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The Most Dangerous Gamer (Jonathan Blow) (theatlantic.com)
34 points by apress on Apr 12, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments



I quite Like Jon Blow's creative activity, but my god the author of that article must never play any game that costs less than €50.

Blockbuster games have as much intellectual requirement as blockbuster films. The films advertised on billboards aren't typically the ones that advance the medium creatively. Games are no different.

The problem with Braid is that it wasn't that innovative. Nice art style, sure. But is a 2d-platformer so revolutionary? Time-based play elements weren't new either.

So it was a well-built, good looking game, based on established mechanics, with a great story. Not a revolution in gaming though.

There are far more progressive games out there, which are far further removed from the world of the Blockbusters. On that basis I'd say that Blow is nice to have around, but he's no messiah, and not as essential to the medium as is suggested. I'd go so far as to say his attitude actually propogates the stereotype of the surly, antisocial gamer.

Some examples:

Amnesia - pure distilled terror in a way no other medium can achieve, a proof of the unique value of games

Minecraft - a game with no purpose, pure zen, which stuck two fingers up to fancy graphics (and it's sales proved the market for such games)

Child of Eden - an absolutely beautiful game which connects the player with music

Anyone want to add some of their favourite progressive games?


The latest game describe sounds a lot like the Myst series http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myst_(series)


And the much more recent Dear Esther. Which is a first person exploration game based on an island.

Oh and don't forget that other 'cerebral' game that is yet another source mod (which Dear Esther originally was). The Stanley Parable.[2]

Personally I think this developer is stuck up his own arse. Talking about how the industry is full of dross for cretins whilst ignoring these games. His biggest game, Braid, revolves wholly around the twist at the end along with an interesting gameplay gimmick. He may be an artist within the industry. But by far isn't the only one, nor is he the best by a long shot.

Comparing the video game industry to literature and movies and saying "Oh, look at how mindless we are in comparison." Is missing the entire point. A lot of books, movies and games are mindless. But to then stand up because of that and say that the industry as a whole is mindless and that your brainchild is going to revolutionise it and fix all that is wrong is not only egotistical and ignorant but disrespectful of incredible artists like those who made the Stanley Parable. (Which was the first video game I played that really made me think. It is the game that I point to when I need to point out a video game that is art.)

[1] http://dear-esther.com/

[2] http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-stanley-parable


Aye, he's a lot more deriviative than he lets on.


If you haven't played Braid and don't want to spoil the ending, skip the 4 paragraphs starting with "After traversing Braid’s five main realms,"


the part where is describes having millions in the bank as 'absurd' might suggest he has his head up his arse


It might. It might also suggest that he hasn't developed any embarassment about thinking out loud and openly contemplating various aspects of our lives. That's not a bad thing if you're in the storytelling business.





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