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Blow himself is the most pretentious jerkoff in the world. He makes good games though.

His game is about a stalker whether he wants it to be or not. Authorial intent is irrelevant.

edit: Also, I hate how this article is written. It's not journalism when you turn the subjects into characters in a short story.




OF COURSE that's what it's about, maybe Blow doesn't want to bother to say it because it's so freaking obvious that he doesn't feel he needs to bother. If we're going to get games like Braid, he can be as pretentious as he wants. John Romero was totally full of crap and all that we ended up with was Daikatana.

I personally love the fact that Blow is borderline antisocial and that he hates the industry. Someone needs be that. Most companies are just out there making Call of Duty 12 or awful freemium "casual" games. It's not like there aren't large numbers of artists and so-called creatives throughout history that have shared this sort of personality. I don't need to be his friend and I don't care about being his fan. I just admire and enjoy his work.


Alone on a mysterious island... So maybe less ground breaking and more a spiritual successor to Myst? I'm not saying don't do or play it, maybe just that it's not as uniquely original as the article author breathlessly makes it out to be.


The setting is explicitly stated to have been inspired by Myst.


Still shots look awesome, there's clearly some radiosity rendering involved. Yay. I've been waiting for ages for a beautifully designed world exploration game. Hopefully this will be the one.


Blow himself is the most pretentious jerkoff in the world.

I'm curious, care to elaborate?


In a nutshell: Blow's a rich guy and GP is jealous.

What's really going on, though, is that mainstream engineering and development CS types don't understand auteurs the way Hollywood and Greenwich Village does. Blow is no more pretentious or jerkoffy than Quentin Tarantino, Damien Hirst, or Banksy. He's an incredibly intellectual guy and a great game designer.

Now, the Fez developer, it could be argued, is a bit of a jerkoff. Telling people to "suck his dick" on twitter because he won IGF award in two separate years (4 years apart) for the SAME GAME still in development, or when he says Japanese games "suck". Now there is where you could direct your hate if you were so inclined.


If Braid had failed and Blow was getting interviewed at Gamasutra rather than The Atlantic, I'd still say he's an incredibly pretentious jerkoff. I'll admit that I wish I had the freedom to build whatever I'd like, but I can assure you that jealousy has nothing to do with his wealth. Actually, the part of the article that quotes him I most agree with is how meaningless the numbers just changing in your bank account seem. Wealth is so far removed from value that it's kind of scary.

Phil Fish is an asshole, but I haven't read enough of his thinking on art, design and life to say whether he's a jerkoff or not.

Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about: "He loathes watching sports, because they yield few tangible returns on the hours you invest in them."

Now, I mean, I'm not someone who particularly enjoys sports, but if the article is paraphrasing him accurately, then that's such a boorish way of dismissing a hobby, especially from someone who is in entertainment. Some people like watching sport because they see the performance of the athletes as an art, the culmination of thousands of hours of effort played out upon a grand stage. Others see it as the drama between competing forces, with players and coaches as the actors in an improvised play. Some people just enjoy analyzing the tactics and strategy employed and attempting to know what the outcome would be. And the really weird people (in my opinion) just wanna crunch the numbers.

Personally, I just don't care for the rules of many sports and would rather be doing something less passive. I mean, I'm not gonna tell him that he should like sports, but that's such a strange way for him, in his position, to say that he doesn't like them. I watch lots and lots of movies. How many of them do I get anything out of after the film is over besides in-jokes? Vanishingly few. How much of the music that I listen to really makes me feel something? A handful of songs.

What he so out of hand dismisses in general is the umwelt of experience, the notion of being in the moment. Fully engaged. Blow doesn't seem to be happy with the idea that people like to be immersed. He wants to make people rationally grind through games, to never be in the moment, to always have their mind on and trying to analyze. He characterizes everything else as evil or wrong or garbage.

And then he goes and practices Tai Chi.


It's nice how you've written him off entirely because he likes one thing and not another! You completely disregard the possibility that some people are only ever fully engaged and in the moment when their mind is on and they are performing analysis. There's so little to what you're saying, you can mad libs your whole rant to paint you as the asshole.


The article certainly paints him as pretentious.

> “I think the mainstream game industry is a fucked-up den of mediocrity,” he told me. “There are some smart people wallowing in there, but the environment discourages creativity and strength and rigor, so what you get is mostly atrophy.”

Most people and things are mediocre, by definition, so Blow's comments are obvious and unnecessary. Further, it is incredibly graceless to bang on about how terrible your chosen field is. One should simply prove one's point by producing great work, not by disparaging others.

> he plans to do nothing less than establish the video game as an art form

I'm pretty sure this has already been achieved, and not by Blow.

Braid is a great game, but its greatness is oversold by this article and, it seems, by Blow himself. Since the early days of video games there have been "artistic" video games. (Although the idea that you must draw some kind of line is nonsensical.)

> “If the video game is going to be used for art purposes, then it has to take advantage of its form in some way particular to that medium, right?” he told me.

"Art purposes"!! The preposterousness of the concept astounds me. Yeah, I'll go on record that this guy is spectacularly pretentious.


Did you play Braid? Did you read the plot-bits? It was a little pretentious.


Yep, and it was one of the greatest platformers of all time IMO. The "story", while at times verbose and overwrought, imbued the character a sense of urgency and personality compared to the classic "Princess is in another castle", which is the point of the article: The artization of video games.

If we can't think of things like Braid, or Infinite Jest, or Downton Abbey without thinking pretentious, then all games should simply be derivatives of The Jersey Shore or just long fart noises and rubber-band physics. But, obviously, that's not what all people want, or else the aforementioned "pretentious" content wouldn't be so popular.


It was nowhere near one of the greatest platformers of all time. Nowhere near Super Mario Bros. 3, not even close. I got bored of its puzzles after about 40 minutes. The mechanics: cute and novel. The story: pretentious. The gameplay: meh.


The story was one of the weaker parts. The puzzles and gameplay were great. I don't see how you could get bored of them unless you genuinely got stuck and weren't able to solve them. They were varied and creative, and forced you to think in different ways.


Puzzle-based gameplay doesn't usually absorb me much. I tend to prefer much more open gameplay where there are many different ways of achieving ends. The "aha!" dopamine rush that puzzle type games are supposed to run on isn't very strong with me; the payoff is so weak that I lose interest whether I'm making progress or not. And it's not just games either, it follows through into programming and debugging.

Closest thing to puzzle games that I enjoy are stealth territory navigation games like Thief series, Deus Ex, Far Cry 1 & 2 (at least the way I play them), etc. But the rush comes from a plan coming together in execution; in much the same way that I best enjoy programming when designing a bunch of data structures that solve a problem nicely.


not OP but being blase about being rich makes you a fucking asshole full stop.


oh come on. the article is dripping in journalese. you can hardly make any judgments about his character based on it alone (it even features the Beautiful Mind-esque cliche of "doesn't understand the social conventions of how to act around women"). you can't really tell if it's an off-hand remark about how his life hasn't changed by being rich or whether he actually went into long tirades on the banality of being rich.




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