Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Media Entertainment Games

Sopranos' Creator Doubtful of Game Meaning 48

Posted by Zonk
from the never-played-ico dept.
Stephen Totilo, over at MTV Games, has up an article talking with David Chase, the creator of hit HBO show The Sopranos. Mr. Chase believes firmly in the creative and dramatic potential of television, but isn't so sure that videogames can mean all that much. Despite the new 'Sopranos' game, you'll never see the TV show bleed into gaming, or vice versa. In his mind, games have very specific goals. From the article: "'Games have a function,' he said. 'It's a physical function. The character has to go from here to there, has to shoot that, has to drive this, has to knock that down, has to jump up here. ... That's how a game works. So cooking dinner, going to Lamaze class, there's no way to figure that into a game at this point. Maybe somebody else can do it and maybe somebody will, but that wasn't really what this game was about. It was supposed to be a story about a kid who wants to be a gangster -- a punk who wants to be a gangster -- and so that's what we did.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sopranos' Creator Doubtful of Game Meaning

Comments Filter:
  • Oh no? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @12:56PM (#16307729) Homepage Journal
    So cooking dinner, going to Lamaze class, there's no way to figure that into a game at this point.
    Someone get this guy into "The Sims," or at least "Incredible Crisis." Hell, get him a Tamagotchi from the bargain bin.
    • by RingDev (879105)
      So when will someone make Sims With Guns: The 2nd Amendment or some other life similation with violence as an option?

      -Rick
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ArmyOfFun (652320)
      In a show like the Soprano's cooking or Lamaze would be an action characters perform for either some hidden meaning or to give the characters something to do while the story is advanced via other means (like dialogue). In a game, you're either totally involved in a cooking or Lamaze mini-game, or its carried out in a non-interactive way. So, for the interactive cooking segment, the narative (if any) has to come to a stop while you focus on the task at hand. Another character could talk to you while you cook
      • "Not to mention the outrage your typical gamer would have at having to cook or go to Lamaze with his pregnant mistress in a GTA or Soprano's game. "

        And the typical viewer would be pissed off if the typical Sopranos episode was 50 minutes of cooking or Lamaze. That's what cut-scenes are for anyway. Skippable cut scenes.

    • Metal Gear Solid. Kicks the shit out of anything I've ever seen on the Sopranos.
  • "So cooking dinner, going to Lamaze class, there's no way to figure that into a game at this point." - I've figured it out Xtreme cooking (like Xtreme ironing) and Vitrual Lamaze where you have to balance the mothers breathing and all the other fun that comes with virtual lamaze, buy it now at walmart, only $5.99
  • Now there's a guy who clearly knows nothing about gaming. Can't work cooking dinner or Lamaze into a game? Is he serious? Has he ever heard of...Japan? Has he played a game since 1985?
    • by Zardus (464755) <yans@yancomm.net> on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @01:14PM (#16308073) Homepage Journal
      What is this ... ja..pan?

      Is it a cooking utensil?
      • by creimer (824291)
        You go to a Japanese family home and, when they offer you a bowl of rice, stick your chopsticks straight up into the rice. Then run like hell if someone pulls out a sword and screams, "Stupid American!"
    • by chrnb (243739)
      Somebody buy him Cooking mama for the DS or the Wii.
      Btw. check some Wii screens from the game here: http://www.gamesarefun.com/news.php?newsid=6950/ [gamesarefun.com]
    • Wow, news flash. Crappy formulaic games aren't as meaningful as ground breaking dramatic television. How much do you want to bet that movie producers said the same thing about TV when it first came out? Video games are about where TV was in the late 50's. At least he's not saying it'll never happen, he's just admitting that he's not talented and/or experienced enough in the medium of video games to pull it off.

      Each new media changes society through it's innate characteristics. Books, by putting you in your
      • by vega80 (852274)
        In other words, "the medium is the message."

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_McLuhan [wikipedia.org]

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by spun (1352)
          I guess I should have mentioned my sources, yes. The name of the book is The Medium is the Massage , by the way. It was a printer's error, but Marshall McLuhan thought it illustrated his point better than the original title.
        • by spun (1352)
          Oh, and the other source is Poetics [wikipedia.org], by Aristotle, in regards to the essential elements of dramatic tension. Interestingly, these theories apply to media such as painting, sculpture, and music as much as they do to theater, literature, and poetry.
    • by jkauzlar (596349)
      I think he's talking about the dramatic portrayal of cooking & eating (which makes up 65% of the Sopranos), and I'm not sure why he said Lamaze(?). It would make a boring game if the characters were sitting and eating spaghetti with other gangsters most of the time, which means the game needs to focus on the action & violence, which is not, really, per se, what the Sopranos is all about. It's far more of a character drama than say, CSI or 24.
      • by 7Prime (871679)

        There are games that have dramatic dinner-table scenes in them, actually, check out any game in the Grandia series, where over half of the interesting character interaction takes place during dinner table conversations. Granted, these are only mildly interactive, so some may rightly point out that they're simply an extension of cinema/television stuck into a game. However, videogames ARE exactly that, a melting pot of media, just as cinema and television combine theatre with music as well as some new elemen

        • (Stargate SG1 is the only one that comes to mind, actually)
          And that was only achieved because Wright and Glassner made a lot of changes to the movie storyline.
    • by WWWWolf (2428)
      Can't work cooking dinner or Lamaze into a game? Is he serious? Has he ever heard of...Japan? Has he played a game since 1985?

      Yeah, you could bake bread in Ultima VII! That's an epic role-playing game. Released in 1992. And that's an American game! Bet the Japanese figured how to integrate cooking even earlier...

  • You mean there's a difference between passive and active entertainment? Who ever would've guessed?
  • by suv4x4 (956391)
    Stephen Totilo, over at MTV Games, has up an article talking with David Chase, the creator of hit HBO show The Sopranos. Mr. Chase believes firmly in the creative and dramatic potential of television, but isn't so sure that videogames can mean all that much.

    Oh wow, old guy X doesn't believe new technology Y is as good as the good old days!
    That's so shocking! What a great coincidence that we age and die, so new generations with more open thinking replace us.

    Honestly: the guy may be talented, it doesn't mean
    • by Gregory Cox (997625)
      " there's no way to figure that into a game at this point. Maybe somebody else can do it and maybe somebody will, but that wasn't really what this game was about.

      He deliberately left open the possibility that maybe in the future someone will make a game with the kind of depth and narrative he's talking about. That seems pretty open-minded to me. (OK, so he ignored the possibility that there might be a game like that already that he just didn't know about, but that's a minor oversight.)

      I think he did a good
    • He gets 40 rods to the hogshead, and that's the way he likes it!
  • Actually... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RumGunner (457733) <rumgunner AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @01:09PM (#16307969) Homepage
    I guess I'm in the minority here, but I completely agree with that. I prefer games that have specific goals and an end. I like the feeling of accomplishment I get from beating the final boss, jumping over the flagpole, etc.

    Waiting around a game for something to happen, aimlessly collecting money, fighting endless boring monsters to gain experience, none of these things really feels like "fun" to me.
    • by Aglassis (10161)
      Just like in TV where there are very few 24s or Battlestar Galacticas, there are very few Baldurs Gate 2s or FFVIIs in the gaming genre. If I were like this asshole and judged the entire genre by a quick glimpse without knowing anything about it beforehand, I could easily understand how he could come to that conclusion. But I could come to the same conclusion watching TV and movies as well. Unless you search really hard, all you are going to find is shit, which is apparently what he found.
      • Just like in TV where there are very few 24s or Battlestar Galacticas, there are very few Shenmues or Panzer Dragoon Sagas in the gaming genre.

        There, I fixed it for you!
  • Someone get this guy a DS and Cooking Mama [wikipedia.org]
  • by lawpoop (604919) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @01:17PM (#16308113) Homepage Journal
    I don't think Totilo has really used his imagination with this one. Think about a movie about, say, an underdog football team, or a champion chess player playing a computer, or a boxer, uh... boxing.

    The human drama, which is what the story is, can play itself out in the context of a game, just as it can play out in the game-like atmosphere of a business or a relationship.

    In a nutshell, the story theory is that the protagonist faces a challenge that shatters his world -- he can't go back to his world they way he used to live it. Think Luke after his parents were killed by stormtroopers. He can either hook up with some crazy old man or wander around Tatooine, but he just won't be helping Uncle Owen farm moisture tomorrow.

    Same thing when the star quarterback steps out onto the field for the championship game or the chess player sits down in front the the computer. They are either going to become a champion, or blow the biggest chance of their life. Either way, they can't go back to the anonymity they used to live everyday. What a better set up for the human drama?

    Us here on slashdot have seen this played out a million times in almost every game. The crisis might be a little hoakey or even flat out weird -- resucing Dr. Light from Dr. Wiley, or eating all of the pellets without getting caught by a ghost. It is a challenge, and there is no rest for the protagonist. They must make their way into a brave new world.
    • "Think Luke after his parents were killed by stormtroopers."

      Try aunt & uncle - though they were parent figures.

      Sorry to nitpick! :D
  • Star Trek the new generation made a great game with a lot of TV series references. So did it's sequels.

    Simpson's hit and run and "crazy taxi" take were both fun consolers.

    Band of brothers was a very successful Made for TV movie port to game.

    That's off the top of my head. What is this guy talking about?

    Doesn't every soprano's episode have a plot and something the characters need to do for the episode to progress?

    Sounds like another person downplaying the importance of the gaming market because they just don'
  • GTA 3, same premise, small thug works his way up through the mafia, failed miserably.

    He's totally right.
  • Honestly? no.

    If they show up in a piece of fiction, I would realy hope that the focus was on the characters AS they are involved in these activities, not on the activity itself.

    For a nice quick example, take GTA:SA. You have your characters, and you have the character advancment they go through, most of it is take up by cut sceans between missions, and the random commentary durring missions. I would not be that hard of a streach to have CJ walk into his brothers house and get a mission from him when he is
    • "Meh, I personaly think that a video game CAN be just as great a piece of narative as a TV show can be."

      I'm surprised they didn't look at Liberty City Stories and derive some inspiration.

      Oh well. Sorry, I'm not trying to dry-hump your 'Insightful' post. I'm just surprised. If it weren't for the cut-scenes in this game, I doubt I'd have the interest to keep playing it.
  • Mr. Chase believes firmly in the creative and dramatic potential of television, but isn't so sure that videogames can mean all that much.

    Pot meet kettle. Everybody knows that Television is a low-class form of entertainment for the masses, and doesn't have the same cultural significance as books or stage plays.
    Pretty much what he says was also said of television 60 years ago.
  • From the article: "Games are the new frontier, the way to enlighten an audience and immerse them. How can a guy like Chase be so disinterested in that?
    Well, he's not a gamer, he admits."

    So someone who doesn't know much about games can judge them? Fine. I've never seen the Sopranos but I can tell you I think it is boring, lame and cliched. Oh Italian-Americans, they must be in the mafia, right? How original. And I bet there is lots of killing people when they make each other mad. Wow, how ground breakin
  • Have been done in Japan looooooong before the U.S. release of "Cooking Mama".

    In Japan just about ANY aspect of life has been explored in a game. From graduating high school to bathroom functions to driving a train.

    It really makes me wonder why there's so little creativity in the U.S. gaming market. The Sims touches broadly on lots of things, but it doesn't give you an in-depth simulation of anything.

    I wish I could somehow zap the world's population with instant Japanese language skills, so everyone would be

We will have solar energy as soon as the utility companies solve one technical problem -- how to run a sunbeam through a meter.

Working...