American Go E-Journal

Life and Death and Middle Pair: Go, Poker and the Sublime

Tuesday October 30, 2012

(Gamasutra) There’s little doubt that music, literature, and film can all result in some incredibly meaningful works of art, but for whatever reason, the jury’s still out when it comes to games. Veteran game designer, Area/Code co-founder, and Zynga New York creative director Frank Lantz, however, believes wholeheartedly that games can be just as beautiful and meaningful as any other media, and at the 2011 Game Developers Conference, he explained how some of history’s oldest games demonstrate the real power of the medium.

“Games are something like music, literature, film,” Lantz said. “Games can be meaningful, beautiful in the way these other things are, but their meaning and beauty is actually quite different.”

But rather than looking at video games, Lantz turned his attention to go and poker, two games that have long since stood the test of time and have proven the power games can hold over their players. By examining what makes these games special, Lantz believes video game designers can have a batter grasp of what makes their craft meaningful.

“Understanding this particular kind of beauty is challenging, and it’s important, because if this really is the golden age of games then we, as developers, are its custodians and architects, inventors and guides. And we should understand how these things are beautiful in order to each more people and in order to create deeper, more valuable games,” he said.

Click here to see Lantz’ lucid and fascinating hour-long talk — which includes a terrific Powerpoint presentation, parts of which are useful as an introduction to the game of go.
- from the Gamasutra website; thanks to EJ reader Nick Prince for passing this along.

Categories: U.S./North America
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