Before his evening at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, MCV caught up with Tetsuya Mizuguchi to ask him about the way games are changing.
Mizuguchi-san was in town for the Game Masters exhibition at ACMI and also took part in a panel session during the Freeplay Festival, seeing his work as an auteur alongside a vast array of gaming greats.
Looking at all your games alongside one another at the Game Masters exhibition, is there any noticeable shift in their tone over time?
That’s a really tough question. Well, they’re certainly getting higher resolution, with better quality sound and music, and a bigger emphasis on the storytelling.
I think if you compare Rez and Child of Eden, the game mechanics are almost the same, but I try to be much more emotional and organic in Child of Eden. I mean it’s been ten years, and in this ten years, we’ve had many many advances in technology including new sensors like Kinect. So I think the experience is getting much richer, which allows that stronger emotional connection.
Do you think, with the myriad of abstract titles based around the aural / visual experience, there’s room for another title as revolutionary for the genre as Rez was?
I’m not sure. I had the inspiration to do Lumines, which was this puzzle game. I began my career making music videos, and I wanted to be a music video director really badly. But then after 20 years of the music video genre, trying to be creative in that field was really a challenge, to create a new form and a new experience within that space.
I want to combine the music and the visual as an experience, and if I can’t make a music video, what kind of experience can I make?
That was just the beginning, and I think that in the future, there are people making much more high brained, highly textured experiences, who are going into the abstract and much more concrete in a clear, focused way. Then, I think the game is getting the code into the art. The idea will always be valid, even after ten years. I think of the way Kandinsky’s paintings created this experience of music and sound, for example.
I’m expecting that the new colours, new artists, new creators and new talent, who perhaps got some inspiration from my (and other) works. Maybe ten or twenty years later, this new crop of people will be making the great works.
So you’re saying that we’re at a point now then, where the creative force behind videogames is emerging as being more important, where in the late nineties, a lot of it had to do with pushing technological boundaries. What about modes of interaction though? Would you consider motion sensing control methods still nascent?
I think that games are going to go into this invisible state. That means going into the cloud, and into networks.
I think we’ve created, as designers, a thing where I could control the experience. I mean I could do the creative part by myself, and then the players could experience that work as intended. But I think the future will be based around the way that everyone can be a creator. The onus of creativity will shift to the players, and with that the responsibility.
That’s the way the game is changing, from where I see it.
Thank you for your time.
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