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David Cage: Interactivity Isn't Defined By Holding A Gun

Sometimes, the storyline gets lost amid all the action.

And when it comes to emotion and plot development, Quantic Dream boss David Cage says that when all is said and done, if he's holding a gun during the climax, he loses interest. Here's what he had to say in a recent GameTrailers interview:

"L.A Noire was a great game, Uncharted 3 was a great game, Mass Effect 3, all of these games are doing something absolutely great, but each time it ends up with a gun on my hands, I lose interest."

He added that he doesn't think a game requires a gun in order to be considered "interactive." Said Cage- "I don't think you need to kill someone or destroy something to say, 'hey, I'm a game.'" Basically, he has a problem with interactivity being defined by shooting and a bigger problem with gamers only associating "video games" with the tired process of shooting a gun. This got him onto the subject of gameplay mechanics:

"In general, I don’t like game mechanics, I mean, it’s the idea you do the same things through different levels. I think, in my mind, it’s an idea I don’t really like because I love to do different things and like to see the story moving on and I like to do different things and different scenes, not do the same thing over and over again. If it involves violence at some point fine, if it makes sense in the context. But violence for the sake of violence, it doesn’t mean anything to me anymore."

There's always a fine line to walk when it comes to what people consider to be "video games" these days. Some claim an "interactive movie" isn't a game but even the titles that get accused of that (like Heavy Rain) consist of 95% player interaction with the on-screen events. Just because you're not shooting a gun or beating on someone or blowing something up doesn't necessarily mean it's a "movie;" it just means you have a different sort of control over your interactive entertainment.

But it's a debate that's bound to continue.

Tags: quantic dream, quantic dream tech demo, kara, david cage

3/12/2012 10:42:04 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (30 posts)

Vivi_Gamer
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 11:10:27 AM
Reply

Fully agree, something which has began to bother me also is guns within gaming. Pretty much every AAA title has them. It ruined the platforming genre last gen when Ratchet and Clank burst into the scene and took Jak & Dexter along with it.

While I still enjoy games like Metal Gear and Uncharted. I think the ideology of gaming does need to change, why do we always have to fill in the role of a mercenary, why can't gaming be used for deeper interactive tales.

My favourite game this gen has been Catherine, I was worried at first about the puzzle sections. But I later began to enjoy them. The gameplay was themitcally layered to the characters dilema which I loved. then there the social sim element where your actions around people had consequence.

I think conseuence is an element lost to modern gaming, most gamers can now bypass failures by reloading or a 'retry' option. Heavy Rain was a game which required you to be honest. Sure you could keep or the characters alive and try get a perfect playthrough but it loses half the charm. On my first playthrough I did not get a perfect ending and it was quite tragic, but I looked back and could understand why I didn't get that ending and was motivated to play it again.

QD had me hooked from Farenheit and Heavy Rain once again felt like such a compelling and unique experience, however if the gaming idustry were to take influence on a game like Heavy Rain and release titles which think outside the headshot, I'd certainly have more faith in were the industry is going.

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Nagi
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 1:04:48 PM

About your theory on platforming, there is this little franchise called Mega Man, which "jumped" on the platforming scene some years ago, and has done wonders for the genre.

About the article, I must say their is something about the art of the projectile; where shooting, throwing, pushing, or slapping an object over some distance that fascinates people. Nothing wrong with that.

Now before I go on, I'm not sure if the guy has a problem with guns...projectiles in general, or just plain old violence. Either way, his observation has been relevant for decades, and has always been popular, nothing new here.

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Beamboom
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 11:28:15 AM
Reply

... But who said gamers only associating "video games" with shooting a gun? Who? Raise your hand those of you who only associate gaming with shooting a gun.

...

So, who on earth is he talking about here?


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/12/2012 11:29:01 AM

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Rogueagent01
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 11:41:38 AM

Yeah I am sorry but Cage seems to be stirring up a BS story here. There are plenty of games that don't revolve around you "shooting". Tell him to play Mirrors Edge for instance, your actually rewarded a trophy for not using guns. Or maybe that little genre known as Driving/Racing how many guns have you seen in those(other then Twisted Metal style games).

This is just a really bad inteview by him, sure the large portion of gaming does have weapons in them but so does the real world, open your eyes David.

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jimmyhandsome
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 11:47:51 AM

I agree. I just finished my 2nd playthrough of Journey, and I absolutely love it. It its one of the best videogames I've ever EXPERIENCED. And obviously there are no guns to be had.

I think he's generalizing a bit much, which some developers (see: Japanese) do when it comes to (western) videogames. Call of Duty, Halo, Uncharted, Gears of War, Mass Effect, GTA, etc. are all of the most successful franchises in terms of sales numbers this generation. I guess its hard to see past the top selling games when it comes to defining the entire industry.

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Jawknee
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 11:57:12 AM

Obviously there are exceptions to the rule but in general, with the popularity among gamers lying mostly with shooting games he's correct in his assessment.

The most popular games are shooters. That cannot be denied.

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Beamboom
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 12:15:17 PM

... correct in that the majority of gamers *only* have that association, Jawknee? ONLY? Sorry but I disagree.

Sure, COD is the best selling title. But what about all the sports games that dominate the best selling lists? Or Minecraft? Portal? Two of the major titles last year right there. Look at any top seller list - check out Amazon right now. How many of the listed games are shooters? Out of, say, top-20?

It is a tiiiiny fragment of all the gamers out there who only play shooters, or only associate "gaming" with shooters. So small, that it is insignificant. It's those who are the exception here!

Those who only associate gaming with shooters are the *NON*-gamers out there. That's the rule. They only see COD. But gamers? I'd call the claim "false".


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/12/2012 12:29:12 PM

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Jawknee
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 12:34:29 PM

You can call it what ever you want but the facts are the facts and the facts are that shooters by far dominate the gaming scene. You're in denial.

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jimmyhandsome
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 12:42:43 PM

Shooters ARE the most popular genre, but in the overall vast landscape of videogames, still represent only a fraction of games. David Cage is generalizing way too much. When I think of video games, I don't think of "shooting a gun".

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Beamboom
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 12:44:36 PM

"In denial"... Hehe, dude c'mon, that's a pretty cheap way to try to win a discussion.

First off: Shooters are popular, yes. But the key word here is *only*. Had he said "shooters are so popular, boohoo" then that's a different thing to say. But no, he say that we, you and I and everyone else around here, the gamers, we ONLY associate gaming with shooters.

So lets have a look at the best seller list at Amazon UK for PS3 right now: I see FIFA Street, SSX, FIFA 12, Street Fighter, GT5 Platinum, and a handful of various versions of Skylanders Spyro adventure. That's some of the best selling titles in the WORLD right now.
Sure, there's also COD, ME3, Skyrim and Uncharted 3, who all are based around killing stuff, but still: Only shooters? Hardly.

That's not to say that many of those who bought those games also play shooters, and plenty of them. They play shooters *as well*, not *only*. And that is a major difference.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/12/2012 12:51:21 PM

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bigrailer19
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 12:47:46 PM

Beam- I think you're looking to much into that one statement.

Rogueagent- I also think you took a little piece of the interview and called it "bad", for the same reasons Beam did.

But look at the bigger picture. He's trying to say there are more ways to tell a story or play a game than using a gun. He's commending the games that do, but essentially saying, games like Journey, Portal (although there is a gun!), sports games, Heavy Rain, etc... Can and should be considered as interactive entertainment.

Cage said "I think, in my mind, it’s an idea I don’t really like because I love to do different things and like to see the story moving on and I like to do different things and different scenes, not do the same thing over and over again". The interview is about how he goes about the situation and how he likes to make games, and tell stories. It's not solely based on the presumption that gamers only associate games with guns, and violence. Although the amount of successful games do have some sort of violence. Assassins creed may not have guns but the act of violence is relevant. Portal may be a puzzle game, but there is a gun. You get the point. The association is there, but that doesn't mean that all video games are violent, and "gamers" know that, and so does he, and he's particularly talking about the games he likes to create.

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Beamboom
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 12:54:31 PM

I think you are onto something there, Big. I am just so sick'n'tired of these "gamers only care about shooters" accusations. It simply is NOT true.

And to have people within the business go out and say the same, and come with blanket statements that's generalizing to such an extent that it becomes untrue... Well, I hate it. Hate it when non-gamers say it, but hate it even more when "one of our own" does it.

And with that I'll leave the rest of the comments field to you guys. Sorry for spamming. :)

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/12/2012 12:55:10 PM

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Jawknee
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 11:54:44 AM
Reply

He's absolutely right. It's the reason The Legend of Zelda continues to be my favorite franchise of all time.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 3:59:35 PM

Boomerang and hookshot > gun

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maxpontiac
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 4:00:15 PM

And why Gran Turismo is mine.

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Jawknee
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 4:20:21 PM

Indeed fellas. Indeed.

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Fane1024
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 11:32:06 PM

@ World & Jawknee (et al.)

Zelda still involves violence...maybe less than lots of games, but swordplay is no different than gunplay when it comes to Cage's actual point. His "gun" reference doesn't mean only shooters are guilty of being overly focused on acts of violence; it was just a prominent example.

Like Cage, I'm not opposed to violence (or shooting in particular) in games; it just bores me. I want different things to do. I'm playing ME2 right now and the action parts are okay (as good as any game IMO), but when I play the other parts of the game, I have a perma-grin on my face. The same was true of AC2: the opening section when Ezio didn't have weapons was phenomenal, while the closing section became (a bit of) a slog of one fight after another. Still excellent, but not quite as enjoyable for me.

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FM23
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 12:26:10 PM
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Why is this guy always complaining while secretly advertising his style of play?!? I agree with him though lol

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leatherface
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 12:32:51 PM
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Didn't Scott Shelby go on a shooting spree?!

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TheCanadianGuy
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 1:10:39 PM

yes but that scene made sense in the context of the story at that point.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 4:00:42 PM

and it was tense as hell! Not like hunkering down behind cover and popping bullets off at human drones.

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TheCanadianGuy
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 8:13:54 PM

intense as hell. it was one of the games highlights for me. i loved scott showing how much of a badass he was. it was at that moment he became my favorite character in the game. pity what happen half hour later.

Last edited by TheCanadianGuy on 3/12/2012 8:14:42 PM

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Nagi
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 1:13:25 PM
Reply

"In general, I don’t like game mechanics, I mean, it’s the idea you do the same things through different levels." -David Cage

Wow that is a pretty umm... interesting statement..as a gamer, gameplay is my first priority, but not my only one. I feel that game mechanics are an essential part of what makes a game fun to play at the end of the day.

But this is good though, I don't like his games personally, but its good to have games that puts emphasis on different aspects. Some games put emphasis on story (Heavy Rain), while others focus on gameplay (Vanquish), others atmosphere, rhythm, and so fourth.

As long as gaming continues to offer a variety and don't offer too much one thing...i'm cool with that.

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Underdog15
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 2:05:23 PM
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"Violence for the sake of violence"

I certainly feel that way about movies and tv. Sometimes I like to just blow some heads up, but from an artistic standpoint, he's 100% right to say violence for the sake of itself essentially cheapens the experience.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 4:04:26 PM
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What was amazing about the guns in Heavy Rain was it replicated tense situations in which you had to decide very quickly and move fast. In that one case with Norman my instincts kept making me shoot that one guy and it made me think "yeah, if this was real life I would have popped him if he did that" and you don't feel titillated about it like you might in an Uncharted headshot.

That said, technically Uncharted 3 doesn't end the way he says it does.

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Fane1024
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 11:36:19 PM

Less is more.

I wish more developers understood that fact.

edit: I misread World's comment, so mine doesn't directly follow. I meant that the action sequences in HR have more emotional weight than those in other games because they aren't repeated ad nauseam.

SotC is another example: all "boss battles".


Last edited by Fane1024 on 3/12/2012 11:43:13 PM

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___________
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 4:23:55 AM
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days like this i want to quit my studying in game design and pick up studies in making cloning machines.
only then are we going to save ourselves from the association that only shooters, and games have to have MP, stereotypes.

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jonny_wonny
Thursday, March 15, 2012 @ 11:08:29 AM
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Agreed.

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SS4
Friday, March 16, 2012 @ 8:57:59 AM
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I loved FPS back when i played Quake III arena and the first Unreal tournament. But now the genre has been flooded and too many ppl focus just on those and to me its lost its fun factor...

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Crabba
Friday, March 16, 2012 @ 5:34:22 PM
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Comnpletely agree with Cage, and I see where he's coming from with this since many of his games have been accused of not being proper games but only 'movies with QTE' and similar BS, just because most mainstream games nowadays are all about shooting everything in sight...

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