Friday, June 19, 2009

July 2009: Mature Games

July 2009's topic, Mature Games, was submitted by game designer Ryon Levitt.

He writes:

"For the love of God, think of the children!"

The famous train of thought that has carried much debate against the video game industry. But is this realistic anymore? The ESA says that "The average gamer is 35 years old and has been playing for 12 years." However, while many other media, such as books and movies, are recognized as having certain (not necessarily pornographic) sub-genres for adults, many critics continue to act as though the word "game" automatically means "for kids". One reason for this is that the typical target demographic is still Adolescent Males and, as such, contain many typical "young male power fantasy" stereotypes - Big Guns, Big "Guns", Violence, Crime, Sex, Drugs, and, of course, Rock and Roll.

As designers, we face many questions regarding this subject:
- How can we fix this image?
- SHOULD we fix this image?
- Are games for adults and youths mutually exclusive?
- What do adults want in an entertainment medium?
- Does "adult" automatically mean "casual gamer"?

Ryon Levitt is a programmer-turned-designer for KOEI, currently working at their main branch in Yokohama, Japan. He is currently working on his first title as a designer. Ryon is one of the founding members of the IGDA Game Design SIG, and helped coin the acronym GDAM.


kushka53 said...

I am a 55 year old former foreign correspondent. I am now a casual gamer and game designer. Would be more involved in other platforms but a brain injury prevents me from playing Halo, etc., i.e, the intensely visually active games. Could not even play Zelda without fierce headaches, so casual games was the answer. However, most of those games are incredibly boring, and the intellectual challenges slim. The field could be so much better!
I loved the Myst series, for its time it was incredibly innovative, and Journeyman was fun to play in its day too. Currently, I would like to see the "Adventure" division of casual games developed more. There is fantastic material out there to work with, the designers just have to do the research!

Post a Comment