Quick quotes – Adults need games with intellectual stimulation, says Jenova Chen

Friday, 18th May 2012 18:27 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

“They are not good enough for adults. For adults to enjoy something, they need to have intellectual stimulation, something that’s related to real life. Playing poker teaches you how to deceive people, and that’s relevant to real life. A headshot with a sniper rifle is not relevant to real life. Can games make you and another human experience an emotion that’s deep enough to touch adults? Games have to be relevant intellectually. – Thatgamecompany’s Jenova Chen to Gamasutra.



  1. Hunam

    Chen is a bit naive.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. KAP

    Look I’m a 32yr old who has been playing games since the built-in Alex Kidd on my MasterSystem and I gotta say these days CODs and Halos just aint doing it for me.. I like my games to grow as I do and with games like the ones Chen thinks up are more thought provoking and smart with the themes it sets out to achieve, that’s the way forward.

    Less of what works ($$$) and more of what’s truly innovative.

    Jenova Chen, Ken Levine, Hideo Kojima, Mikami and many others like them are initially the ones that push our medium forward but its the majority of the cookie cutter developers that benefit from them.

    I like to think gaming can be more then being an experience of killing numbers of copy and paste russians or talibans or racking up meaningless points.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. OrbitMonkey

    Hmm… Well each to their own eh Chen? Y’see I have Kindle for intellectual stimulation & CoD for a more visceral stimulation…

    Oh & sniper headshots teach you not too run out into the open like a noob… Thought everyone knew that?

    #3 3 years ago
  4. endgame

    @3 You’re missing the point but then again you have CoD so it’s only natural.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. OrbitMonkey

    ^ oh dear, confusing intellect with smugness again sweetpie?

    Please don’t expand on the point of games needing to teach adults the wonders of emotional interaction as expressed by a dev who makes those self-proclaimed games.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Da Man

    She’s confusing adults with retards.

    Albeit less $$$ button mashers with sex mini games would be great, I ‘ll give you that. As well as less sticky jumps and cover systems. Can’t forget walls of bla bla bla with atrocious voiceovers too.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Gekidami

    Ah, having a bone to pick with a video game company, the true mark of a retard.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. KAP


    The irony is you’d be the first to complain if all there was is COD clones which by the way is obviously where its friggin heading.

    A game doesn’t need to teach me anything to just evoke a sense of wonder from a medium I enjoy and quite frankly these days simple shooters such as COD doesn’t fuckin cut it luv.. Its a shame many gamers cant see further then gaming peak being shooters. Kill me now. Plz.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. OrbitMonkey

    @8, Eh, don’t be daft. You don’t like CoD/halo? Theirs a plethora of game styles out there, stop over reacting.

    My point is that if you want something deep and meaningful, that will make you think… Read a book… Or travel… I hear Wigan is nice :-)

    #9 3 years ago
  10. JB

    He`s right in the sense there`s more and more “adults” who have seen enough shooters and action games and might want something a bit slower or indeed more complex.

    So far most of the games are aimed at 13 – 30 something.

    I bet a lot of the COD players fall in that age category, dont worry you`ll get older too.

    And as far as I can se Jenova Chen is a male ^^

    #10 3 years ago
  11. OlderGamer

    Kap, I have been saying this for a few years. One of the reasons I am so jaded and cynical. I can only play so many games aimed at 17yr old boys. It is also why I say the console market is the kiddie pool of gaming. And, honestly I doubt it will change any time soon.

    But like JB pointed out, at some point gamers will mature. Already happening. And by mature, I don’t just mean in age. That is just a number. But I mean in game tastes and experiences.

    The console platform holders will either catch on at some point, or more and more of their demographic will go to PC. And if you just gotta have a round of CoD once in a while, PC offers that too.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Da Man

    Right.. Most adequate people, as time goes by, tend to either spend less time on toys, mess around with something very lite (mobile) or play competitively against others (an hour of outBRing real people is more than enough to entertain yourself.. it doesn’t get more complex than that.. ). If you’re over 30 and are into MMOs or ‘story driven computer entertainment mediums’ well, then.. to each their own.

    But Mario Kart is in fact the kiddie pool of gaming, indeed.

    What #9 said.

    Some people are just into killing time, or else have nothing better to do. But then that’s pretty much the definition of ‘gamer’.. you can’t go pro entertaining yourself.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Ireland Michael

    @12 This is pretty damn ignorant.

    So a thirty something who likes story driven game or MMOs is somehow out of touch with things? Really? “To each their own” doesn’t really kill the condescending tone either.

    Please tell me, how is me enjoying an hour or two of a solid RPG any less legitimate from what most thirty-somethings I know do to pass time… watching TV? And please, don’t tell me TV is more intellectually stiImulating. And while I’m not as much of an MMO player as I used to be, I know numerous married couples with jobs, children and a mortgage whose evenings are spent playing WoW together.

    Snobby, much? Every post you make nowadays is comfronting people about how much better you are than everyone else. One could also make the argument that someone grown up would have something better to do with their time than deliberately flame and troll people…

    “But Mario Kart is in fact the kiddie pool of gaming, indeed.”

    Ironic statement, considering those games require a tonne of skill to play well.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Da Man

    Negative knee jerk reactions, what a massive surprise.

    A thirty something who ‘re really into MMos or extensive sessions of story driven videogames, most likely doesn’t have anything better to do with their time.. How out of touch they’re is directly proportional to how seriously they take these, and how deeply they affect these people emotionally.

    TV is at times probably less clever, funny or interesting. TV is a way to pass time, it was never meant to be the home cinema, replace travelling, or substitute live ballet performance. If you play videogames in the same manner, then why not indeed.

    I really, really wouldn’t want to see someone who is a married couple with jobs, children and a mortgage whose evenings are spent playing WoW together..

    Mario Kart takes zero skill, as every karting game out there. It’s a classic video game and a way to have tonnes of fun. But that’s beside the point. Btw, I quite like karting racers, for the same reason I sometimes like to watch cartoons. Why not do that for the lulz really.

    Edit: If I did troll you I wouldn’t refer to you with statements like ‘To each their own’. I’m just saying. In a way you’re right though, but and this is a big but – I ‘m practicing grammer.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Christopher Jack

    Yeh… no, I’m not looking for intellectual stimulation from my games, I’m looking for some dumb fun, I don’t mind if the entertainment is in the form of a game that makes me think- but I don’t want to fork out a lot for a game designed around that. If you’re up for some intellectual stimulation, you’re better off with Tetris or Chess rather than some pseudointellectual story in a mediocre game. If you want a good story, stay consistent, it does not need an encyclopedic amount of hard to spell words to be good.

    #15 3 years ago

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