Never one to stray from a controversial comment, David Cage, creator of Heavy Rain and the upcoming Beyond: Two Souls for the PS3, caused quite a stir at the DICE summit with some of his remarks regarding the direction he feels the game industry needs to go if it wants to evolve as an art form. Calling it a “Peter Pan-complex”, Cage pointed out that the vast majority of games are made for teens and children and the industry should strive to tackle more mature themes and not just a mature shooter, but expand mechanics beyond jumping, punching and shooting. Basically: maturity doesn’t equal violence.
Cage sat down with Chris Kohler of Wired.com for an extensive follow-up interview. The interview is worth reading Getting to the crux of the matter, Kohler asks Cage what are the consequences of the game industry not growing up and his answer is surprising in its reasonableness:
Nothing terrible. The world won’t collapse, and we’ll keep making games. And there will be some fantastic games coming. But they will be more of the same. They will be Call of Duty 200. And that’s fine, I mean, I guess that this is what most people expect out there — for nothing to change.
I happen to agree with Cage that games need to broaden their oeuvre. Some in the industry, mostly the game journalists I follow on Twitter, took umbrage at his comments like they were personal attacks or something, but he is merely making points that many of them had made in the past. The sheer brutality displayed at many of the trailers at E3 in 2012 were a major point of contention and Cage’s comments address that issue directly. Look at something like The Walking Dead, a critically acclaimed hit that takes a different spin on zombie games with new and interesting mechanics. What’s wrong with wanting more of that? We can still have the big blockbusters. This isn’t a zero-sum game where we can only have one or the other. Gaming is big enough for all types of games and all types of gamers. We all have to grow up sometime and I say no time like the present.
What say you? Is Cage going too far in his comments or is he justified? Do you want gaming to “grow up” or do you like things how they are? Go!