If Day 1 was anything to go by, then Day 2 was going to be one hell of a ride – so strap yourself in for some monumental learning!
I started the day by attending No-one’s Sky: A Dissection from Various Perspectives:
Panelists: Laura Crawford (Swinburne University), Dr. Steven Conway (Swinburne University), Dr. Marcus Carter (University of Melbourne) and Dr. Michael Kasumovic (University of New South Wales).
The whole idea behind the game is to show it’s about consumption. And in its essence, consumption is pointless. Here are the key points around the game and their collective take on it.
Evolutionary: competition is what gets people here, to this current place and point. In some way, we have all competed, arguably even at the start of life to get you to be you. No Man’s Sky – allows you to encapsulate that with the different planets and leave us with a sense of achievement of being able to leave a mark.
Gaming: By playing it as a first person’s perspective, you embodied the astronaut discovering the worlds – it allowed you to escape and be able to see and hear what it would look like to traverse space.
Procedural Creation: By seeing this concept being played out, we got to see some insane mish-mash of creatures that we could never fathom. In some way, we were playing Gods in a giant laboratory.
Design Decision: Fun Vs Time – the creators had to strike a chord between the two to see what would stick. Do you need to continuously mine for materials on different planets just to fly your ship? Was it even necessary?
Controversy: The escapism wasn’t enough.
No Delivery: The biggest challenge for the game was that they promised and did not deliver. And for the first time, possibly in gaming history, everyone had the same conclusion. There were no 2 camps on the issue like any other format. Case in point, the infamous Chun Lee (Street Fighter – buxom fighter) ample assets… some say it’s enough and anatomically impossible whilst others believe it could be bigger.
Placeless and Anonymous does NOT equal ethics: When posting on the internet, people do not value or care about the need to be civil given that they can hide behind usernames and feel like they are removed from the situation. Add in rage and you have a toxic environment.
Para-text: The biggest issue with the game was the hype around it. The Para-text created so much hype and expectation that the game didn’t deliver. But didn’t it?
The last faux-pau of the world today is “Not knowing”. All we need to do is Google things to know facts or opinions. But what we do not get is the connection. And not many people take that next step to do that. So they take on the opinion of whatever is being paraded around as Gospel.
Ironically, we are now shaped more by the opinions of anything before or after it’s release rather than what was actually produced. When the veil was lifted into the production of the game, and into the marketing hype, people were left feeling extremely unsatisfied.
The developers had promised to deliver a cheeseburger but thanks to the para-text, the players were expecting Duck ala Orange.
The other challenge is both developers and players do not understand each other. Players are there to consume whilst to be a developer it requires a high level of expertise. For example – a car mechanic. They fix our cars, but we don’t know how. We just give our cars and it gets fixed. Players do not understand the time and effort it takes to develop a game. As gamers, we are in essence consumers – we believe that we need to collect things. Therefore we assign a numerical value based on the hours of gameplay to understand whether it is successful.
Highlight Comment from Closing Section: “Fuck Grinding. I don’t go to work to fill spreadsheets to come home to fill spreadsheets. We are here to play and escape”
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