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.
To learn more about how game designers can learn from classic games like Go and Poker, be sure to check out his full presentation in this classic GDC Vault video (above).
About the GDC Vault
In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC and GDC Europe already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription Beta via a GDC Vault inquiry form.
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