November 10, 2007

I has proofs!

Grammatical horror aside, I have come up with the proof for the existence of: not God, but the literary video game. What is that, you ask? Perhaps an explanation is in order.

Scott and I have long believed that there are two tiers of video games. The first is your run of the mill games like Kirby, Sonic, or Mario. The three mentioned above are entertaining and diverting, but stop at that. Scott and I have long asserted the existence of a higher form of video game, one that the player GAINS A BENIFIT FROM PLAYING! To compare it to something, it is like the difference between Eragon and Lord o the Rings. The former is diverting and fun to read. The second is also, but it edifies the reader and allows him to advance in knowledge and wisdom purely by reading.

In order to prove the existence of literary video games, I must first prove that they are an art form and then prove that all art forms have two levels, an edificary (one that edifies the viewer) and a mundane (not mundane as in boring, but as in ordinary).

An art form can be defined as the expression of an idea into a medium in a manner that evokes emotions in those who come across it. A movie is an artform because it is written into a media and causes emotions in the viewers. A novel is an art form because the writer expresses ideas into the medium of the novel and the reader has emotions caused in himself by the books. Therefore, a video game is necessarily an art form because the makers take an idea for a plot, a conflict, etc. and put it into the form of the game, and the players not only experience the joy of playing it, but also the sadness when Crono dies (in Chrono Trigger), the confusion in Sonic Heroes when one can't figure out who the bad guy REALLY is, and the horror when Sora becomes a heartless in Kingdom Hearts.

Now, to prove the two-tierd nature of artforms. In photography, the photographer and the pornographer are intrinsically different, even though the medium is the same. The pornographer seeks only to evoke an erotic emotion in his viewer, while the photographer seeks to communicate, through a landscape, some beautiful truth in the amber leaves of fall and the rushing stream. Some light, some magnificence that only the photographer can see that he attempts to communicate through his medium. Both the porn and the landscape convey feeling, but which is the higher form? (see footnote one) Thus is the same for all art. The moviemaker can either entertain his audience, which is fine in and of itself and is not being derided, or he can try to communicate some truth that he sees.

And therefore, as an art form, the literary video game must have this two-tiered nature. Games like Chrono Trigger, from what I can see in my play through, and the Vagrant Story that Scott's brother swears by, have elements the edify the reader because of their plots and moral basis. I believe that the literary video game exists and is edifying and worthwhile to play. I know that quite a few people, my father for one, might disagree with me; but I believe that I've found something here and will continue to stand by it.

The next step, of course, is to objectively define the boundaries of the literary video game, so that the edificary may be distinguished from the mundane. That is the task of another post, however, and must first be discussed with my like-minded affiliate.


(1) I chose pornography as an example because it would make the starkest contrast between the two tiers. Sometimes the distinction is much subtler, and for the purpose of the proof a stark contrast was necessary in order that I might maintain some level of brevity. Hopefully the reference does not cause objections in some of my readers.

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Blogger ~Mari said...

I still say there's got to be some way to turn War and Peace into a video game...might take seven months to finish playing, but it would be so entertaining and morally uplifting...*grin*

November 10, 2007 12:05 PM  
Blogger Shakespeare's Cobbler said...

I bet I'll think of some way if once I can find the time to read it.

Great post, Ambrose!

I'm not sure I'd say Kyle "swears by" Vagrant Story, but amybe that's just semantics and my literality. Hey, I'm awfullly fond of quoting it though!

November 10, 2007 1:22 PM  

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