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I never saw a dame yet that didn’t understand a good slap in the mouth or a slug from a .45.

So I got a bit worked up about an Opinion article on Gamasutra by Steve Gaynor. It was discussing the concept of the noir video game (one following in the footsteps of Film Noir). Figured my response was worth posting here:

While I would love to see a truly noir approach to games and I appreciate the plea Gaynor is making, this summary of the genre does not do it justice. Noir was not created asfalconm.JPG a means to an end. There was no group of directors that didn’t know how to make a film with a small budget except “by focusing on flawed, unpredictable characters living out street-level conflicts between individuals in the mundane, modern-day urban world.”

Low budgets may have helped kickstart noir, I’m sure they did. It can’t be denied that big budget projects tend to lack experimentation because the backers don’t want to take any risks with their bank books. Still, noir is more related to artistic innovation than business strategy.

Film Noir was a movement which sprouted from an increasingly dark outlook in American filmmakers, reflecting an increasingly dark outlook in American culture (due to the Depression, the rise of organized crime and eventually the WW2 environment). It was influenced by German expressionism of the 20’s, but came from American filmmakers; not an “influx of expatriate German [Expressionists].”
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“Indie games are the new form of self expression for the motivated misfit. I’m blown away by little Flash games oozing with style made by kids who aren’t even old enough to drink, wtf? The community of lovable and terrifyingly capable indie developers is steadily making big budgets irrelevant.”

-Kyle Gabler

From a Gamasutra interview on The World of Goo as part of their “Road to the IGF” series.

Gabler and Ron Carmel are coming from 2D boy. After a glance at their main page, I stumbled across Gabler’s Human Brain Cloud; one of a number of interesting experiments Gabler is running. Seemingly useless data . . . I’d like to put it to use.

-Christopher J. Rock