Fun and the Future: Masaya Matsuura on Gaming Today

Fun and the Future: Masaya Matsuura on Gaming Today

Masaya Matsuura of NanaOn-Sha (PaRappa et al.) has a wonderful opinion piece over at Gamasutra on the future of gaming. You may not agree with all of his assertions, but it’s nice to read something so passionate on the subject of where gaming is today and where it’s headed. Based in part on his DICE 2008 presentation, Matsuura has an obvious fondness for the Wii and the implication for future games:

Video games are a very simple way to enjoy virtual experience. All you need is a TV, a console, a controller, and the software. This is an easy system for everyone compared with other forms of entertainment.

But like Hollywood, in order to keep the customers paying, the industry is using increasingly exaggerated content. Pressing buttons, moving sticks-these are small actions with grand effects. However, I think it is a slight error of judgment in our industry to believe that actions that in reality would carry great responsibility can be carried out in video games without thought for responsibility.

The Wii has come and put a cat amongst the pigeons of this unbalance. The harder you swing the remote, the faster the baseball bat moves. This more organic relation between imagination and reality is easily absorbed.

At the same time we understand that game designs that, for example, require the player to shake the Wii controller strongly to rotate a Tetris block, are unsuitable for input methods like this. The Wii requires a tighter connection between actual and virtual actions. But think! How can we improve on these kinds of obvious connections? That is the hint to make more advanced games.

It’s a bit all over the place, but it’s hard to fault Matsuura for that — it’s a really interesting piece and wonderfully engaging, and certainly worth reading. Sure, it’s only one take on the state of games today and he says many things that I’m sure many gamers would vehemently disagree with, but it’s one (very passionate) side of the debate on where we are and where we’re going.

A Sense of Fun: Anybody Could Be Your Player 1 [Gamasutra]

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