Vestigial Traits

by tncastleman

Within the scope of art, all mediums have their own characteristics; video games are not unique among them. They combine elements of film, music, and elements of live performance: along with their own traits to create unique experiences unlike any other.

            While able to convey information in a number of ways, the most prominent are those video games borrow from other mediums.

            Third person video – the most common way story is presented in games. Third person video is just the use of film and filmic techniques to tell the user information; it combines photography and editing to express whatever the maker wishes. While not only borrowing theory from film video games are worse (for now) because of a lack of talent and technology. While I am willing to admit that lower levels of technology can be used in artist and meaningful ways, with in the context of video games none have demonstrated a great proficiency of film theory. Video games simply are a child aping their parents, not understanding the Why only, only the What of the content.

            Static Score – The tradition use of music, a piece of arranged music with a set length that traditionally attempt to convey emotion to the listener. Early video games take this to an incredible extreme with gusto, taking short 3-5 seconds songs and looping them over and over again to create mood. Later video games would begin to take longer pieces of classical music or pop music many times in place of creating something new, instead using the cultural influence of the pieces assist in delivering the message the makers wish to make.

            Text – More common before the storage of data allowed for higher quality voice to be stored for a single game. Text was used to tell stories, speech and all forms of narration. Text in modern games is used as a way to detach from the narrative of the game or game world and express purely game play based information to player. Because text is the only medium that does not recreate the natural world, photos recreate vision; music uses sound which we all experience. Text is simply a set of symbols society agrees mean something, and so video games take advantage of this agreement to create another social agreement to speak to players, breaking the forth wall to explain systems within systems. An interesting element that the newest medium uses the medium that is closest to death to interact with its audience on a level that no medium has an expression of.

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