Re: [-empyre-] games and apathy

hi tom +, wrote:
> mmm smells like a generation gap to me.. :)

mmm, i didn't want to say that.

> > it should be clear that I would regard
> > the gaming industry as deeply problematic and ultimately alien 
> > to any creative and experimental practice.

> mmm dunno about this at all.... I agree that the games industry is victim to
> all the evils of
> commercial exploits is film and writing..

agree, i can't imagine that simon would suggest that the very "nature"
of the game industry is void of creativity and experimental practice. he
could never be suggesting *that*

> Games often provide a high level of interactivity but have poor conceptual
> content.
> Interactive art usually presents more abstract and complex concepts but has
> terrible interface/interaction.

the best of both have neither problem.

> Ok so 'that's not the point of the work' you say. But what irks me is that
> there is very little work that
> adresses this. 

again, i think the best work does address this, as well as other issues.
every piece i have done addresses interaction on some level, and in fact
i spend a good bit of effort refining that interaction.  sometimes
people complain that something i do is not "intuitive." i think that
word is sorely overused, and overrated. it assumes that an "intuitive"
interface is the "best" interface for the task, and that is not
necessarily the case. it also begs the question, "who's intuition." the
novice web user assumes the only thing you can do with a mouse is "point
and click."  i once had a viewer actually angry with me because the
piece i made *didn't* function like a web page. they were actually
angry! like it was some obligation of computer art to function like any
other piece of software, and that it was simply unacceptable for
computer art to ask its viewer to figure it out (it was then that i
began to really feel that this is all so hopeless). 
then there's the case of plain old habit. i often like to mess with the
habitual forms of interaction, very much on purpose. many of our
interface paradigms we take for granted, and consider "intuitive," were
invented by programmers 20+ years ago with no serious consideration of
the user. take the freakin scroll bar for example. about the most
un-intuitive, clumsy, and down right ugly widget you'll ever see on a
computer screen. it does not take into account the fact that our arms on
a desktop tend to rotate, not move in straight lines. i did a java
interface for intelligent agent magazine
( that makes use of a curved scrollbar
for just that reason, plus its much nicer to look at. got all kinds of
hell for that from a "professor of interface design."


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