Ian Bogost On Gaming's Goodness: Part II
For instance, we can create a simulated city and it looks and feels like a real place. But the moment you go to talk to someone, all they can do is emit one of four prerecorded sounds. This is a way of looking at the world that leaves out a lot. It focuses on appearance over operation. That's a risk. We need to be more interested in the motivations and the cultural and sociopolitical things going on underneath."
PSXE: Video games are more mainstream than ever. But the mainstream media rarely gives any respect to the medium. Do you think this will change any time soon?
Bogost: "I think it's the hardest problem we have. The way to change it is not to expect the mass media to change, or to expect that games are going to change. There's going to have to be a negotiation. We have to recognize that in order for games to be perceived differently, the game makers have to talk about them and show them to be different.
It requires an annoying humility and patience we shouldn't have to have, but that's the situation we're in. We'll make slow, incremental progress, I think. You know, this isn't that big of a deal; it's not about games causing violence or anything like that. It's about games being used in ways you never thought of. We don't necessarily have to celebrate it because it's already happening."
We'd like to thank Ian for taking the time to talk to us. There's a lot of interesting topics in this industry, many of which go well beyond petty arguments and disputes. As Bogost says, his book isn't about defending or promoting video games; it's simply about showing everyone that gaming is a legitimate medium, and "as videogames become ever more enmeshed with contemporary life, the idea of gamers as social identities will become obsolete, giving rise to gaming by the masses."
9/21/2011 Ben Dutka