State of the Art Interlude – “Battle of the Minds”
Earlier this week, Dieubussy warned me of “Into the Night, with Jason Rohrer and Chris Crawford”, an ARTE documentary that places face to face two very important figures of the video-game world. On one side is veteran Chris Crawford, a man that my games’ professor likes to call the grand-daddy of video-games, someone who devoted his entire life to the medium we so love. He was the first great promoter of the games as art debate, published numerous books on game design, and is the author of many notorious games such as “Balance of Power” or “Balance of the Planet”. On the other side, is an aspiring youngster named Jason Rohrer, a sort of new found hope for art games that has authored a number of interesting indie ventures, such as “Passage” and “Between”. The documentary follows a casual and provocative debate between these two figures, the old and the new, as they cover everything from the state of the industry, to what paths lie ahead for games so that they become an artistic medium. Two different views on the same sort of issues I’ve been addressing in this series of articles called “State of the Art”.
I really recommend this documentary, as we get a rare, unedited, unbiased glimpse at the minds of some of the most important designers in the medium. This isn’t an entertainment media piece, with flashy scenarios, catchy phrases, pompous segments and simplified analysis, no, you only get two insightful creators from different times and places, having an honest, heartfelt discussion about video-games. It’s a conversation filled with possibilities, loose ends and unanswered questions, making it a wonderful starting point for a profound reflection on all the matters that surround the medium. It’s old school journalism and documentary at it’s best, and quite possibly, the best documentary piece on video-games ever made.
With some luck, I will soon post a more in-depth analysis of some of the ideas present in the documentary.
For those in Germany and France, the documentary is available online at the ARTE website, and for all the rest, well… you know where to find it *wink* *wink*.