Game OverThinker - EPISODE 86: "Stop Talking To Me About Ludonarrative Dissonance"
The Game OverThinker is stuck indoors, which means he finally has no choice but to do a show about game-criticism's favorite fake word.
Check out The OverThinker's first book: "SUPER MARIO BROS. 3 - BRICK BY BRICK."
"When did we forget how to do that?"
We didn't, we just stopped doing it.
From a marketing stand point implementing diversity is a problem. They make games sell by using research to determine demographics. When the demographics change the diversity problem will auto-correct itself and eventually tip in another direction. Based on population forecasts that unspecified time is definitely on the way.
If you think about it though, Nintendo does come up with new stuff. New mechanics, controls, and gimmicks. The bad thing is how they implement them. They put some of the coolest new stuff they come up with in old IPs like Mario and Zelda. They push the gimmicks too hard and that's where all the focus goes. They fail to make their consoles as powerful as the competition. It's for those reasons that so many people overlook their innovations nowadays and shun Nintendo. They competition doesn't dismiss what they do so quickly though, copying everything, every step of the way. Imitation is the greatest of form of flattery, and a sign that they still have good ideas.
SOMEONE is desperate to keep the status quo...from twenty years ago.
If only the Holodeck were reality, then we could have total immersion of video games. Alas. Bur that's fine. So long as I can stay engaged in gaming, I'm good.
Its interesting you mention how this something a lot of gaming webcomics joke about, its that this dissonance is fun to joke about, but rarely do they ever really impact the enjoyment or experience of a game.
What would you propose as a solution then? Other than forcing people to impose diversity or make games or characters specifically for the reason of them being diverse or making the game diversified. What solution would there be? Diversity for the sake of diversity is really the only thing that you could do to 'solve' a lack of diversity, and that is merely a band-aid fix that discourages creative writing and developing in games.
It is not an issue and even if it was there would be no realistic fix unless, once again, people just try to diversify games for the sole purpose of diversity, which is a bad thing. After time we might see increased representation of non-male non-white people in video games, or we could even see a decline. However, until that unspecified time that may never come, there is no correct way to surgically implant diversity and 'social justice' into games.
that's the problem i think Nintendo is afraid because if they try something to different they think the fan boys might get pissed and all hell could brake lose but i could be wrong (and probably am)
It is sad that you can do virtually anything you want to do when creating a game and yet we just keep getting the same recycled crap over and over....I'm looking at you WiiU (just kidding fanboys don't get your panties atwist Msoft and Sony do it to...just not as bad)
I'd hoped that at this point, graphics would be a non-issue, and that all that was left was to make games better.
Sadly, there's a lotta folk who haven't gotten the memo.
Yeah, engagement makes more sense than immersion. I can't say that I haven't felt like I was the character in a game, though. Some narratives are even so detailed as to make me think like the character. I usually do what I would do in place of their actions, though. That ruined The Walking Dead for me.
I don't think the issue is that individual games aren't diverse. A story shouldn't be diverse just for the sake of being diverse; that is to say, we shouldn't just shoehorn in women and people that aren't white just to say that we did.
The issue is that practically every game out there is about men, and predominately white ones at that, unless they're some sort of animal like Banjo, or Crash Bandicoot. There are a lot of exceptions, but, well, that's just it: They shouldn't be so fewer in comparison that we consider them "exceptions."
Diversity and social justice are important in video games? I always thought they were just terms used when people tried to make the society or a form of media out to still be as racist and/or sexist as some people were 50 or 60 years ago.
Not to mention such things are targeted at only specific groups of people. For example a group of 5 without a woman and/or black guy is not diverse, yet it's not as big a deal if there is a group of 5 with no asian guy, or geeky guy or white guy even. People talk about CoD being sorta racist because of the race of the people you are shooting, yet if the situation was reversed in every game I daresay it wouldn't even be close to such a thing and some people would actually call it 'social justice'.
I understand diversity, but it shouldn't be forced, and game designers shouldn't have to go out of their way to incorporate it into their games. For this same reason it also shouldn't be such a big deal as some people try to make it out to be. As far as important topics in video games go, I would say that violence is number 1 and over sexualization (is that a word?) is number 2, and even those aren't really very important topics (like you yourself have stated) because video games are video games and they don't really matter.
Asa final note, diversity and social justice are very much politically correct topics right now and would not upset the status quo, and thinking that the people who would disagree with such a desperate need of those topics increased importance in video games (most commonly those classified as the politically right) are the ones representing the majority of the outspoken people in the society, especially the internet, is quite silly as even you yourself have stated that you assume the majority of your viewers are leaning towards the political left.
It sounds an awful lot like nitpicking, saying that video games aren't representing our world's 'diversity' enough.
I've always felt dissonance in a work makes it seem more crazy, and therefore more fun for me. Example: The Game Overthinker. Intellectual and thoughtful discussion book-ended with nutter-fudge insanity like ninja congressman, talking rabbit policemen, and purple hair.
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Ludonarrative Dissonance IS kind of a complicated word for something that is really not what everyone thinks it is. "Gameplay Contridiction" would probably be more accurate.
Either way, I am in full agreement with you on this whole issue; if the game is fun to play, just deal with the plot not making any sense sometimes, in regards to how the player's actions mesh with the in-game plot.