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Ex-Sony Boss Shawn Layden Says Games Should Be Classified By How They "Make You Feel"

kingfey

Banned
It's not about what you're pressing, but more about what you're feeling.


Video games being described by common genre tropes or core mechanics is holding the industry back, believes Shawn Layden. Former Sony Interactive Entertainment America CEO thinks it’s better to classify games by how they actually make you feel rather than by the buttons you press.

“One of the blockers we have in the video game business is that we continue to describe our content by its core mechanic. That’s a shooting game. That’s a racing game,” explains Layden. The far better approach, in his opinion, might be just to tell the audience what exact emotions this or that game will offer to you.

Layden’s point is that some projects will lighten your day or make you laugh, whereas some will make you feel a bit more grim, like The Last of Us Part 2. While stories like those found in Spider-Man: Miles Morales may make us feel a bit more hopeful/



“We need to begin to describe our titles, our intellectual property, our creative output, more in the context of how it’s going to make you feel,” the ex-Sony boss says. However, Layden does not propose completely abandoning the usual genre classifications for games. He just notes that it does not necessarily have to be limited to boundaries drawn by gameplay mechanics. “We need to look at it more holistically rather than just the execution of a button press.”

Recently, Shawn Layde also shared his thoughts on gaming subscription services like Xbox Game Pass in a world of ever-growing video game development costs. He believes the approach is simply unsustainable for blockbuster releases — the main drivers of PlayStation Studios today.
 

IFireflyl

Gold Member
"Halo isn't a shooter. It's an inspiring epic that makes me feel like a man when I play it."
-14 year old girl


Feelings are EXTREMELY subjective. How could you possibly know how the game makes me feel, and vice versa? And how would that be a more accurate description that actual genres like "shooter", "jrpg", et cetera?
 
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YukiOnna

Member
"Halo isn't a shooter. It's an inspiring epic that makes me feel like a man when I play it."
-14 year old girl


Feelings are EXTREMELY subjective. How could you possibly know how the game makes me feel, and vice versa? And how would that be a more accurate description that actual genres like "shooter", "jrpg", et cetera?
Halo - I will t-bag your ass

Is an accurate description. Halo veteran btw
 

Pull n Pray

Banned
This guy has a lot of bad takes recently. I assume his new company will soon sell us solutions to all the problems he is finding in the industry?

There is nothing wrong with classifying games by mechanics. Now, we can add to that additional tags based on emotions evoked. That would be great. But that isn't going to apply to a lot of games. Sometimes games present challenge and mental stimulation but don't make you feel any particular emotion (except for frustration when you fail, which is part of almost all games).
 

Varteras

Gold Member
More and more Shawn is starting to sound like that crazy cousin you didn't know was crazy when he was around. Now you're hearing about wild things he's said and done and you're glad he didn't stick around to bring that shit directly into your life.
 

ZehDon

Member
… right.

“I’m looking for a good turn based strategy game, what do you have for me?”

“This game right here will make you feel gut wrenching emotions with a story filled with inspired social commentary and deep political questions that stab to the heart of racial and capitalistic inequality in modern America.”

“… ok, but is it a turn based strategy game?”

“Sir/madam, that question is oppressive, please leave.”
 

Orion2

Banned
yeah I've been saying this for the longest. the terms "video game", "boss", "level" are outdated, I see people criticize Arkham Knight for not having boss fights, final bosses levels etc., and many other games the same, those people don't get the point of those games, games are not living and dying by bosses anymore, they are living breathing worlds now, you're stuck in the past with a dead mentality

for me, I call them Interactive Experiences, and I don't give a fuck about bosses in games and stuff like that

I think titles like God Of War are held back by old school outdated mechanics like retrying, dying, health, it should be a seamless experience even more than it is with the one cut camera

Imagine trying to find a game at Toys R Us as a kid and they section games based on feelings.

Jim Ryan defeated a jester.
that's the point, the gaming industry is above toys are fucking us dead stores, so we need better presentation
nobody is going to kids stores to buy games anymore, you just go to the playstation store, digital has almost taken over
 
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Kagey K

Member
Is there a dumber section?

Because that's the way I feel after reading his interviews.

First he says 500 Million gamers are needed to make a subscription service feasible and now this.

Seems to have lost the plot.
 
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RCU005

Member
I get why he’s saying. The quality is what makes you play a game, and the feelings you get are what makes it good (or bad).

However, companies want you to play it, so they still need to focus on the quality.
 
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Kagey K

Member
I get why he’s saying. The quality is what makes you play a game, and the feelings you get are what makes it good (or bad).

However, companies want you to play it, so they still need to focus on the quality.
I always thought the gameplay is what makes a game good or bad.

The rest is nonsense that surrounds it.
 

Kagey K

Member
Why?

Humans are so obsessed with having MORE categories. Does it make the games better?
When I was a kid (old man alert) we were all about not being pigeonholed into boxes and we didn't want to be tied to labels, now it seems to be en vogue to get a checkmark beside all the boxes you can.

It makes no sense to me. Why let other people label you? Or label yourself to fit others standards?
 

RCU005

Member
I always thought the gameplay is what makes a game good or bad.

The rest is nonsense that surrounds it.

Well, yes, but why do you like the gameplay? Because of what makes you feel. I mean, if we get philosophical here, it's the feelings you have when doing something that makes you decide whether it's good or bad right?
 
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lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
No wonder he got kicked out from SIE.

Speaking about feelings, what about weebo games?
 

Kagey K

Member
Well, yes, but why do you like the gameplay? Because of what makes you feel. I mean, if we get philosophical here, it's the feelings you have when doing something that makes you decide whether it's good or bad right?
Fun.

It doesn't matter if it's an RPG, FPS, TPS, or Sports game.

I play them for fun.

So he wants games labeled as to how they make you feel, but the feeling is fun?

🤪

It's obvious he's talking about plot and story, not gameplay.

I guess the other feeling most people get is guilt for buying a game but not finishing it because they don't enjoy the gameplay.
 

Kagey K

Member
What does he think horror, action, adventure games are describing?
He seems to think they are making Oscar caliber stories, with some nuisance gameplay tacked on to make it interactive.

That bullshit is not the reason people play games, and the stories are mostly laughed at by the book and movie communities.

But he's too far up his own ass to see that.
 

ZywyPL

Gold Member
Poor guy, he's mind is trapped in Cinematic Story-Driven Experience™, no wonder Sony's library became so shallow under his command.
 

Dr Bass

Member
He seems to think they are making Oscar caliber stories, with some nuisance gameplay tacked on to make it interactive.

That bullshit is not the reason people play games, and the stories are mostly laughed at by the book and movie communities.

But he's too far up his own ass to see that.
Reminds me a little of the "Gaming's Citizen Kane moment" quote that was repeated far too often when The Last of Us first released.

I guarantee the people that unironically stated this have no idea why Citizen Kane is heralded the way it is, and have possibly never even seen it.

I have to agree with him on one thing. My favorite games ARE the ones that have made me "feel" something whether it was a sense of adventure or exploration, or maybe even some form of accomplishment.

But it's impossible to classify games that way since everyone will have a subjective take on what a game has to offer. One man's garbage is another man's gold.

Using this metric, I wonder if Sony would categorize TLoU2 as a game where the fans have a feeling of "being royally pissed off"?
 
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Kagey K

Member
Reminds me a little of the "Gaming's Citizen Kane moment" quote that was repeated far too often when The Last of Us first released.

I guarantee the people that unironically stated this have no idea why Citizen Kane is heralded the way it is, and have possibly never even seen it.

I have to agree with him on one thing. My favorite games ARE the ones that have made me "feel" something whether it was a sense of adventure or exploration, or maybe even some form of accomplishment.

But it's impossible to classify games that way since everyone will have a subjective take on what a game has to offer. One man's garbage is another man's gold.

Using this metric, I wonder if Sony would categorize TLoU2 as a game where the fans have a feeling of "being royally pissed off"?
I would say that they would defend it as it was meant to upset people, and call it a job well done, even if people were upset for the wrong reasons.

The thing about feeling good for exploring or finding stuff is that it's near impossible in this day and age, with youtube walk through and spoilers everywhere.

There's no room for exploration or discovering secrets when they are all a Google search away.

I don't use them but have a few friends that try for about 30 seconds before resorting to them.

I personally feel like it robs you of the experience, but they give no shits.
 

Dr Bass

Member
I would say that they would defend it as it was meant to upset people, and call it a job well done, even if people were upset for the wrong reasons.

The thing about feeling good for exploring or finding stuff is that it's near impossible in this day and age, with youtube walk through and spoilers everywhere.

There's no room for exploration or discovering secrets when they are all a Google search away.

I don't use them but have a few friends that try for about 30 seconds before resorting to them.

I personally feel like it robs you of the experience, but they give no shits.
I see what you did there. :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 

Blond

Banned
Everyone’s here tripping over nothing but all I know is Jet Set Radio Future is a whole ass vibe that hasn’t been replicated.
 

Kagey K

Member
Everyone’s here tripping over nothing but all I know is Jet Set Radio Future is a whole ass vibe that hasn’t been replicated.
How would you say it makes you feel?

Funky?

So does that section just include JSR and Toejam and Earl?

Or does it make them feel the bad Funky (like gross) and how do you tell the difference?
 

Blond

Banned
How would you say it makes you feel?

Funky?

So does that section just include JSR and Toejam and Earl?

Or does it make them feel the bad Funky (like gross) and how do you tell the difference?
I’d say Parappa, Space Channel 5, Rez and Guilty Gear fit that space
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
How this game should be classified, Shawn?



Corporate suits just care about profit and self promotion.
Screw that guy.
 

Chukhopops

Member
What a dumb take, what if the game actually has player agency and how it makes you feel is based on your choices? Not an issue for Sony games but this classification wouldn’t work for good storytelling.
 
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