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Games VS Other Media.
Probably quite an appropriate topic given how most people here are tending towards other media recently =).

So, how do you feel games (PC or console I suppose, SIGH) compare to and stand up to other media?? Do you feel they are progressing well?? Are they getting the respect they deserve, if any?? Looking at games around, do you feel proud to be a gamer?? Do you think the future is brighter or dimmer for other games compared to other media??

(By other media I guess I include films, tv, magazines, books, comics, music....)

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Hard to compare - I look for different things in each:

Games = fun/competition.
Books = thinking.
Coding = building.
Films/tv/music = relaxing. 
Proud To Be A Gamer? 
Yes indeedy !!
Although at my age (40 next Feb) most people I know personally aren't into it.(I guess I just missed out on real life) I find it amussing, how when you say you are into PC/Video games, people think of card games or space invaders and the like. But anynway...................

I'm not into movies, or what I like to call "passive" entertainment, I'd rather be "in" the movie, and this is what Games alows me to do, be involved/active/participate in what you are, essentially, watching.

Books, well, I have never liked reading, and can honestly say that I have never read a book, outside of what was require by school, and most of them I never read. Unless you class game/equipment manuals as books :(

I like music, but funny thing is, one of the first things I do when stting up a game is to turn off the music, I never listen to it. I think the last/first game soundtrack I listened to was for the original Need For Speed on PSX. Actually playing music, as in guitar etc, is much better than listening to it, but, nowdays I just tend to play games more than anything else.

So for me, Gaming more than holds it's own against other stuff, it's head and shoulders above the rest IMO, in pure entertainment/fun value. And with what they can do, and will be able to do in the future, well, Things will only get better,........I can't wait 
Good Answer Abyss =) 
As regards films at least. 
Anyone Else?? 
Blah Blah 
As games increase in their ability to convey actual stories instead of increase their amount of fun, more and more people will be interested in them and they will become more popular (see Half-Life). However, this is naturally contradictory to games; games are meant to be a game, and not a story. Anything that does not further the actual game is merely part of the periphery and should be regarded as such. Of course, this isn't the current trend so the popularity of so-called games are soaring while the quality seems to be dipping (at least in the FPS genre).

So I think the future for games looks a bit dim at the moment, but hopefully designers will come around and we'll see a resurgence of actual games instead of playable movies. That's my take on games and their place in media. 
An Addendum 
[...] hopefully designers will come around and we'll see a resurgence of actual games instead of playable movies.

Actually, we are seeing a resurgence of actual games. People such as Digital Eel and Monkeystone have sort of gone back to the basics and are making games instead of movie simulators.

Digital Eel (with notable contributor Iikka Keranen) even has a new game out 
definitely rules in my life. i find i can listen to it anytime. i reckon music is in my pc or hi fi about 12-14 hours a day if i am at home. movies is a good way to relax, much more constructive than tv.
games are like books atm. havent got anough time because i cant "switch" off after a day at uni. hope to report on that once i start my 1 yr placement in sept ;-) 
What exactly do you mean by story? Do you mean like immersiveness, or atmosphere? I would think even dr. blob's organsim, has a story in that sense. how much more of a story does HL have then dr blob? 
What I Meant By Story 
I meant a game that exists solely to convey a story, instead of a story that exists solely to further the immersiveness and atmosphere of the game.

Almost every game has a background story, and most games have some sort of story that unfolds as you play (even the card game Poker has a story, and it changes everytime you play!). Some stories like the ones in Doom and Quake are barely present or even relevant. Even though I have not played it, I suspect that Enter the Matrix exists primarily to tell a story instead of give you a fun gaming experience.

/me decides not to continue rambling on about further irrelevancies. 
A Bit Of A View... 
I started this topic mostly because I am often really damn impressed by games. I look at their reputation - nerdy, time-wasting, violent, shallow, meaningless - and then I look at some of the games I've been playing - immersive, action-packed, visually superb, imaginatively themed, fun, atmospheric - and realise just how good gaming can be, and how it's reputation is increasingly outdated.

As a form of entertainment I believe they are at least worthwhile as other media, as not only can they rival other media in terms of technical prowess, immersive qualities, and entertainment value, but they are interactive and require action, skill, control on the player's behalf. 
Well, I've heard it stated a lot recently that the game industry now makes more money than the movie industry. So I suspect that those who still adhere to the stereotypical view of gaming are in a gradually diminishing minority.
Movie makers have clearly realised this so now, not only do we have movies based on games and games based on movies, but we actually have game/movie simultaneous development and release i.e. Matrix: Reloaded and Underworld. 
Movies Vs Game Money 
Think I read that the game industry does indeed make more money than the movie industry does but only before money made from vhs/dvd sales are counted (or something like that anyway). So while there's some truth in that statment wich has been used pretty much recently the game industry still has some catching up to do before it can fully live up to that claim. 
- - - - - - - - 
Yeah, I thought there was some sort of qualification like that. Still, it surprises me that it's true to the extent that it is. Cinema is over a century old and is also a more accessible experience; games require a lot more decisive input from the player.
I think it's great that games have moved so far into the mainstream - people have to take me seriously now when I tell them about mapping :P 
I still dont tell anyone exept other gamers that I am mapping 
I look at their reputation - nerdy, time-wasting, violent, shallow, meaningless

how much you want to bet that there are quite a few people even here, that think this to some extent? They may enjoy their games, but that doesn't mean they don't think they're nerdy, time-wasting, violent, shallow and ultimately meaningless.

Anyway, I live in Canada, and every time I go to some conference, public speaking or really pretty much anything, the speakers always say the same thing, and it irritates me. Namely, they always say that "Canada is just-as-good / better then the US", or that "Canada is the next big thing!", or something to that effect. It is my experience that if you have to tell people that you're the "next big thing", then you probably aren't.

Ah, I'm just tired of inferiority complexes...
RPG on story in games:
/me decides not to continue rambling on about further irrelevancies.

Why is it irrelevant? I find this a highly captivating issue. And you seem to think that it will be the major reason for the degradation of the next generation games. I think that's pretty relevant.

I recently came across a great little blog, , which has had quite a few topics based around this very issue. check out "How to Destroy Possibilities" for starters: 
Why is it irrelevant?

I was tempted to blather on, but I felt that I had already made my point, and thus I dropped in that phrase which had poor usage of words.

Thanks for the web link, that's cool. 
What Makes A Story? 
I meant a game that exists solely to convey a story, instead of a story that exists solely to further the immersiveness and atmosphere of the game.

Is it as clear cut as that? HL was your example of a game with story, in your first post. If we compare Quake with HL, I find it very hard to say that it's HL with more story. Both have a hero, who the player has control of throughout (ie: no cutscenes). Both are a series of sequential levels. Levels in both are pretty much just a series of events. Both make use of scripting; enemies always start in the same spots, Quake has monsters falling from ceilings in ambush, HL has scientists getting maulled. Both have climaxes, and denouments. HL may have a more verbose story, to Quake's tacit story, but is it only the word count that makes a story?

I find it very difficult to distiguish which game exists for it's story, and which game has the story as only background. And more to the point, I find it hard to say that HL is a worse game, specifically because of it's story. 
Heh, Classic Qmap. 
no need to argue or prove points. no need to post, really. 
Correlation Of Story And Linear Gameplay 
I was hoping to draw the distinction between "games" that are mostly linear (Half-Life for example) and games that aren't (Dr. Blob's Organism, Poker, Tetris). Quake, I feel, is in a sort of middle ground because some levels are quite non-linear, but overall it is more linear than the end of the spectrum.

"Games" that are meant to tell a story (such as Half-Life) tend to be more linear than games that aren't. Of course there are exceptions (such as the brilliant Deus Ex) which tell an intricate story and yet are highly non-linear.

I don't know why I didn't say this earlier. 
Could Be Either Way 
Fallaout and many other RP games
are story-based, but have no-linear progression.
Shouldn`t mix tetris-like games in here. They are just random, not non-linear. 
so, how much is what you're talking about part of the game design, and how much is in the level design?

speedy: Fallaout and many other RP games
are story-based, but have no-linear progression.

spaghetti story? 
Design Of Playable Spaces 
so, how much is what you're talking about part of the game design, and how much is in the level design?

Most of it does indeed have to do with the design of the playing space. Thus arcade-style games that play out in seemingly infinite possibilities have greater replay value than a linear level in First Person Shooter #27. However, these arcade-style games have a story which is not integral to the gameplay, so it is easier to create non-linear playing spaces than for story-driven First Person Shooter #27. But because FPS#27 places more requirements on progression and events in that gaming location (level) than the arcade games, it is limited in its ability to create the non-linear experience.

(Have I started to repeat myself yet?) 
I suppose I'm dragging this out a bit much. I'm kind of bored I guess.

Anyway it just seems to me, that your beef has very little to do with the story elements of a game, and much more with linearity, and limited interactiveness (which are also rather nebulous concepts, I admit). You like games like GTA and Deus ex that have arguably a whole lot more story then HL, which you dislike because it has too much story.

Now, I'm not trying to argue with you about what games you like, that would be pointless, if not just plain wrong. But I figured it would be useful to try to better articulate why you like/dislike a paticular game. anyway, I guess we can stop this now. 
One More Try 
your beef has very little to do with the story elements of a game, and much more with linearity, and limited interactiveness

To some extent, I agree. I began to realize this while forming my earlier arguments, but I still believe that too great of a focus on the story leads to poorer gameplay. Part of what makes GTA and Deus Ex so appealing is that the story is not primary in their qualities; the story is just one of the many qualities. GTA has immense exploration and lets you play for hours on end without even going near the story, and Deus Ex uses the story as a means for the player to interact with the game and increase the nonlinearity.

I would also like to clarify that I don't dislike HL. I think it is a good game, but I find it lacking. It was fun the first time through, but playing the game over again doesn't add to the experience since it is always the same. It becomes less like a game and more like an action movie. (I think this is where I came in the first time.) Thus the primary purpose in playing the game a second time is to see the story unfold, instead of play a game (and I mean the more traditional sense of a "game" that plays out different each time). So when the primary purpose for playing the "game" is to see the story, it becomes less meaningful and a lot less fun (Perhaps that's a better way to state it than "story = bad"). If I want to see a story, I'll watch a movie or read a book, not play a so-called "game" which exists solely to let me play an action hero in a nonlinear and noninteractive scenario.

Cheese and beer for all! 
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