On Friday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, journalist Heather Chaplin told the game industry that it’s time to grow up.
Pixel Vixen 707 has an extensive recap of remarks made by Chaplin, co-author of the well-regarded 2005 book Smartbomb (with GameCulture editor Aaron Ruby). Chaplin made her comments while serving on a journalist’s rant panel at GDC:
[Chaplin] reports at NPR among other venues. She says this puts her in the role of a “translator,” trying to tell the mainstream why gaming even matters. This also means explaining a lot of big-name games that feature zombies, and aliens, and girls in metal bikinis wielding axes. And while she’s heard the excuses – it’s “a very new medium” – she’s way past accepting them.
Like Wendy slapping around the lost boys, Chaplin patiently but firmly laid down the line. “It is you guys as game designers who are mired deeply in ‘guy culture,’” Chaplin said. The problem isn’t the medium: “You are a bunch of stunted adolescents.” Games avoid any of the things that separate men from boys: responsibility, introspection, intimacy, and intellectual discovery. And “when you’re talking about culture-makers, this is a problem.”
MTV Multiplayer’s Stephen Totilo has more:
She knows the big players and has hung out with top designers like Cliff Bleszinski and Will Wright. She singled Bleszinski out in her talk, saying she liked him, but that she was distressed by how juvenile most major games are. She dismissed top games as “power fantasies…”
She said game developers need to stop using the youth of the gaming medium as an excuse. At the same age of their medium, Chaplin said, movies had had Fritz Lang and were on the verge of Citizen Kane. Rock n roll had Bob Dylan and the Beatles…