The perspective interface, the virtual camera and the simulation of I
This lecture and paper examines the roles of the virtual camera and spatial composition in the construction of game interfaces and modes of interaction. It draws upon a language of the moving camera to make an argument for treating the Player as Cinematographer and defining game genres by the feeling-states their cameras evoke. Delivered as the Keynote lecture at the IADIS Games and Entertainment conference Freiburg, Germany. July 2010
I have compiled together the presentation zooming slideshow, the audio podcast recording of the lecture along with the written paper in the Theory section of the site.
I feel perpetually as a fish out of water. I come from a background in screenwriting and video post-production but I spend much more time talking about cameras and shooting rather than editing and writing. I teach filmmaking in a film-school but I spend many more hours playing video games than watching movies. And Im a scholar on narrative and cinematic processes and yet im presenting at a conference on Human Computer Interaction and Games. I have clearly jumped right out of the fish bowl.
And, Yet I suspect we are all fish out of water. Having strayed out of our fish-tanks, soggy and with gurgling gills, we flop our way through foreign environments seeking to comprehend the unknown in the context of the known.
This is the departure point for my topic today. In exploring ideas of the virtual camera as a touchstone for articulating game interfaces and interactions
I will begin with the premise that it is a Mistake to assume Difference. That it is far better to assume similarity and from a point of recognising what is common, identify difference. Just as a goldfish having flopped out of the bowl might - assuming breathing air is nothing like breathing water - fundamentally miss-comprehend the common idea of respiration. So to do we risk missing the obvious, the tangible and the useful in our search for the new and different if we do not start from what is known and similar.
So, in order to stage my discussion Im going to make some big bold assertions. I have no intention of wholly defending these assertions in the short time I have but will use them none the less as a means to position a set of perspectives. Ideas that are focused on making concepts around game interface aesthetics and experiences primarily useful for game-design rather than purely for game analysis.