Saturday, March 24, 2007

Early Showa Japan and games

I was just doing a bit of random Saturday browsing about what Taisho Tokyo looked like and was fascinated to come across a computer game with a beautiful old Tokyo backdrop. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army is supposed to start in the 20th year of Taisho, which never existed. In fact, there were only 15 Taisho years, so we are really talking early Showa Japan, the early 1930s. From what I can see, the sets have been quite deeply researched.

Gameplay video:

Thinking a bit more about my question to myself a couple of posts ago about whether games can ever be art, it seems a bit of a rubbish question now. Without getting into a long discussion about what art means, it seems self evident that games can achieve some kind of "artistic" status in graphic art, even now. Theoretically, there is no problem with them being poetically artistic either.

I think the question I wanted to ask was whether - like plays, films, novels etc. - games can aspire to become a form of narrative art. I stick by my earlier intuition that this question is probably only interesting in that it shows I am a old choffer. I suppose it is a common experience of newly emergent art forms to find themselves being judged by irrelevant critical standards developed out of established forms. The real question is can games aspire to become a form of game art. However, I do feel that "game" and "story" are antagonistic. The first person to develop a really engaging and satisfying narrative comparable to a novel in a game format will be a genius. Perhaps it has already happened. I don't know.


Anonymous said...

Yes old choffer does certainly spring to mind but strikes me all this arty farty talk is just a way of cencealing the fact that you have found a way to play computer games after all!!

Nonjatta said...

Rushing to my own defence, the only game I have actually played out of all these recent postings is that Boomshine one . A more pertinent question is how I am finding the time to make all these tediously long blog entries recently.