David Jaffe: "Video Games and Movies Go Together Like Chocolate And Tuna Fish"

David Jaffe has never been one to muzzle his thoughts, and when he gets riled up about something, he's very quick to take himself to a keyboard and vent his frustrations. He infamously aired his grievances about a review on Joystiq on his public blog, and he was certain that the comments about his DICE session would quickly be filling up with comments like "Jaffe's a fuckin' idiot."

Is he right? While you might not always agree with him, it's always heartening to see someone who is passionate and outspoken about their beliefs, and who have the arguments to back them up. Jaffe readily admits that he got into video games because of the allure of movies and that he wanted to put that type of storytelling into gaming. But he's also quick to point out that it doesn't work, and that developers should not attempt to tell stories or impart philosophies in their games. He also thinks that it is dangerous. Watch his keynote below to find out why.

Highlights include:

  • "Sorry I don't have a PowerPoint slideshow ready, but I've been really busy these last few days defending women."
  • "You just made an old woman orgasm."
  • On telling stories in games: "I think it's a waste of time and resources, and it has stunted the medium of video games."
  • Our industry has the best and most vibrant IP creation in existence today.
  • Games that have been intentionally made with the intent purpose of telling a story or expressing a philosophy: Sometimes these games go off the rails into an area of storytelling and not gameplay. In the beginning of Batman: Arkham City you're chained up and you can't do anything. In that case, we as game developers have lost sight of the gamer mentality of what they brought to the game. It's not a lot of fun to spend $60 bucks and get home and realize that you can't do anything right away.
  • Recommended reading: Reinventing Comics by Scott McCloud
  • A good story is a self-help book. A story in which you can recognize your own humanity and get tools for helping yourself. Rocky, Indiana Jones, these characters have the tenacity of getting back up and trying again. Playing a game is like living life. "How do I get into the store to buy all of the ingredients to bake a cake?"
  • If you watch a movie like Saving Private Ryan with the invasion of Normandy opening scene, you can take in the lessons and the morales of it, but if you imagine yourself on D-Day it's just "How the fuck do I get to that rock? How do I get to the exit?" This is how you think when you're playing a good game. You don't think about the meta-story or the meaning of it all.
  • I was seduced by the glamor of the movies. Those of us that have worked in this industry know that's all bullshit. It's all PR.
  • Executives: You Need To Get A Bullshit Filter. It is so easy to bamboozle you. I can get into a room and pitch a game that's like Breaking Bad + Sons of Anarchy on a Spaceship + Tarantino. "All you can see is the trailer to a movie that doesn't actually exist.".
  • We need to understand the medium and play to the strengths of the medium.

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