Schafer: Games need to deal with new subjects

Written by Joe Martin

June 18, 2009 | 13:20

Tags: #brutal-legend #romance #schafer

Companies: #double-fine

Tim Schafer, the designer behind Grim Fandango and Brutal Legend, has said that if developers want games to be taken as seriously as other formats like film and TV then they need to look at broaching new subject matter in their games.

Speaking with, Schafer acknowledged that games are slowly getting out of the usual sci-fi and fantasy subjects, but says that the medium has a long way to go if developers want to attract the same attention and recognition as other formats.

"I think it's a subject matter barrier. Not everybody wants to get into these super violent worlds and yet here I am making a game about broad axes and decapitation," he said. "But I think humour would get more people into games."

"It's getting better, it used to be that the games industry had a short list of inspirations. You had Tolkien-esque fantasy, Star Wars, and then new things get added. I think GTA brought a whole new level of inspiration. And I think the broader that gets, the more people will be interested in games," he continued.

"If you look at movies, they deal with everything about life. They deal with all aspects of life: romance, comedy, serious dramas. And games are mostly limited to the summer action blockbuster. They haven't really gone outside of that. But I think they will, and hopefully they will soon, or else people will be solidified in their view of games. Their expectations are set."

Personally, we agree - it's the games that push the envelope and try to broach new, intelligent themes or settings that usually succeed in capturing our imagination. Schafer's own Grim Fandango is a fantastic example.

Are we alone in wanting to see more games about romance and life-issues? Let us know in the forums and check out our latest preview of Schafer's latest game, Brutal Legend for more info.
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