: CliffyB's Reaction To The Order Is Valid, But...

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CliffyB's Reaction To The Order Is Valid, But...

Disclaimer: I've played all the Gears of War games and I've enjoyed them all, even though I think Judgment definitely slipped.

I will also add that most of Cliff Bleszinski's observations on The Order: 1886 as said during his recent Twitch gaming session are perfectly valid.

That all being said, I'm sorry, but someone needs to stand up and admit that as a community and really, as a species, our attention spans have been shot to sh**. It's why camera angles in any given movie can't sit still for more than three consecutive seconds and honestly, one of the reasons we don't really see lengthy cut-scenes anymore. Yes, I get it; advanced technology means we don't necessarily have to tell a story with long non-interactive scenes. But that's hardly the only the reason they've started to disappear, nor is it the only reason people bash them so insistently.

It's simply because most gamers can't seem to sit still for a two-minute break. It's because unless they're pressing buttons, they're bored. It's the instant gratification, everyone staring at a smartphone as if it's a religion, constantly connected lifestyle that I just freakin' despise these days. So, I'm not overly surprised when I hear CliffyB say things like this:

"I just can’t do all the cutscenes guys. Call me jaded. I’ll probably go back to it, give it a go. A lot of people really worked their ass off, and I hope I didn’t offend anybody with my commentary here. I just had a little bit of fun with it, and don’t punch me in the nuts at GDC if you see me."

He also said the QTEs are too much and that while the graphics are great, he thinks the money could've been better spent so the consumer gets more bang for his buck. As I said above, these are perfectly valid. But the fact that you can't do the cut-scenes doesn't mean you're "jaded;" it just means you seem to have zero attention span. Like, none. It tells me that if you had to sit through long, meaningful dialogue scenes in movies, you'd be fidgety or bored.

Nobody's going to punch him in the nuts at GDC. I'd just like someone to admit that a game's so-called flaw might be more of a flaw in the individual, in their inability to simply sit patiently and watch a story unfold. That's what I'd like to see. No big deal; just admit it.

P.S. My review of The Order: 1886 is coming soon. No, it's not a great game. Just putting that out there.

2/20/2015 Ben Dutka

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Comments (97 posts)

bigrailer19
Friday, February 20, 2015 @ 9:58:10 PM
Reply

I'd punch "Cliffy B" in the nuts at GDC if I seen him. I cant stand the things the guy says. Makes good games though.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 2/20/2015 9:58:45 PM

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matt99
Friday, February 20, 2015 @ 10:05:08 PM
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While I think you're right about people's attention spans these days I'd just like to point out that shot length in movies has nothing to do with attention spans. The story is told as much through editing as any other element in filmmaking and shot length is just one of the many storytelling tools an editor has.

Edit: I realize that has nothing to do with gaming, but my early impressions with the order are wow that looks amazing! but I am quickly getting the feeling that it's a shiny shell with a hollow centre.

Last edited by matt99 on 2/20/2015 10:06:54 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, February 20, 2015 @ 10:13:55 PM

"I'd just like to point out that shot length in movies has nothing to do with attention spans."

Absolute baloney. It has everything to do with it. If you're right, it's the ONLY storytelling tool that's being used, and why wasn't it used 60, 70 years ago? Just because they couldn't? No, because people could sit still for two seconds. It's not even a tool for telling a story; it's a tool for keeping people's ATTENTION.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/20/2015 10:14:23 PM

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matt99
Friday, February 20, 2015 @ 10:44:36 PM

...It was used, look up a famous documentary called "Berlin: Symphony of a Great City" from 1927 which is considered one of the best examples of editing and cinematography in early cinema, or Sergei Eisenstein's montage theory, or read about how D.W. Griffith revolutionized editing as a storytelling technique in the early 20s using (among many other techniques) fast cuts.
Also shot length ABSOLUTELY is a storytelling tool, any filmmaker will tell you so. Look at Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" (1960) which is widely considered to be one of the best movies of all time and its most famous scene is also perhaps the most famous example of fast cuts. Filmmakers don't arbitrarily choose when to make a cut, they purposefully choose the exact frame to make a cut. I mean you can write whole essays on shot length and its impact on the story.

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LimitedVertigo
Friday, February 20, 2015 @ 11:29:44 PM

Birdman is a great example of long shots being used to help tell a story. The editing done in this aspect will most likely earn the movie at least one Oscar on Sunday.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 12:54:37 AM

What are you talking about? I'm referring only to the amount of time a shot stays in one spot. Not distance or anything else.

And studies have been done on this constantly. The reason the camera has to keep cutting away and showing something else is the same reason commercials have to keep moving, the same reason a book can't have too much dialogue; everyone trying to sell an entertainment product today knows full well that we are an attention-addled society. There's only one way to sell something to a mass audience right now.

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Beamboom
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 3:19:28 AM

a lenghty, continious shot is called a "long shot", Ben. Listening to you talk about movie is like listening to my grandmother explaining what computer games are. :O)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 9:49:26 AM

I've seen birdman and played the order so I'd just like to say The Order is birdman.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:26:36 AM

Just because I misinterpreted what he was talking about doesn't change the studies that I've read. Ask anyone in film school right now what the directive is to keep a viewer's attention. It's not dissimilar to the directive digital content producers have right now: Shorter and punchier, and the headline matters far more than the text, as the overwhelming majority never even read the text.

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matt99
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 12:12:37 PM

Ben, I am in film school and that's not what they teach us.

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Fabi
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 3:57:14 PM

Haha, Ben getting wrecked left and right.

Ben, you're a good dude and I enjoy your articles but sometimes you can be a bit of a bully because it's your site.

I know you're on the edge when it comes to people trolling, since I'm sure you've dealt with many of them, but you really need to chill and not treat everyone like only your view is valid.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 4:57:06 PM

I didn't say it's what they taught you. As my nephew said, it wasn't exactly a course. It's what's talked about quite a bit, however, or so I was told.

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matt99
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 5:54:11 PM

Of course they tell you you need to keep your audience's attention, it's just like any other form of entertainment where you want to create something interesting. However, they teach us to do this by using every element of filmmaking to tell the story. And what they teach us specifically about shot length is the emotional effect it has, and how you can use this to tell your story. That's what they teach us at my school anyways, perhaps your nephew was taught differently.

Also just to clarify, I'm not denying that society's attention span as a whole is getting shorter. It clearly is, and there are loads of examples and studies as you say that prove this. My only point is about movies, and as a film student I wanted to defend the importance of editing.

Last edited by matt99 on 2/21/2015 5:54:51 PM

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Caanimal
Sunday, February 22, 2015 @ 1:22:59 PM

I have to agree w/ Ben on this one, I know I don't post much but he IS right. Movies, TV show, Video games, commercials, books, EVERYTHING that is designed to keep the attention of it's target audience has gone to quick cut scenes so people don't get "bored" and move onto something else. That IS how it is, PERIOD.

Editing is a tool, one of MANY that is used to tell a story, but it's NOT the ONLY tool like some editors/producers/whatevers THINK it is. I can sit perfectly fine through a 5 minute scene, as long as the ACTUALLY STORY is good, I don't need a new angle every 3 seconds going over the same scene, I actually find it quite annoying when TV shows do that, and I have turned off programs that do that. The attention span of most people is almost nothing anymore, that's why when reviewers or others comment about "cut scenes were too long" I usually ignore their other comments, if you can't sit still for 5 minutes then something is wrong w/ YOU, not w/ the movie/tv show/video game.

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Temjin001
Friday, February 20, 2015 @ 10:36:38 PM
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It's hard to watch some of them Bourne Identity movies because they're entirely shot with a hand cam.

EDIT: the only reason I really know, is because a friend of mine shoots film for a living. He told me that and so now every time I watch them it drives me nuts because the camera is always moving.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 2/20/2015 10:38:49 PM

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SaiyanSenpai
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 12:06:09 AM

Couldn't agree more. Never have I wanted to scream at the cameraman more than the second and third Bourne movies. I couldn't tell wtf was going on half the time because the camera was moving around so darn much! That cameraman (and director) should be banned from the industry forever.

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JackDillinger89
Friday, February 20, 2015 @ 10:57:19 PM
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Nothing wrong with lengthy cutscenes if im into the story but should have strong gameplay along with it like the mgs series.

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Voyager236
Friday, February 20, 2015 @ 11:17:37 PM
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Cutscenes are not a problem, if they are there for a reason, if there is a reasonable context to put them in a game. But, The Order does not permit the player even to cut them while playing the game. Sounds like RaD's knew that the game was short and cut them would make the player to finish it in less than 3 hours. They knew what they were doing.

Last edited by Voyager236 on 2/20/2015 11:23:09 PM

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FAREEZ
Friday, February 20, 2015 @ 11:43:50 PM

The order cutscenes is just plain boring, but it's look amazing almost movie like. Probably they should just make cgi movie rather than video game...

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 12:55:39 AM

You need to stop talking as if you've played it. Everyone does.

And if you're worried about cut-scenes you can't skip the first time you play a game, you're a perfect example for the article here.

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DemonNeno
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 10:13:40 AM

That's one of the most idiotic thing I've ever read. What the hell is the point of cutting the cutscenes when you're playing the game? The idea is that you're paying attention to what's going on. Not doing so would imply that you don't care about the story of a game that's all about it.

Sounds to me like you need CoD like something fierce.

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Voyager236
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 10:55:02 AM

"What the hell is the point of cutting the cutscenes when you're playing the game?"

Why can't I have this choice, even in my second playthrough? That's my point.

Even Asura's Wrath gave this option.

Last edited by Voyager236 on 2/21/2015 10:57:24 AM

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Voyager236
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:03:59 AM

For Ben, yes I played the game.

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DemonNeno
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 2:26:51 PM

The point of it is the story. Do you skip through a good chunk of movies that you watch because you've seen it before? That's the point. It's meant to be as essential as the game play. Cinematic. Hell, even a book is the same isn't it? Do you skip through a few chapters after your first read just because you read it? The developer didn't exclude the option to torment you. It's their way of saying "hey, this is important! Watch, listen, and understand".

I'm sure all the complaints about skipping cutscenes will result in RaD patching that option into it. I'm guessing you'll be part of the herd complaining about how short it is after what you originally complained about comes true.

I just can't understand why you WANT to skip the cutscenes. Why not play something that isn't heavily influenced by its story and movies?

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SaiyanSenpai
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 12:08:58 AM
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I really don't understand why people don't like cut scenes. The Fools.

I guess I'll never get that Xenosaga HD remaster...

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Voyager236
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 10:59:20 AM

Xenosaga was my favorite RPG on PS2 and in the game there was exploration, including side quest missions. This is an unfortunate comparison.

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xenris
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 12:11:16 AM
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I played the order for about 2 hours tonight and I am enjoying it.

It is a good game, not a great but it is totally solid.

Don't know how he has such a problem sitting through the cutscenes I find them interesting, I like the world they have created here.

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LimitedVertigo
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 12:21:02 AM

He is a tool, that's why.

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matt99
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 12:34:48 AM

Plus the graphics are so incredible I don't get how you could get bored of looking at that.

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Jawknee
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 1:01:44 AM

"He is a tool, that's why."

This.

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wambo
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 5:03:46 AM

I've also played the order 1886 for a few hours, i'm with xenris, the cut secenes don't bother me either, i quite like games with them, also got to add , ilike the world ready at dawn have created for this game, the graphics are flipping insane aswell, they are just incredible.

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LimitedVertigo
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 12:22:07 AM
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I don't have an issue with cutscenes as long as there is gameplay to back it up. It appears the issue with this game is balance between "non gaming" and "gaming" length.

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Temjin001
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 2:35:15 AM
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My take is that if a game is going to make you watch a lot of narrative driven scenes then the narrative needs to be strong. Games like MGS, TLoU, and HR are all really good at story telling. Games like Ninja Gaiden are not good at it. That's okay. The game doesn't force you to watch mediocre story telling for lengthy amounts of time. The story is basically there only to set the stage for why you're now hacking demons in a jungle instead of the city.

But if something like Order has over half of its time spent watching it rather than playing it, the watching had better be damn good or its to its own determent. Especially if the game doesn't present enough game play content to justify several play throughs and its $60 price of admission.

Edit: If a game thinks itself so good that about 6 hours of content is worth $60 it had better be the best dang 6 hours of gaming you've had in a long time. End of story.





Last edited by Temjin001 on 2/21/2015 2:43:08 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 9:51:07 AM

it is strong with this one

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 2:40:30 AM
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well thats a little disappointing coming from you but i'll wait and see what u have to say in more tail. but yeah i have to agree peoples attention spans have curtailed to the point that is well actually almost well not even funny anymore to laugh at it is just stupid. but whatever i just don't know how this is all going over in a general picutre view

happy gaming

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deadline
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 3:13:06 AM
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You mean my iPhone is NOT a religion???

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Broady
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 3:58:05 AM
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would like to see a current reaction to MGS4's cut scenes... longest one is over 25mins - wonder if the idiot mentioned in the article would complain about the game because of that

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Beamboom
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 4:19:06 AM
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The way I see it, this is not about attention span at all. It's about how a medium has changed, and the usage changed with it.

When people can sit focused 100% on their task for hours straight in games like DOTA2 or Mindcraft, there's nothing wrong with their attention span at all. Or when people sit down to see The Hobbit movies for 3+ hours straight, they are disappointed when the credits roll that it didn't last longer.

But when gamers start a game today, they do so with the motivation to DO something. They are motivated to participate - it's why they did this instead of turning on Netflix or whatever.
It's the mindset when entering that activity that matters.

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Temjin001
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 10:04:42 AM

There's a definte difference in how the mind functions between reading a book and playing a game like dota2.

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xenris
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 10:43:07 AM

^ Your mind isn't allowed to stop when you are playing Dota2.

But I get what you are trying to say Beam.

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Beamboom
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 10:59:03 AM

I don't understand your point Temjin? But of course reading require attention span too - all things that require focus do.

I talk about attention span, ie the amount of concentrated time on a task without becoming distracted.


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/21/2015 11:00:43 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:29:33 AM

"When people can sit focused 100% on their task for hours straight in games like DOTA2 or Mindcraft, there's nothing wrong with their attention span at all."

You don't understand what an attention span is. These people are constantly being stimulated. It's actually why those with ADD can sit and play a game for hours; it's because they're not being tasked with doing anything that requires any real brain work. The more cerebral the game is - like a tough puzzler - the less amount of time they can spend with it.

Trust me, Beam, it's an attention problem. The entire world suffers from it right now, as any psychologist will tell you.

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Beamboom
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 12:31:18 PM

Attention span IS the amount of concentrated time on a task without becoming distracted. It's the very definition of attention span.

If you are unable to spend longer periods focused on one thing even if you *want* to, you got a problem with your attention span.
If you need to sit on your phone, browse through a magazine and talk with friends while you watch a movie you want to see, you got attention span problems. If you can't keep playing a game without also listening to music, have a buddy on Skype chatting about the weather, all while you eat, then there's a serious problem with attention span.

But you're not suffering from a mental illness just by being bored. If the puzzle don't interest you, you find the movie boring or a book dull, your mind naturally wanders off.
If you feel no motivation for doing it, you don't *want* to do it, there are no reward in it for you, then you're likely to grow tired of it long before you're done with it.
That's not attention span problems - that's natural.

No serious psychologist will tell me the entire world suffers from one thing. You'll need to be a gaming journalist for a small US website to make such categoric and bold claims. :p


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/21/2015 12:55:53 PM

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Bio
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 3:01:04 PM

"You don't understand what an attention span is."

Yeah, he does, which is why he was able to give you the textbook definition of what an attention span is and then provide a perfect example of it.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 3:01:34 PM

You can think what you want.

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Fabi
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 4:00:05 PM

Trust me Beam, I have talked to every psychologist in the world about this.

:D

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Underdog15
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 6:36:38 PM

I haven't read any of your comments in entirety, but I will say the one thing I agree with is that any psychologist will tell you there's an attention issue epidemic. Entire conferences are run on the topic every single year basically everywhere. Google search some keywords related to the issue, and you will have no shortage of materials, journals, and special conferences/webinars to sign up for.

We're in an extremely connected, instant entertainment society now. It's an excellent thing in regards to ease of communication, information accessibility, commerce, and lots of other aspects of society. But with what is essentially a new world and unexplored frontier, comes new developing mental health issues.

You can argue about whether or not you think it applies to gaming (hint: it very likely does), but you can't deny that we have new issues related to attention that we didn't used to have.

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Beamboom
Sunday, February 22, 2015 @ 4:09:14 AM

Oh there's changes in the society indeed, Underdog. I'm just not so sure if it is all negative.

Kids people today are exposed to enormously more information of all kinds than we were just ONE generation ago. We need only go back to when I was a teenager in the 80s, to see an entirely different world.

Things were moving much, much slower just those few decades ago. We had essentially one television channel and two radio channels in the early 80s. There were programs for kids maybe 30 minutes a day. No daytime television at all.

When we wanted to communicate, we had to walk to each others houses and do so. Phone were an expensive thing, we could not just sit on the phone all day, and then only with one person at a time.
That's just three decades ago.

Today, the young ones brains are extremely much more trained to tackle impressions. They got whatever tv show they want to watch available on demand. They can never ever be able to see all the kids programs offered. They got all their buddies a button press away on their phone, via 3-4 different channels, often all at once if they feel like it.

There's also a continuous evolution going on in the different medias, both to reflect this, technological advances and the fact that they get getter at their craft: Better at directing, better at effects, audio, better at making us go "wow" over and over.
It's not like they didn't *try* to do that decades ago, it was only that we, mankind, was so much easier to impress back then. One or two "wow" moments during an entire action movie would make us talk for weeks.

So yes, there's massive changes going on. And of course, there's plenty of doomsday prophets going around as there are with *any* change ever.
I just don't believe it's necessarily all wrong. I don't buy the doomsday prophesies.

When I look at my colleagues at work (I'm the oldest there) I see young people with an massive mental capacity. They are just so drilled on handling massive amounts of input, they do it with ease. And they CAN focus on one task, they have no problem with that at all. They just are able to maintain big theoretical models in their head and do massive logical conclusions (I'm working at a software dev firm) on a scale I dare claim we were not able to when I was a teen. We just had not the pre-requisitions to do so.

So I'm thinking, so what if kids today get bored by the slow paced movies from a hundred years ago? It just means nothing other than that times have changed.

Last edited by Beamboom on 2/22/2015 4:33:52 AM

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Underdog15
Sunday, February 22, 2015 @ 7:27:27 AM

I didn't say it was all negative.

That's why I said, "It's an excellent thing in regards to ease of communication, information accessibility, commerce, and lots of other aspects of society." I then pointed out that with new good, comes new bad that has yet to been effectively dealt with.

That's twice you've been made foolish this week from not reading, but responding. ;)

Last edited by Underdog15 on 2/22/2015 7:31:00 AM

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Beamboom
Sunday, February 22, 2015 @ 12:15:11 PM

No I did read your full text this time Underdog, and did notice your quote there. In my introduction I said I agree with you and then basically just continued from there, sort of. :)

I meant the "not so sure it's all negative" as a general comment, not directly as a reply to you. Like, I do agree we've changed (as those who are only negative to those changes insist we have) and I do agree that has some consequences in regards to how we perceive old entertainment today. I just don't see it as a negative.

In fact, I'd see it as straight up irrational to think we should be able to enjoy 100 year old entertainment as they did back when it was new. That's completely unrealistic for a long range of reasons, including social, cultural and linguistic reasons.

Last edited by Beamboom on 2/22/2015 12:25:09 PM

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Underdog15
Sunday, February 22, 2015 @ 10:30:30 PM

In the grand sense, yes. But even something like "The Artist" proves old techniques could do things we don't do anymore. We should always move forward and evolve, but the moment we start throwing out old artistic techniques, that's when you need to challenge the direction.

Anyways, my original comment was more to support the idea that modern, unaddressed issues can affect our ability to appreciate what deserves appreciation. You can't claim something lacks value just because it doesn't jive with what you think entertainment should be.

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Beamboom
Monday, February 23, 2015 @ 1:40:51 AM

Nono, by all means, I fully agree.

Furthermore, as I'm sure you'll agree, something can be of very high value (and quality) even if a vast majority of the public never liked it. There's plenty niche movie directors (for example) with an enthusiastic following that makes their own festivals and so forth - in a very small scale. Or music, or anything really.

I've not seen The Artist yet. I know about it (obviously) and it's annoying I haven't seen it yet cause that's one movie I just *have* to see. But those kind of movies can only exist because there's few of them. They are an "exotic revisit", a one of a kind experience. Had all returned to a silent movie format it'd not work. :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/23/2015 1:46:19 AM

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Underdog15
Monday, February 23, 2015 @ 10:43:24 AM

I liked it because it drew attention to how important non-verbal communication can be, how music can affect a performance.... basically, how much storytelling potential there is even when you can't come out and explain the story with words.

It's not a cheap-o production, either. It's super good. Also, it was cool to see John Goodman be as fantastic as he was. Not something you expect from someone like him.

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AMERICANSHEEPLE
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 8:40:46 AM
Reply

"I'd just like someone to admit that a game's so-called flaw might be more of a flaw in the individual". Good God man, It's his opinion on the game. When did we all get thrown into this box that says "we all must like the exact same thing" and if you don't your flawed? Really? Your jumping to some pretty big conclusions here off of one mans preference and opinion.

Cliffy B's Reaction to the Order is Valid, But....... I disagree with him so I'm gonna take this opportunity to generalize about everyone who doesn't like cutscenes and say that all of them have zero attention spans and are flawed as humans beings.

Wow Ben, just Wow!

Last edited by AMERICANSHEEPLE on 2/21/2015 8:42:03 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 9:43:33 AM
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This is the never been bored generation, it's flippin weird.

The Order is a good game.

that is all

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matt99
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 5:57:38 PM

Yeah, I'm really enjoying it and the graphics are so good it's almost distracting. My only complaint so far is the letterboxing, although I am getting used to it.

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DIsmael85
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 10:40:28 AM
Reply

I'm sure Ben will give it a review he thinks it deserves, however, from what I gather it'll be a low score. After having played up to Chapter 7 and taking my time on Hard mode, I can easily say I am quite enjoying it. It's not the Last of Us, but as far as gameplay and cinematics goes it's a close second in my book. I will be reviewing the game for sure, it'll be in video form and going in depth with it. And no I haven't beaten it and I've put in way more than 4 hours.

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xenris
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 10:46:29 AM

I put it in hard mode as well and I think that is making the difference here. Gameplay feels balanced in hard mode, I can only imagine how uninspired and run and gun it might feel in easy mode or even normal.

I just got to chapter 4 and the firefight I just got in was intense, I was getting rushed by shot gunners, having grenades thrown at me and had to keep changing my vantage point as a sniper. But as I walked through after I realized you could fight them close quarters if you want, there is a lot of cover on ground level.

Anyway so far I'm happy with my purchase.

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DemonNeno
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 2:18:30 PM

Gah! I can't wait to give it a shot. Definitely appreciate the feedback about the difficulty settings from both you gents! I typically play in whatever setting is default, so it's good stuff to know.

Where will one find your video review of it, dismael?

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DIsmael85
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 5:47:59 PM

@DemonNeno check out my twitch. Look up FishTells, you'll find all the info you need on my info side. A friend and I just started a youtube channel so it's in its infancy stage. I'll try and have my video review up monday.

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DemonNeno
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 10:53:25 AM
Reply

You're fighting a losing battle,Ben. For the very reason we can't have flashbacks anymore without losing half of the audience. The main culprit behind the reduction in reading, both physical and ebooks.

We're the impatient nation and no one realizes what it means for us as societies. Obesity. Lower IQs. Stress. The pathetic part about it, as some may argue, is that impatience is only a behavior -- not a personality. If they only recognized it! If only...

Well, they don't. In return, continuous scenes are washed away in order to give these impatient people a breather. Those of us WITH an attention span get headaches from shaking cameras, camera views snapping in every direction within 2-5sec apart from on another, and weaker storylines. All because our wealth of information has turned everything into a chore.

Twitter is often mentioned. The 150 characters are the epitome of our lifestyle. We reduce our quality of life for an increased quantity of it. Instead of refining ourselves, we're becoming walking time bombs full of useless information and unusual obsessions.

It's funny that you mention the Golden age of movies. There are a bunch of old theaters littering Chicago that Chicago's Northwest Film Society would try to exploit for old film nights. Charging practically nothing for an opportunity to view reconstructed original, or at least as original as they can get it, films for your liking.

To say that the turnout of people around my age group, early to mid 30s, was disappointing is a understatement. Then again, it's nice sitting around other like-minded individuals that truly appreciate what really made Hollywood so magical.

Last edited by DemonNeno on 2/21/2015 10:56:25 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:58:53 AM

Thank you for the post. Someone who's actually willing to acknowledge the critical issues that face us.

"We're the impatient nation and no one realizes what it means for us as societies. Obesity. Lower IQs. Stress. The pathetic part about it, as some may argue, is that impatience is only a behavior -- not a personality. If they only recognized it! If only... "

I'm with you 110%.

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DemonNeno
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 2:12:18 PM

It's saddening to see so many missing the point.

Then again, you can't be crazy if you say you're crazy! Totally missing the point is perhaps the exact reaction we should expect. Despite how disappointing and exhausting it tends to be.

Last edited by DemonNeno on 2/21/2015 2:12:50 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 5:05:58 PM

Eh, people WANT to miss the point. They're being obtuse on purpose. Because the next step after admitting what you and I have admitted is that it might be affecting us as well...and some people wouldn't be able to face that.

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Bio
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:02:03 AM
Reply

Average shot length in cinema has absolutely nothing to do with attention spans, and everything to do with what makes a movie a movie, and the production involved. The longer a take, the more difficult the process, the more likely it will require more takes to nail, etc. We've been doing what is described as 'post-classical' editing for 60 some years now, where the average shot length was shortened because of the advent of the editing process in general. Directors didn't stick with longer takes back in the 30s because people had better attention spans, they did it out of necessity. As editing processes have become more varied and refined, it is inevitable that we see them employed more often. It also makes long takes in modern cinema more noteworthy, and often used for specific reasons.

As for game cutscenes, the idea that people are tired of them because we're all ADHD-addled children is just insulting. As games mature developers create new ways to convey a narrative and refine existing ones, and the nature of the medium itself is ostensibly interactive, and cutscenes are antithetical to that.

If you like cutscenes in games, cool, more power to you. It doesn't make you more intelligent or mean you have some greater ability to focus.

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Voyager236
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:18:16 AM

For me it's an insult pretending that I must like cutcenes in all games. I can prefer watch cutscenes from a game and think others are tedious and like more the gameplay.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:33:02 AM

All wrong, as usual. You can blather about it all you wish; if you plan to make a movie now and you don't do this, you won't keep people's attention. Whether it's a legit technique or not is irrelevant; it's the only way to keep anyone's attention longer than five minutes. There are some who appreciate different forms of cinema but for the masses, you have no choice. Either show them something new every two seconds, or risk losing them.

"As for game cutscenes, the idea that people are tired of them because we're all ADHD-addled children is just insulting."

Not all. Just most. Too bad it's true. You can't get away with long cut-scenes anymore and it has nothing to do with storytelling techniques because clearly, people want LESS story in every form of entertainment we've got. They want to feel titillated in some, they want control in others, but they don't have any interest in an actual story. Gamers care less and less with each passing year; that much is obvious.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/21/2015 11:33:32 AM

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Bio
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:33:06 AM

True, Voyager, and it's possible to like some cutscenes from a single game and not like others. A great example is Metal Gear Solid. Great cutscenes for the most part, but holy cow do the hour long codec call scenes get annoying fast. Did anyone here really find the Jack and Rose love story nonsense from MGS2 fascinating? In the middle of a gunfight and Rose wants to call me up and talk about the time they watched King Kong =\

Last edited by Bio on 2/21/2015 11:36:38 AM

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Bio
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:37:25 AM

That's funny, Ben, seeing as how Birdman is, essentially, one long take (they used some minor edits but only in the service of creating the impression of a continuous take), and it's the frontrunner in most of the major academy awards this year, on top of making back four times its budget despite only opening in 975 theaters.

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Bio
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:40:22 AM

We can also use many of the most popular shows on TV today as an example. Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Better Call Saul... they all frequently use long takes, and they got the biggest budgets and highest ratings. Everybody loves them.

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Voyager236
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:41:20 AM

Cutscenes = cut + scenes

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Underdog15
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 9:42:01 PM

Length of a take is merely a decision. It's not even a tool. It's not even worth discussing, imo.

Even in plays, musicals, and operas, the number of scene changes are incredibly variable, and they almost never have an effect on the quality. It usually boils down to whether or not length of a scene hurts it from being too short or too long... but length is never what makes or breaks it.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:45:19 AM
Reply

LOL You really think those long takes are a patch on what television used to be? And they're all broken up by a continuous series of fast-moving, fast-action shots, even when it's not necessarily "action" they're shooting.

My nephew just graduated from film school. He tells me the dirty little secret (that wasn't much of a secret with his professors) is this, and I'm paraphrasing but it's close to a direct quote: "If you want to make something meaningful, do whatever you like to tell your story. If you want to make something that sells, understand that we constantly risk losing the attention of the viewing audience."

See, these professors actually read the countless studies you apparently choose to ignore, all of which confirm a significant decrease in attention spans in the average American, and in the past decade or so, a SHOCKING decrease. This is reflected in every aspect of our lives, from being impatient at a stoplight to yes, not being able to sit through a cut-scene. Because this is how things are, those who want to entertain the masses have to understand it and adapt.

You can choose to pretend that it's not a problem, and you can choose to pretend our entertainment isn't a direct reflection of our deficiencies. That's a whole new level of naivete but hey, that's your business.

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Temjin001
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:58:06 AM

the CS department in the university I attend is constantly having to dumb down their curriculum because students can't hack the material of past years. A significant 3 hour advanced placement test in that program (students who are moving from lower to upper division in the program) had only a 20% pass rate this last go around. This test was actually made easier too from when I took it. It's been on a constant decline year after year. the average American does seem to be getting dumber and dumber as time moves forward.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 2/21/2015 12:00:19 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 12:00:41 PM

Yeah, that's everywhere Temjin. The SATs kids take today and the SATs my parents took are two completely different things, too. Another great example: Look at question cards from old iterations of Trivial Pursuit. Then look at the new ones...they have to cleverly jam stupid pop culture questions into just about every category to make the game playable and anything that requires any real knowledge actually has multiple choice or even true/false options.

It's so depressing.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 2/21/2015 12:01:08 PM

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Mdash0009
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 12:42:02 PM

Yes Ben, your nephew has told you all there is to know about film and now it's a "sad truth", and therefore you now know more than someone who actually is in film school. Happy?

These effects are used for emotional effect. Your hearts is going to beat faster (if your emersed) when the camera moves at the pace of the action, especially because you have to see what's going on in all that movement. It works better than letting the camera sit there and watch everything that goes on. They don't cut from one face to another because "have short attention spans", they do it because you can see the emotion in the conversation better than if they showed the sides of their faces in one long shot. It's all art.

And besides, games are for fun and entertainment, if someone wants to play a game for it's gameplay and not the story, they can skip as many cut-scenes as they want, they don't want the full experience. It's not the same as school/education where they things handed straight to them, that's different.

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Bio
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 12:48:16 PM

Very well said, mdash.

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DemonNeno
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 2:03:21 PM

We know what the purpose of these effects and methods are meant to create. The problem is that it's required in order to get someone's attention. A great story can fall flat on its face if the viewer isn't visually appeased.

Thats why we have unrealistic expectations of men and women in the starlight. What made actors and actresses great decades ago was their talent. Nowadays, you're lucky to have one talented actor/actress for every dozen on stage. But they sure look pretty, don't they?

What you guys are trying to debate against Ben's point is Apples to Oranges. You're acting like he's denying it's effectiveness, when in reality he's making a point about society.

Perhaps if you weren't so trigger happy with your replies, you'd get what's being said. It's a fine line, though, so I can see how you miss it. I mean, the line is as wide as the Grand Canyon, but you'll find a way to make it fine, AMIRIGHT?!?

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Bio
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 2:17:47 PM

We have had sex symbols in Hollywood for as long as Hollywood has existed, DemonNeno. There is nothing new about that at all, and some of the finest actors ever are working today.

Also, nobody is saying he is denying its efficacy. We disagree with his assessment that shorter cuts in movies are a reflection on society by pointing out why they're used.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 3:04:06 PM

"Yes Ben, your nephew has told you all there is to know about film and now it's a "sad truth", and therefore you now know more than someone who actually is in film school. Happy?"

Yeah, that's exactly what I was trying to prove. Really, it was.

I open my eyes to what I see. It's obvious. Bio can sit with his head in the ground all he wants (that, and never admitting he's been wrong a day in his life is what he does best) but it doesn't change the very clear facts that our attention spans have greatly affected all facets of our entertainment.

And yes, I can repeat what I'm told. Just like you and everyone else here, who has no more experience with any of it than I do.

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DemonNeno
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 4:20:22 PM

Sex symbols obviously existed. Plenty of women were just as sexy as Marilyn Monroe whom weren't a product of surgery and photoshop. All to appease the eye. Which leads me to what I'm trying to say, as in a whole statement and not just the parts you want to nitpick. Finest actors, yes,but also the greatest concentration of actors ever in history.

His point is true. Everything is tailored towards the short attention spans that require constant visual stimulation. Much like the fall of JRPG games that had turn based combat. It's not enticing enough for the short attention spans and doesn't offer the instant gratification of those in FPS.

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xenris
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 4:41:31 PM

MDash it really depends on the genre of film. I for example think action movies are lazy these days. The camera is shaky so that the hits don't have to look real, and are supposed to immerse you and make you feel like you are in the fight. It works for some, but a practicing martial artist for 20 some odd years finds this boring.

Jacky Chans movies are incredible, the ones that he directs and choreographs he uses really great angles, and lets you watch the fights and it really showcases the skill of the stunt men.

The Raid also a brilliant action movie that has the camera further away from the action but the hits and combat feel way more gritty and realistic.

Most action movies now are shaky cam inspired and I just think it is lazy at this point.

The other thing here is some directors use short cuts when they are a design choice, and the film will also have long cuts too. But you watch the new Conan the Barbarian movie and no scene is longer than 3 or 4 seconds, I was getting a headache in the theater.

I am no film student however I work with people in the stunt industry and am working to get into it myself and most of us agree that the quality of action in films is going down, and part of that is because the skill of a stunt person or an actor doesn't need to be as high will all the editing and cutting they do.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 5:04:54 PM

"I am no film student however I work with people in the stunt industry and am working to get into it myself and most of us agree that the quality of action in films is going down, and part of that is because the skill of a stunt person or an actor doesn't need to be as high will all the editing and cutting they do."

THAT I never thought about.

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PSTan
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 1:15:55 PM
Reply

God forbid Cliffy has a different taste in games.

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DemonNeno
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 2:09:38 PM

It's much bigger than Cliff's opinion. You must have missed the part where Ben called his observations "perfectly valid".

The point isn't about Cliff. It's the grand scale of society and how we have habitually become insatiable with our forms of entertainment. The important thing to note is 'habitual". This whole concept of everything needing to change and evolve. Little do we realize that it's precisely what's becoming of us. Unfortunately, the sense of gratification must be instantaneous.

Last edited by DemonNeno on 2/21/2015 2:10:17 PM

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Beamboom
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 3:43:18 PM
Reply

At least there's been some frisky discussions here lately. :)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 5:03:43 PM
Reply

For those of you just seem to know everything, here's some reading material:

The Attention-Deficit Disorder Economy

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/twitter-buzzfeed-hurting-economic-growth?intcid=mod-latest

Our Digital Device Addiction is Causing a "National Attention Deficit"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/03/neuroscientist-richard-da_n_5923648.html

The rise of "Tech A.D.D."

http://www.fno.org/nov2010/tadd.html

I do my research. I have been educated in the field of psychology (although admittedly, I hardly remember it all, which is why I have to READ). Although, I'm sure it doesn't matter. I'm sure every single person here did all sorts of research before posting, right?

If you honestly believe that the rapidity with which something is shot in video, be it in video games or movies, has nothing to do with what is widely regarded as a NATIONWIDE attention problem, then yes, I say you're wrong. Is it the sole reason? Of course not. But to claim one has nothing to do with the other is beyond naive.

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Bio
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 6:09:18 PM

In the New Yorker article the economist, Haldane, whose speech is the basis for the article, is careful to constantly qualify his conclusions as "speculative", "conjectural" and "potential". Basically, Haldane isn't nearly as sure about his conclusions as you are about yours, and I don't think yours and his even align all that much to begin with.

The third article merely notes correlation, and provides no proof of causation. Are we more attention starved today because of technology, or does technology just make it easier for us to distract ourselves the way humanity has always craved? The article doesn't answer that question, yet you're sure we simply must have lower attention these days. How do you know people in the 20s would not have been equally into technology they didn't possess? You don't (and neither do I), you're just making an assumption about it that fits your viewpoint.

The third article is more interesting because it discusses reinforcement as a pathway to addiction, which is often a primary cause. It's why games have, since their inception, used psychological tricks to keep people playing. It's why golden lights shoot out of your butthole when you level up in WoW, it's why we have unlockable content in games like CoD where you have to do X to 'earn' Y. It's why we have achievements. Games are designed around dangling the carrot in your face so you don't mind the stick (grinding in RPGs is probably the best example, IMO).

So maybe the problem isn't so much that we have shorter attention spans so much as games have become more sophisticated at how they dangle those carrots. People may dislike cutscenes simply because they want to get back to earning trophies and new gear and butthole light-inducing level ups, in which case it's the fault of game development for fostering systems that place all emphasis on that.

I think that's a more likely explanation, and if that had been your point from the start, I'd have agreed with you.

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xenris
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 6:41:20 PM

Bio, my father is a practicing psychologist, and my mother works with him to assess and test for learning disabilities.

ADD is a huge problem these days in that it is on the rise. It is NOT just a case of it being diagnosed to anyone who can't keep their legs still, nor is it that back in the day they didn't know how to diagnose it so lots of cases went missed. ADD and ADHD rates are going up, and it is true that short bursts of stimulation keep the attention of not only people with ADD, but the lowest common denominator in general.

Short shots do have a place, editing has helped us and makes long shots less "needed" but MOST standard movies don't hold frame for more than 3 seconds, because people do get bored and need something new that fast it keeps them engaged. Don't bring up Birdman because I am aware of its brilliance but it isn't the norm :P

I love Game of Thrones and it does use long shots, but that isn't the norm really.

I think we have Vines to blame for the rise of quick shots, because vines are about 6 seconds and there is a joke usually in the vine and even in 6 seconds a lot of cuts.

Cuts can be used insanely well to make things funny or intense etc, but when the WHOLE movie can't keep a shot for more than 3 seconds it makes me think it is being created for people with attention problems.

That or it is because the skill of modern actors is going down and they can't memorize more than a sentence.

Bio I agree 100% about your carrot on the stick statement, I have been saying that for years. I definitely think it is part of what has lead to the homogenized genres in the game industry. In Quake you picked up your guns, in CS you buy them but after the round you start over, in Tribes 2 you pick whatever you want and load it out no unlocking things.

The carrot on the stick is both to keep people with ADD absorbed and also to entice people to play their game longer.

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Bio
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 8:07:22 PM

The issue I have with conflating short takes and attention deficit, xenris, is that it just doesn't make any sense. You can have long takes with constantly changing action or movement that would provide the stimulation you guys keep talking about. As the film school students have explained in this conversation, this type of post-classical editing is about directing emphasis where the director wants it.

And let's not pretend game cutscenes are all long takes, either. They're not, they employ the same editing techniques as film and television, and for the same reason. So if shorter takes in film are an attempt to 'keep our attention', and it works, then people wouldn't have a problem with cutscenes in games, right?

I just don't see how the move away from cutscenes in games has anything to do with attention span.

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xenris
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 9:03:48 PM

The way a short shot and a cut effects your brain is different than having a busy scene that is a long take.

When there are multiple quick cuts it affects your brain differently than just a busy scene does, that is the effect it is having on you.

I work with a lot of people who are in there teens and they can't watch a 2 minute clip on youtube that is hilarious, but they will watch 2 minutes or more of vines. Because they need that quick cut fix. It isn't a surprise that a lot of these people have symptoms of ADD although I wont diagnose them myself as I am only the son of a psychologist and not didn't actually do the schooling.

My point is that people can't sit through cut scenes because they need to be pushing buttons more often or having something go off that is patting them on the back and rewarding them. This is why mobile games have flashy sounds, and cheer you on for doing literally nothing special.

We have seen an increase in the popularity of Vines, and a decrease in cutscenes in games, games becoming more about constant visual and audio stimulation, it is definitely linked to the rise of ADD, not just because technology has changed.

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Bio
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 9:52:21 PM

"The way a short shot and a cut effects your brain is different than having a busy scene that is a long take."

I'd be interested in reading your reasoning behind this, from either a physiological or psychological standpoint. I'm neither a medical doctor nor a psychologist but if there's any reading out there on the subject I'd enjoy checking it out :)

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matt99
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 10:31:26 PM

"The way a short shot and a cut effects your brain is different than having a busy scene that is a long take."

Very true, and that's why it's such an important storytelling tool. For example longer shots tend to be used to emphasize highly emotional scenes, sometimes to make a long shot more impactful an editor may choose to cut a film with an average shot length of say, 8-10 seconds but then in a highly emotional scene hold the shot for 30 seconds or more which really makes the shot stand out. Shot length can also be used to set the mood of the scene, Saving Private Ryan is an excellent example of this. The battle scenes are cut very rapidly in order to enhance the chaotic feel, but the calm scenes between the battles, particularly the ones where they are walking through the countryside, are much longer with a lot less movement in order to create a calm feeling.

Anyways, those are just a couple ways shot length can be used to help tell the story.

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xenris
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 11:04:40 PM

@Bio, a couple of things happen which when I look at it, appears to be why people with short attention spans would favour the short cuts.

First it is an overload on the brain, when the angle changes between two shots, instead of one shot that moves from point a to b, people will forget the quick cut as apposed to the longer camera pan. That forgetting actually keeps you interested longer, because something "new" is being presented to you.

The stimulus of having multiple cuts creates chaos for our eyes and our brains, remember a lot of the time our brains don't know that we are watching something or actually there. This creates an adrenal response, which anecdotally people with ADHD and ADD can be drawn to.

The more cuts the less the memory retains of the scene but the more stimulus it feels because it makes your brain finish the scene and keeps it busy, but before you know it the scene you are watching is already over and your brain just keeps humming trying to keep up. This is great for people with attention problems who need things to keep changing.

Another reason lots of cuts are used is because it maintains visual interest, which is something that people who have problems paying attention need.

I don't know if I did a good job explaining but basically lots of cuts are almost addictive on a physical level because they are disorienting and more chaotic and intense even if it is subtle.

I'm in no way saying movies were better in the early 20s or 30s or that short shots are not good, I'm just agreeing that I think we have seen the ASL in movies go from 11 seconds to between 2-4 seconds is because of our generations inability to focus.

@Matt99

I totally agree with you, shot lengths both short and long are great tools to convey feelings and emotions. However I feel most movies are all quick shots or at least the mainstream movies are. Saving Private Ryan is one of my farouvite movies and yeah they did a good job using short cuts.

If there is a purpose for short cuts that is great, but a lot of the time, its just cutting back and forth between 2 people talking at a dinner table when they could just have a side shot going on, but people would get bored :P

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matt99
Sunday, February 22, 2015 @ 2:14:39 AM

They could stick with a two shot, but the reason they cut to close ups is so that you can see the actor's face and emotions. Though there are certainly times when it is gratuitous and unnecessary, but in all good films every cut is done for a reason, and the exact frame to cut on is chosen for a reason.
In any case it's all fascinating stuff to me and I could go on for days about it :P

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ethird1
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 7:09:02 PM
Reply

Cut scenes were a problem with the Metal Gear game on ps3. Hated them.

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Bio
Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 8:09:16 PM

Some scenes in Guns of the Patriot were fantastic; most even. I agree that several of them were a problem, though, but IMO that's more because Kojima has a problem with exposition and desperately needs an editor.

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