6 December 2009

Penn Jillette on video games

From gameinformer.com:

The thing that old people don’t understand is – you know if you’ve never heard Bob Dylan, and someone listened to him for 15 minutes, you’re not going to get it. You are just not going to understand. You have to put in hours and hours to start to understand the form, and the same thing is true for gaming. You’re not going to just look at a first-person shooter where you are killing zombies and understand the nuances. There is this tremendous amount of arrogance and hubris, where somebody can look at something for five minutes and dismiss it. Whether you talk about gaming or 20th century classical music, you can’t do it in five minutes. You can’t listen to The Rite of Spring once and understand what Stravinsky was all about. It seems like you should at least have the grace to say you don’t know, instead of saying that what other people are doing is wrong.

That’s basically why my plan to write an article titled “In defense of GTA” turned into a three part epic. I wanted to try and explain to people who haven’t been playing video games for 30 years, why GTA is not just a dumb game about shooting prostitutes.

He continues:

It just seems so simple, and yet I’m constantly in these big arguments with people on the computer who are talking about, “I would never let my kid do this and this in a video game.” And these are adults who when they were children were dropping acid and going to see the Grateful Dead. I mean, the Grateful Dead is provably shitty music. It’s impossible – it’s theoretically impossible to make a video game as bad as the Grateful Dead. I throw that out there as a challenge.

Quite a challenge. It is, however, possible to make The Grateful Dead interesting: I quite like Grayfolded.

© mathew 2017