Paradox of Adventure

This is my first opinion post. Since Red 5 Studios has not yet officially announced their debut title, my opinion entires may seem somewhat off-topic or even grasping in content. With that in mind, I’ll proceed with my thoughts.

The video games industry is a difficult beast for me to talk about. It’s not that I can’t find things about it to discuss; rather, there are a great deal too many things to talk about, like I’m driving at high speeds through a city while trying to describe surroundings. Instead of crafting an impotent lukewarm or a wall of text to rival China’s wall of stone, I will choose a topic that seems suitable for the first of many thoughts on a Red 5 Studios blog. And that is the topic of innovation.

It can be said that surprise is one of the greatest pleasures of the world, and that surprise within tradition keeps life sane. And so we come to a perplexing paradox: something that is both completely familiar like a home and yet completely unfamiliar like a new adventure, that warm safety with that fiery danger. Producing this paradox in the correct fashion results in the greatest of things, especially the greatest video games. Take, for example, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, a game that presented some of the simplest yet most extreme design ideas along with an accessible and familiar aura that turned the game into something infectious. In fact, Blizzard, as well as many other developers from the ’80s and ’90s, has included this in most of their games: all the excitement of going abroad with all the comfort of coming back home.

While Blizzard may have kept this paradox going into the late ’00s, the same cannot be said of the majority of the video games industry. Every game is either a copy-cat of some such successful proponents of as-mentioned paradox, an attempt at grabbing that casual fan-base that the “Neo-Nintendo” has monopolized, or a glorified tech demo. The paradox that was so rampant in the early forms of Nintendo’s franchises and that almost plagued the personal computer has gone missing. How? Simply put, the adventurers have stopped adventuring.

Of course, that adventurous spirit that is innovation is a quirky thing, for you cannot simply chase after treasures or dangerous things; you need also sanctuary for the adventurer to rest in. This is why some titles that present extreme ideas sometimes fail: they look to be from Mars. As such, if the modern video games market was turned on its head, it would be just as disastrous. It is because of this that the market should be turned perhaps 90 degrees.

It is through this paradox that we arrive, oddly enough, at the doorstep of Red 5 Studios. I started this blog primarily because Red 5 made me sense that paradox through their ideas (or whatever fragments of ideas I can decipher from the interviews I have scoured for) and concepts, namely the Golden Ticket strategy. While awaiting the revelation of their title, it is strange in that I’m not hoping, per say, for any thing in particular. With other titles I may think that they must have such-and-such feature and so-and-so style and when they do not, I end up irrationally upset. With Red 5, however, I have simply accepted that they will deliver something interesting, something with both the warmth of returning to a classic and the exciting fire of discovering something new.

I eagerly await for Red 5 Studios to surprise me and the rest of the gaming world. As I have said, there is both a great deal and a really small amount of things for me to discuss. But nonetheless, I hope you will join me as the video games industry grows and as Red 5 Studios throws scraps from its feasting table.

– The Author

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~ by reset3 on August 18, 2008.

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