原作者：Nathalie Lawhead 译者：Willow Wu
我的游戏Everything is going to be Ok在Double Fine的Day of the Devs上展出了！这个在旧金山举办的独立开发者活动是展示产品的绝佳场所。这可能是除E3以外的第一次，Everything is going to be OK跟这么多玩家见面。但是这些玩家对艺术游戏以及相关的话题并没有什么了解。他们期望的就是那种大众游戏，给你个任务目标，使用魔法，或者其它什么的常见设定。
但是我的游戏并不是那样的。Everything is going to be OK是一本互动式电子杂志，主题是创伤、创伤后应激障碍（PTSD）以及在困境中的挣扎与生存。它是一种以游戏为载体的交互式艺术，也是我传达信息的媒介，它跟传统意义上的游戏有很大不同。但不幸的是，从我在Day of the Devs的经历来看，大众对于alt-games（另类/猎奇游戏，用非常抽象的方式表达创作者的艺术理念）越来越排斥了。就这个现象来说，我认为YouTubers难辞其咎。
Day of the Devs上发生了什么
在继续写下去之前我想先澄清一点：我对Double Fine以及Day of the Devs没有任何恶意。我喜欢他们，也喜欢这个展会。能够参加Day of the Devs令我倍感荣幸，但它可能不太适合我这样的创作者和Everything is going to be OK这样的“游戏”。
一大早的时候，展会大门开了，人群快速涌进会场，这种场景真的是挺震撼的。来看Everything is going to be OK的人分为两种：一种是真的非常喜欢这个游戏，另一种是完全不懂这个游戏，这是意料之中的。大概是下午两点，有的人带着孩子来了（青少年居多），然后场面就变得有点火药味了。他们很粗鲁，完全沟通不了，然后事情就发展到无法控制的地步，所以我只能离开了（我懂得，这“游戏”不适合这里）。
它对人们谈论艺术游戏的方式产生了负面影响，甚至会对其它具有实验艺术性质的交互性产品造成打击。大叫“what the fuck”、讲一些低级笑话并不是普及alt-games的正确态度。
我的想法是如果这类活动没法正确地引导人们接触alt-games，那么主办方最好不要让alt-games参展。我很抱歉这么说，我很感谢主办方给了Everything is going to be OK一个机会，能够在Day of the Devs展出，我也感到很荣幸。但是创作者们真的会在展上遇到很多难以忍受的糟心事。Alt-games走的不是寻常路，人们对它有抵触情绪。他们认为游戏中不该出现这些东西，这些游戏应该直接销毁。
IndieCade就做得非常好（仅仅是基于我个人的经历，我已经参展过好几次了）。我之前带着Everything is going to be OK去E3，而且做好了遭人非议的心理准备，但是情况挺好的，人们也许不懂我的游戏，但他们不会对你说些很难听的话。
我觉得吧，如果你是个活动策划人，打算把这类游戏展示给普通消费者看，你得事先给他们打个预防针。展示环境必须要有所不同，这块地方要给人的感觉是“这里展出的是艺术作品，不是传统意义上的游戏！”，你得让那些参观者抱着开放的心态，促使他们对作品、对开发者们保持尊重。再强调一下，我真的不是在贬低Day of the Devs，这只是我的所见所闻。
我超级喜欢Klondike几年前在Screenshake大会上的布置：他们建了一个房间，暗乎乎的，有很多豆袋椅子，人们都在笔记本电脑上玩游戏，给人非常休闲的感觉，而且非常安静。人们都用耳语交谈，但实际上主办方并没有要求大家这样做。他们告诉我大家不是刻意这样做的，但就是下意识地降低了音量。我并不是说Day of the Devs这样的活动也应该鼓励人们用耳语交谈，我想表达的是Klondike/Screenshake所创造的这种环境能对参观的人有所影响，它以一种特殊而有效的方式引导人们做出正面、积极的行为。这或许不是最好的例子，但至少能够平息我心中的怒火。
My game “Everything is going to be OK” was included in Double Fine’s Day of the Devs. Yay! I’m happy to get publicity for my game, and Double Fine’s public event for indie developers in San Francisco looked like a great place for that. This is probably the first time, outside of E3, that this game was shown to a more consumer based “gamer” crowd. People without knowledge of art games or the discourse around them. Basically, people expecting game-games, with goals, and magic circles, and in some way or another keeping up with the standards of game design. …
But my game, “Everything is going to be OK,” isn’t that sort of experience. It’s an interactive zine based on abstract life experiences about trauma, PTSD, and surviving difficult situations. By definition it’s interactive art that uses the game format as a way to convey these messages. It’s not necessarily a game in the traditional sense. Unfortunately, my experience at Day of the Devs indicated that game culture may actually be getting more antagonistic toward alt-games, and YouTubers may be at the heart of it.
What happened at Day of the Devs
I had some interesting experiences at Day of the Devs. It led to me already talking the ear off a friend with my venting, but I feel like it’s important to share these observations. When people ask me how it went I don’t like being critical of an event because I know how much work one involves, but I’ve been very transparent about how it was like working on this “game” so I’ll keep doing that.
The transparency is important to me because I want other creators that set out to make this stuff to be ready for this (it might not happen to you, it might be bad luck on my part, but just know it happens). I would hate to see people leaving alt-games because they had bad experiences, so they decided not to make games anymore. There is a place for our games. We have a right to be here. We just have to work hard on also carving out the space, and understanding, for them.
Before sharing more, I want to make clear that I’m not at all dissing Double Fine. I don’t want to be critical about this event. I love them. I loved the event. It was an honor to be there, but maybe (in retrospect) not that good of a thing for someone like me and the type of “game” this is.
The morning crowd was pretty awesome (press crowd). When the doors opened. the place got crowded really fast. People either really loved my game or didn’t get it, which is expected. Around 2 in the afternoon, when people started to bring their kids — usually teens — things started to get kinda hostile. They were pretty rude, and it got kinda unbearable, so I had to leave the area. I stopped hanging around the booth after that (I mean, I get it. The “game” doesn’t belong).
I occasionally came to make sure they didn’t delete the game from the operating system of the show PC. It wasn’t all like this, but it was enough to be hard.
I point this out because the rude stuff was totally in-line with how streamers and popular YouTubers talk about these games: “What the fuck is this, what the hell, weird-ass game, lol acid, haha who the hell would make this. …” You know, the default slew of mockery. This came mostly from younger people.
The YouTuber problem
It hit me how much influence streamers and YouTubers have on public opinion of these games, and this is really becoming a problem. I mean, I know it was before, but damn. We should start talking about this, and some constructive criticism should exist toward how streamers talk about these games. I feel like this is a kind of pressure that’s building and it’s becoming unbearable.
It’s negatively impacting how people are able to talk about art games, or even be open to these more experimental interactive experiences. Screaming “what the fuck” and all the other standard jokes is not a good predominant attitude to propagate towards these “games,” or their creators.
I think this also damages the medium because experimental creators should not be shunned or ridiculed like this. We have a right to be here too! A lot of thought goes into making these games the way they are. A lot of thought also goes into making them different. Philosophies, planning, putting the art together exactly the way it is, making sure it functions in an unexpected manner. It’s designed to be this. We don’t just throw a bunch of bullshit together and YOLO (although yes, we do that too, ok guilty as charged, but still). This isn’t really a game. It’s art. It matters that it’s different. We want it to be different.
The popular dialogue around these games centers pretty much on the basis that they shouldn’t exist, and if they do they exist to be laughed at. Streaming kinda comes off as a publicly shaming them. It’s not constructive at all.
Running an event for alt-games
My feeling about this event, and showing something that’s “what the hell is this, who would make this, lol acid”, is that maybe if the event can’t host them properly maybe they shouldn’t include games like this. I’m so sorry to say that. I am so grateful that the game was shown there, and I’m honored, but I’m saying this because the creators get a lot of crap for this and this isn’t an easy thing to endure. Alt-games are different, and will be met with hostility. It seems like they represent something too many people believe shouldn’t be in games. They just should not exist.
These games, by their uniqueness, automatically have a target painted on their back. It’s really cool to ridicule them. Games made by women automatically do too.
I feel like some sensitivity, or understanding, that this will happen is necessary.
IndieCade does this so beautifully (speaking only from my experience, having had my work there a few times now). I mean, I was also at E3 with “Everything is going to be OK” and was already bracing for loads of hostility and it didn’t happen. People may not have “gotten” the game, but it wasn’t direct rudeness or hostility.
I feel like, if you’re an event planners showing games like this to a totally consumer-oriented audience, you have to prepare the audience for it. The setting and context has to be differentiated. You have to create a space that basically screams “These Are Art Don’t Expect A Traditional Game!” You have to make some kind of point that people have to be open minded. Create a space that encourages respect. I’m not criticizing the event. These are just my observations after all this.
I really love what Klondike did a few years ago at Screenshake. I may be getting some details wrong because memory, but they set up this room with their games on laptops, and there where bean bags everywhere (very indie), and it was a totally dark loungey area. The atmosphere was really quiet there. Like people actually whispered and they didn’t have to. Nobody told them to whisper. I was told they didn’t intend for people to whisper but that was the outcome. I’m not saying that events like Day of the Devs should encourage whispering (no, stop, that’s the wrong takeaway). I’m saying this because Klondike/Screenshake created an environment that had an outcome. It kind of directed people’s behavior in a positive different way. It might not be the best example, but right now it’s my one comfort-myself-with-this-example example.
My point is that: Wow, streamers and YouTubers have created a steadily growing culture where it’s kosher and a fun pastime to laugh at these types of games.
We should be aware that this is a problem (more than maybe we thought). I don’t know what to do about that. I really would like to encourage some constructive criticism toward Streamers and how they talk about these games. Just because some famous guy with whatever million followers plays it, this isn’t an “honor” or necessarily a good thing. It doesn’t really help sales, or exposure. The last time one did that I got a slew of hateful comments and email. It kind of hit me hard because this is also a personal game, and people will cater their attacks based on what they know I’ve been through.
The way streamers treat these games can be really damaging. It sets a precedent to how other people will be behaving.(source: venturebeat.com )