Who Owns Our Future of Interactivity?

Developmag.com compiled a list of the 25 people who are reshaping the game business. Included are such personalities as Satoru Iwata, initiator of the Nintendo renaissance, Harmonix founder Alex Rigopoulos and Avni Yerli of Crytek fame. Why is this list important? Its important because of the increased emphasis on interactivity in our world. To understand this, one need only see the way that the video game industry is growing alongside a greater focus on community and two-way conversation in the way corporations are acting towards the world.

Game developers are the innovators of this phenomenon. And, as this list points out, some of them are more skilled at it than others.

This is because they are the auteurs of the game world. For those unfamiliar with the term, auteur is the French word for author. Destructoid's Dick McVengeance (not his real name, I presume) references the book Film Theory and Criticism in a brief explanation of how an auteur can be defined by three basic criteria:

Technical Competency: Simply put, the director has to know how to competently and effectively use the equipment that is at his disposal. If you're dealing with someone who thinks holding shots for way too long or never moving the camera, then you don't have that competent of a director.

Distinguishable Personality: The director has to be able to show his own unique trademarks within the film, whether it be through camera tricks, storytelling methods, or even symbolism that they inster into the film. In other words, what makes a Steven Soderbergh film a Steven Soderbergh film?

Interior Meaning: This is described as the conflict between the director and the material that he is working with. In essence, it's how the director approaches the project, and the angle that he tackles it with. It's more esoteric than having a distinguishable personality. Takashi Miike is the best example I can think of. When you watch a Miike film, you know he's the auteur.

He then goes on to explain that an auteur can either be a studio or certain individuals who are luminaries within the industry. Rare is a good example for the first category, Kojima for the second.

In his book High Culture, Popular Culture: The Long Debate, Goodall points out that

"one of the stages of in the naturalisation of films as high art was the discovery of film directors whose role seemed analogous to that of an author. One could thereby study the films of John Ford or whoever in a manner not dissimilar to the way novels were studied in the university."

Why shouldn't this be the case with games and, potentially, well crafted PR campaigns? Writes Dick McVengeance:

"If we are to develop as an artistic medium, then presenting those who can be considered artists to the world is just as important as the artistic works that they can create... I emplore you, community, to look to find who the important people are in your favorite games. Pay attention to the credits. See whose names pop up a bunch -- they'll be the ones you should watch for."

Will the auteurs of our online future be the developers, the PR shops and their flacks or some combination of the two?

Post written jointly by Parker Mason and Jens Schroeder