I've been thinking about my post of "The Tempest: The Video Game" and my point at the end about how the player could play Prospero and be forced to enslave Caliban as a new way to interpret the themes of the play. There's something much bigger in that idea than I thought at first.
Clint Hocking, an influential game designer, was quoted in the New Yorker in 2011 as saying,
|Clink Hocking's online avatar|
Like my suggestion in my post, he was talking about how the mechanics of the game could enhance the art of the author and designer. However, in a post on his blog he altered this quote ever-so-slightly but importantly to say,
"Finding a way to make the dynamics of play support the creative expression of players—to me that’s the only question that matters."
A lot of the art of theatre comes from actors coming up with new interpretations for characters, or in the subtle differences a certain actor gives to a script by the way they he or she plays it. Why can't it be the same with video games? Taking that same scenario from above, a player could choose to try and avoid enslaving Caliban, or that same player could enslave Caliban the second he/she meets him, before the reasons to enslave him are even clear. Just like an actor or actress, the gamer could "play" Prospero however he/she chooses.
That's good art.