Take a step back sometimes

The Metal Gear Rising review I’m still working on has few surprising challenges; on one hand I  have a lot of stuff I should put in the review, but on the other hand all that stuff is more or less subjective from my point of view. I don’t want to treat my readers as mindless sheep, and because of this I do state when I’m talking from my own point of view and setting my own personal subjective opinions in the text. I aim for a degree of objectivity, which makes me write about points that I do not completely agree with (or at all) but I can’t disagree that there is objective logic in there. It is true that nobody can completely separate their point of view from the overall subject, thus all of my attempts at objectivity are still clouded in a level of bias. Nevertheless, I still aim at looking things from other points of views other than my own, especially with reviews. This has caused a lot of problems to me, as I have noticed that I might not have an opinion of my own on a subject, but nevertheless I voice an opposing one. It’s the Another man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist thing.

When I notice that I am getting too close to something, I consciously take a step back (except when it’s a woman.) For example, if I were to design a car chassis I would first make sketches and drawings based on what the customer would seek. Then I would step back and go to square one and think whether or not this approach works and how it is out there in the absolute truth rather than how it should be from anyone’s point of view.

I hate to return to Ducktales Remastered, but the points I’ve made about it and nostalgia are not completely my personal point of view. I agree with them, and ultimately I will most likely purchase the product. I am one of the customers targeted with it, after all. Nevertheless, the major big picture really makes me question the reasons why such a product would be made and what is its basis. Personally, I do not wish Ducktales Remastered to succeed. I love the original NES games, and I am eager to see how they remix it, but I really would love to see something new, something that has not been done yet. In this cases, a new 2D Ducktales game with new stages, new music, new mechanic, new worlds and so on.

If I encourage myself to step back and look at both pictures in play, as well as observe things from an outside perspective, why aren’t the game devs, convention organizers, musician, writers and directors doing the same thing? It is because such thing discourages creativity and encourages actually working on their products.

I used Star Trek II; The Wrath of Khan as an example of a product, where the creators had an objective view on the subject and because of this managed not only make a great Star Trek film, but also a great film overall. When people with completely different schema outside the realms of the product being made are brought in, all the errors and ugly things that would hamper the product to a large degree suddenly spring out. This is because often the aforementioned people are far too close to what they’re doing and become blind to the errors. It happens to me frequently with this blog as well, and this is one reason I do not read my posts afterwards, because I know that the me tomorrow would slap the me now. I do read through some of my posts after an extended period of time, which allows me to look at the things I’ve written about and wager whether or not the post has value. Naturally, when creating a product this is impossible; we can’t travel in time. However, because of this we need to take that step back.

Then again, if we had this thing...
Then again, if we had this thing…

This is why taking that step back is so important; so that the product won’t end up being seen so miniscule in value. It is rather hard to take that step back, because in that we are judging not just the work we’ve done, but also ourselves. A lot of people simply can’t stand in other people’s shoes and see what they see and how they see. It’s not selfish as much as it is humane, but seeing things only from one perspective locks a person in one view and does not allow them to understand. It might even be that this person might realize that he has been in the wrong, and that would be a tragedy. You’d think that everybody would try to take that step back, but ultimately so few do and that’s where the true tragedy begins.
It is impossible for a person to truly and completely understand another, but not even trying is just stupid. Not even trying to see things from another person’s perspective is moronic behaviour.

I really want to ask from game developers if they really think the things they are making are art or creative pieces. I want to know how deep in delusion they really are. Looking at the indie developers it’s clear that a lot of myths and erroneous ideologies are rampart. Same goes for any other person with delusions, especially with a set of people organizing things locally.

Ultimately, one needs life experience to be able to take that step back. It’s clear that people who call themselves as artists working on creative things lack experience outside their own expertise. For example, Miyamoto’s early games on the NES/Famicom were such hits because they were based on his experiences that anyone could have. Same with Satoshi Tajiri’s Pokémon. When Miyamoto started to create, that’s when his works started to go downhill. He has never taken that one step back and observed his creations from anyone else’s point of view, or if he has, he hasn’t thought of the customer one bit.

I really wish people wouldn’t say that business people ruin what they don’t understand. Stupid people do that, but they really can’t ruin a product any worse than a person who can’t see the woods from that one tree.

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