so many things that technology has brought up that need to be addressed! Our culture has changed so much in the last 100 years!

Oh, by the way, I found that 99rooms link from What a great blog. He regularly talks about games too, though not adventure games.

Well, I'm off to do something else... Maybe I'll goto Barnes and Noble or something...


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