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Comment Re:Poor business (Score 1) 343

Probably not. He's likely better at saying things with big words; and he's also human, and likely looks at people playing real instruments and people doing exactly the same thing with a thing shaped like a real instrument as ... well, performance art. His brain would immediately recognize the visible, physical aspect of playing the game as something he's accepted as performance art, and would build his entire appreciation of the game based on the presumption that it's leading people to engage in a non-video-game artform.

From there, attacking the game is attacking performance art. He might have actually had the impulse to attack the game based on his existing bias against video games, with the uncomfortable sensation of attacking performance art pushing back--simultaneously.

Whatever he then came up with from there is, in all likelihood, compensation for said irreconcilable conflict.

Seriously, what's the difference between Guitar Hero 4 and The Beatles: Rock Band? GH4 has a 5-button, plastic guitar; The Beatles: Rock Band has a two-octave keyboard that you can play in the same physical manner as a real instrument. Why wasn't Guitar Hero art?

Comment Re:Poor business (Score 2) 343

Uh, April 2010, "Back Then". Roger Ebert says "video games can never be art." Can never.

Let's make a new Plinkett/Bechtel type test right here. Describe artistic game expression without relying on irrelevant (to the medium) things like pretty backgrounds, models, or movie cut scenes.

Video games are mechanics affecting these things. Even Atari games move a few pixels. Those things have to be identifiable.

Xenosaga does this with cutscenes, voice acting, complex 3D graphics, orchestral music, and the like; Golden Sun did it with two-dimensional sprites and some transformations, along with text-based dialogue and some sound-effects, and music; and Adventure: Colossal Caves did it with only text. The first two have immensely complex stories and deeply-developed characters, like a Brandon Sanderson novel or a TV series such as Babylon 5; the last is largely an exploration of a descriptive and somewhat-fantastic world inside a mountain cave, with much less depth of plot and character.

The Metroid games does the same kind of thing, notably with Fusion, Other-M, and Prime; Super Metroid is said to have a strong story backing it, but doesn't express it directly via any kind of dialogue or cut-scenes, which draws some argument from people like me who say a game that doesn't demarcate plot and purpose isn't exactly conveying a story from the writer's mind to the player's. Nevertheless, even the original 8-bit game had complex level design and creative ideas of how a game is played, combining the "platformer" and "action-adventure" genres.

Video games are often a medium to tell a story (any genre), evoke an emotion (e.g. horror), or describe a place (the world in which the game occurs). Movies and books have to tell a story; static art (images) can only describe a situation at a moment (although, as with my argument about Super Metroid not demarcating plot elements, many people argue that a picture implies a timeline events leading into and out of the situation, and thus can tell a long and complex story on its own). A video game can just world-build, giving you a place to explore without explanation or purpose other than to see it; or it can create that place and then render it in a particular art style to show off the visual medium; or it can deliver a deep and immersive cinematic experience with the player in control, or at least the illusion of control. It has options.

Ebert's main argument was that video games aren't art because art is a thing you do and show others. Video games allow players to control the outcome--you can go left or right at this point--thus they have not expressed what the player will see and hear, and so aren't art. He essentially claims anything that doesn't play out exactly the same for everyone who observes it is not an artistic expression.

Comment Re:Poor business (Score 1) 343

The idea that he considered for even a moment trying to make an argument that music is not art is preposterous.

I said he probably didn't think he could get away with the argument; I didn't specify how long it took him to conclude that, or by what route. The game he conceded on is essentially performance of music.

Comment Re:Sounds nice! (Score 2) 121

Okay, well, with a cut-down population, you also lose the labor required to produce to support the population. Then labor becomes a short resource. Without a labor reserve, you can't take advantage of technical progress, and so the economy becomes unstable and poverty becomes more wide-spread, rather than the normal model of developing better access to food, clean water, and healthcare as technology improves.

It is true that population does expand to fit our current resources, but it is not true that = constant scarcity.

Population expands to fit our current resources because it hits a wall. Communist leaders have not spent the past 10,000 year of human history dictating how many children each family shall have to properly manage global resources; we've just expanded until maximum.

That means, yes, we expand until scarcity. We expand until the cost to acquire food starts increasing. We advance until the number of farmers needed grows proportionally-faster than the number of people being born. We expand until we can't build houses fast enough to house all these people, can't mine oil fast enough to provide all the industrial services they need, and so forth. Then we get more poor people and continued expansion necessarily will cause a rise in unemployment, a rise in poverty, and a visible and obvious economic recession, which slows population growth.

Comment Re:Sounds nice! (Score 2) 121

Look at the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, and Germany. Sure, there seems to be tons of food, employment, etc... except if you're in the bottom 5% of the country, since we have about 5% unemployment and about half of those are begging on the streets and getting their food from trash cans.

In African nations, they have a lower quality-of-life and a reduced standard-of-living. They outbreed the failures of their healthcare systems--we do, too, but we have great healthcare and so don't have to have 18 kids to ensure 2 survive polio and malaria--and have a population limited by availability of things like food.

In America and Europe, the population spiked around the 1920s. There was food scarcity, and so a lot of Nobel-Prize-winning work went into developing new agricultural tools and methods. In a world with 1.9 billion people and an add of around 100 million per year, we suddenly saw growth to 3.2 billion people in less than a decade as food became more-accessible.

So yes, historically, this is how it works. Not how it might work; not how it works with foxes and lemmings; this is how it works with people, throughout human history.

Also, people are rational agents; they simply don't always have 100% of all information available. They make a rational decision based on imperfect information.

Comment Re:Sounds nice! (Score 4, Insightful) 121

Resource problems are a myth, in a sense. Population always expands until scarcity: at a point, you can't scale production of some products without investing more labor, which means the basic cost of those products increases, the economization of means decreases, the poor get poorer, and more people become poor. At that point, population expansion slows until technical progress raises the scarcity cap.

Take food. Without GMO, fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation, tractors, and other modern intensive techniques, you need more land to grow the same food. That doesn't just mean more labor per yield of food; it also means you run out of good-climate, good-soil, accessible-irrigation land with a lower total food-per-year yield. Bump that and you can have more population.

The resource scarcity issue is constant, and has always been constant. When we find more, we expand.

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