Jonathan Blow Comes to Blows with the Gaming Industry

Really interesting (and incredibly long) interview with Jonathan Blow that’s starting to make the rounds of late. Blow is the video game designer and critic with a whole ton of stuff to say about the merits of gaming as an artistic medium, the unethical design of most games, and how he’s trying to rethink the whole approach to gaming with his new work, “Braid.” Even if you’re like us and you haven’t so much as plugged in your Super Nintendo since 1994, it’s still a worthwhile read, particularly when you get into that familiar terrain of game design as art. Here’s some:

About gamers these days and what they are thinking, I’m not sure. With those of us who have been in the industry for a while, it helps to be honest with ourselves that we are pretty far-separated from the viewpoint of the typical gamer. So I can’t exactly know what the general perception is about the creative vision of games, but my guess is, people don’t think that games are generally created with much of a vision at all. For me, the very existence of the “are games art?” argument is proof of this. It’s obvious — of course games are art! The entire argument just seems ridiculous to me. But it doesn’t seem ridiculous if you don’t have a certain kind of mental model about what a game is, and about the role of the creators’ vision in that. If you think a game is “Madden 2008,” then hey, games probably aren’t art.