Spector: not all games have to be “intellectual”, but some should be

Tuesday, 23rd April 2013 23:50 GMT By Brenna Hillier

There’s room for the big dumb action games we love and more thoughtful, challenging releases, Deus Ex and Epic Mickey creator Warren Spector has argued.

Responding to correspondence in his popular column on GamesIndustry – presumably triggered by his one about the “stultifyingly narrow” content of triple-A games – Spector said that “obviously” not all games need to be “grown-up”.

“I’m not trying to limit game content – in no way am I or would I say all games should do anything, that we should give up genres, that our medium should eclipse some other medium or that we should try to do what any other medium does well,” he said.

“I am suggesting that the medium benefits and our audience grows when some games do thing X, however you define X, and when we introduce new genres to supplement the ones we all know and love. (Hey, I’m into zombies, elemental magic and ray guns as much as the next guy!) We need to expand the range of game content, not limit it just to what we do now.

“No one should have to play ‘intellectual’ games, but that doesn’t mean people who want such games shouldn’t be allowed or able to play them,” he added.

“We deserve and our medium needs different games for different audiences.”

Spector said that those who argue in favour of leaving serious stories to film and literature may be doing so because they’re already convinced the medium cannot support such material well.

Elsewhere in the column, Spector answers other common arguments against more diverse content in games like the old chestnut about how development tools are cater to the same old games. It’s quite an interesting read.



  1. UuBuU

    I never understood why people think story driven games are so intellectual. Maybe it just seems that way to people who have never read a book in their life. :/

    You can have the most “serious” storyline ever, but if the gameplay isn’t challenging and engaging then it basically equates to an interactive novel with the accessibility of a children’s popup book.

    True intellectual games involve strategy, tactics, or [difficult] puzzle solving ~ so basically strategy games, online competitive team games (e.g. FPS), and puzzle games.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. aleph31

    And… he puts this article in a site called Games**Industry**. You know, that place where money is the sole purpose driving its existence.

    Go to the indie scene, there are plenty of intellectual artistic works over there, but don’t expect to see such a thing in the triple-A arena. Not that it wouldn’t work, but risk-averse publishers will never allow such endeavours.

    #2 2 years ago

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