The following lecture by media-scientist Jesper Jules was part of Conference on Videogames on the Art History of Games in Atlanta earlier this year. In this academic talk he describes how games designers always tried to find the essential form of a game from the 1980 until now. And every statement on how the essential game looks like, has been driven also by an urge to protect the "perfect form" from other influences. Naturally most of the thinking in the past has proved wrong - but nevertheless every ar has driven the industry forward.
On his Blog Jesper Jules writes:
My talk is more of a meta-manifesto, where I say that although we are faced with the weight of history, and although history warns us against making sweeping statements about the properties of an art form, and although there is a current of thought that warns us against definitions and media essentialism, we nevertheless have to continue to make strong claims about our art form of choice, video games. The bold claims, though often proven wrong, drive us forward. We must dare to be wrong. We must continue making bold statements about video games, knowing that they can be wrong, and we must try to make statements that are so strong that they can be wrong.
I like diving into "Game Studies" for two reasons:
In my opinion Video Games are the leading medium of the 21th century. They combine technology and experiences in a very engaging and entertaining way. A are played by a lot of people. Therefore I look at games as a leading cultural training ground for future media behaviour. For example I learned to use a navigation device in GTA and not in a car. So my bold statement is: If you become an expert in Games, you understand what people are doing with media tomorrow.
Secondly on a meta level his talk reminds me, to look at bold statements with a critical mind. There are a lot of discussions how media or marketings works in the future. And there are also a lot of bold statements on the essential form of an Ad. Perhaps if we consider our own chance of "wrongness" we a will be able to adopt more quickly to change.