Auteurs of the gaming industry
An Editorial about the creative directors of the industry and their influence on the final product
Posted by Peter Ingham (Nechrol) on Feb 5, 2011 - 4:07pm EST (Feb 5, 2011 16:07)
What is an auteur? For those of you who know, bravo, you are now on the list of people who get to go on the spaceship before the meteor hits. For those that don’t know, you now have the pleasure of watching a flaming orange the size of a football field come hurtling towards you from space. I however will be in spaceship with an army of virile young women in an attempt to repopulate the human race. If only you’d known…
But seriously, I remember first hearing the word in a lecture hall as a guy with a beret sat next to me nodding along so heartily it was as if his neck was on a spring.
I’m probably correct in guessing that the word ‘Auteur’ doesn’t really get thrown about in the realm of video game design. The dictionary defines it as: “A director whose creative influence on a film is so great as to be considered its author”
Yes, it’s film terminology but when thinking about it, it has just as much relevance in the games industry.
You could describe a director like Tim Burton as an auteur because visually/thematically his films are very unique. That’s probably the most understandable and relevant example of film that I can be bothered thinking about.
Although, while the term can be used for individuals in the industry it’s not entirely the same process in which both mediums are created. Movies are kind of like a dictatorship, you have Lenin or Castro at the top munching a cigar while the rest of the crew (the proletariat) run about doing his bidding. Sure, maybe he’ll listen to your suggestions and nod from time to time promising to take on your ideas but ultimately he’s where the buck stops.
In games, you have your dictators (more about them in a minute) but mostly the process is more akin to a democracy. You will have directors and lead designers et cetera but it’s not like they are so focused on their own plan that they consider everyone else in the team a projection of the matrix. Though to be sure this is real punch the next person you encounter.