"To me, it's quite obvious. I think videogames are art."
That's how Silicon Knights' Denis Dyack began his talk at Develop this morning. It was an interesting talk, and one I'm still struggling to form a solid opinion on.
Just to break the flow, I don't want to report back on this in a standard fashion. Dyack's views often conflicted so strongly with my own, despite our agreeing on the fundamental point that games are an artform, that I feel it necessary to let it sit a little before saying too much about it.
Quickly, though: there seemed to be an odd conflict between two of Dyack's main points. On the one hand, he spoke of how game developers need to look towards film theory in the delievery of expressive elements. He repeatedly referenced the history of the film industry throughout the talk, citing various elements of movie construction as influences on his own work.
And he claimed that, though gameplay is an important aspect of design, it needn't be the focus, when other building blocks, often considered smaller, can help elevate the videogame experience into something more artistic.
Yet at the same time, he stated his belief that emergence and non-linearity are the future of videogames, and the best way to create an artform that is distinctly our own.
Dyack's reference to established film theory, and his claim that developers need to be more careful with their methodology of creating games, seemed at odds with the emotional, experiential side to games he commended so greatly.
More on this to follow, we suspect - but it's very much food for thought.