Chiritian Divine談如何通過遊戲表達自己的觀點

本文原作者:Jem Alexander 譯者ciel chen

現在遊戲已經變得越來越多樣化了,而且總有更多新的遊戲在不斷地出現。Jem Alexander同《生活真奇妙》開發者Chrisitian Divine聊了對遊戲作爲一種表達方式的看法。

遊戲表現方式的多樣性往往有不可思議的重要性。多虧了遊戲產業現在對不用種族、不同性別、不同性向和不同文化擁有寬廣的包容度——《生活真奇妙》就是一款能夠高度體現這點的遊戲,不僅如此,其中還有大量不同的人物和你想象不到能在遊戲裏接觸到的感人事件。

Life is Strange(from develop online)

Life is Strange(from develop online)

《生活真奇妙(Life is Strange)》開發者Chiritian Divine說道:“我從90年代就開始做遊戲編程了,所以我曾在遊戲的發展史見過非常酷的遊戲視角,不過也侷限性也比較大。那時是以男性爲中心的遊戲視角,不過我知道那只是暫時的,因爲遊戲這個行業還很年輕,它正經歷着電影行業在60年代曾經經歷過的過渡期——所有的開發代碼都在改變,遊戲中有了更多的成人內容。我想遊戲就跟其他藝術形式一樣,它會發展到讓需要表達自己的人們能通過遊戲映射出自己的看法觀點。”

“我覺得能把不同的觀點表達出來,讓人們覺得遊戲跟大衆的生活聯繫密切是非常重要的,我想這也正是《生活真奇妙》能如此成功的原因。讓人覺得有趣開心的是——它讓來自不同國家、不同種族、不同性別和文化背景人們能在這個遊戲中感到彼此被關聯在一起了。”

希望《生活真奇妙》收到的熱情好評能夠讓開發者和發行商對遊戲的多樣性前景少一些風險擔憂。“不只是《生活真奇妙》,現在還有很多其他的這類遊戲。”Divine說:“像《Gone Home》和《Virginia》都是該類型遊戲,這些新型遊戲都在涉及着不同領域的問題與事件,並且我希望能有更多不同業界的人蔘與到這類遊戲的多樣性擴展開發中來。現在在這個遊戲行業的全新領域裏將有更多新領域的人蔘與進來。”

隨着經驗豐富的各行各業的有志之士加入到開發者行列中來,他們爲遊戲的進一步發展提供了故事情節、人物角色、背景設定。對於Christian Divine來說,這樣的發展還帶來了不同的遊戲表達方式。“我把我自己的想法注入到遊戲中,以David Madsen這個角色體現出來。我的父親曾經當過兵,而我在軍營里長大,所以對身爲軍人的父親角色有種緊密相連的感覺。我有一點很重要的就是去保證David不要成爲一個典型老套的患有PTSD(創傷後應激障礙)的退伍老兵角色。“我是有殘疾的,因此對我來說以一種有尊嚴而不自傲的感覺來表現出殘疾這個特點是非常重要的。”

“我所說的只能代表我個人,我無法深入地瞭解每個人對於自己是殘疾人這件事會有怎樣的看法,但是當Chloe以坐在輪椅上的形象出現的時候,我們是希望讓玩家能通過熟悉這些在社交及身體上有缺陷的人,從而去體諒理解他們,我們希望人們能對他們抱有平等的而態度。如果玩家熟悉不來的話,至少我們能讓他們察覺殘疾是一些人必須面對的挑戰,而這種挑戰是人們之前不曾考慮過的。我們要讓他們熟悉這個想法,就跟熟悉人們會去洗手間,會出門或者會去咖啡店一樣。”

正如Divine所說,就算是在一個少數羣體裏,每個人的經歷相互之間也都是完全不同的。你無法從一個單一角度來理解每個人的故事,但這也就是這個行業裏之所以需要有各種各樣創作者的原因——因爲他們可以爲遊戲講述自己的故事。當你作爲一個少數羣體成員把自己的經歷投影在遊戲裏的時候,這種影響力實際上是非常大的(時常被低估)。

儘管Chiritian Divine還不需要用到輪椅來行走,但他的殘疾讓他感受到了那些需要用到輪椅的人們所做的掙扎。“從Chloe角度的殘疾來看,我是天生只有一隻手,這不需要用到輪椅,所以我的參照系完全不一樣。但我知道在輪椅上人們的感受,我可以理解到他們在經受着怎樣的阻礙。我能做到感同身受。我認爲這種感同身受是作爲一名作家應該具備的特質。”

這種身爲作家的通感在刻畫角色的真實性時尤其重要,因爲只有這樣才能讓玩家也用他們自己的同情與通感來進行迴應。來自世界各地的人都深深地喜歡上了Max和Chloe這兩個角色,而這正也確實證實了Divine創造這些可愛人類角色的能力。

“你讓自己設身處地地想:‘好吧,如果我殘疾了得用輪椅,那我去洗手間的話都要怎麼辦?’這跟簡單的起牀然後走進另外一個房間完全是兩碼事——然後你就進入了即興反覆想象中了。從Chloe的角度來看,這個遊戲就是關於這些內容以及在Chloe的處境下被區別對待從而被排擠時的所思所感的討論。”

“我覺得殘疾人是這個世界上人員最多的少數羣體,然而這個羣體的紐帶不是文化、性別、種族或者其他任何。站出來爲殘疾人講話的人很少,因爲對於這個羣體只從一個角度來說是不行的,它們是無法光從文化、性別的角度觀點就能說清楚的。而我卻能夠把我所看過的殘疾人經歷和我(作爲殘疾人)被人對待的方式投射在遊戲人物上,通過這些角色來爲殘疾人發出一些聲音。”

“這些經歷不只是殘疾人的,還有有色人種、女性、變性人或者其他任何少數羣體都有着各自的悲慘遭遇。只要你跟主流人羣不一樣,你就要被區別對待。不過即便他們對自己的障礙什麼也不說,我相信來自全國各地的人們最後都能理解他們。”

所以要怎樣把非白人角色、異性戀角色、男性等角色最好地結合起來放到遊戲裏呢?簡單地說,就是要有根據性和敏感性。

“不要讓情緒的表達過與簡單和張揚。別讓Chloe的人設成爲‘輪椅上的悽慘世界’,因爲那都不是這些處境的人的自我感受。”我也認識一些生活精彩、精力充沛的人們。但他們也不過是人類而已——就像我可以是殘疾人但我照樣也能是個混蛋。

“作爲一名作家你就會想展現出你刻畫的人物的方方面面。你會不希望人只有英勇的一面或者只有討厭的一面。要把他們當做人類來創作。”

“即使有人一開始不喜歡David Madsen,但最後很多玩家都喜歡上了這個角色,這是我喜聞樂見的事實。當然也有人始終對他沒愛,這也無可厚非。因爲這個遊戲最棒的地方就在於他能帶給每個玩家不同的認知看法,這些不同是基於每個玩家的通感或同情或憤怒或其他的情緒所產生的。”

“不過最主要的還是不要讓情緒表達過於迸發。不要把自己推到作者的高度來用簡單的方式來解決複雜的現實問題,不要在一些很老套熟知的反應和情節上浪費時間,試着超越這些套路。”至於應該什麼時候採用這些人物和主題?答案是什麼時候都可以。人們將在你的遊戲的幫助下渡過自我認識的艱難時期,或在遊戲人物身上找到深度共鳴感,從而更好地看清自己,變得更加堅強。無論是哪種方法,你都將對那些基本不被包容的羣體建立起連接的橋樑。

Divine稱:“表達真的非常的重要。這個世界如此之大,而它不會只表達出一種觀點。《生活真奇妙》裏不會有也沒想着要有所有的答案。不過要記住遊戲中真正重要的是——要有能力去表達不同的觀點、不同的文化、不同的表現。”

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

Diverse representation in games is incredibly important. Thankfully the games industry is at the point now where the inclusion of different races, genders, sexualities and cultures is becoming more and more commonplace. One title which excelled at this was Life Is Strange which, as well as having a wide variety of characters, touched on some issues that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a game.

“I’ve been writing for games since the 90s,” says Life Is Strange’s writer, Christian Divine. “So I’ve seen the arc of game development history turn away from a very cool point of view, but also very limited. It was a male-centric point of view, but I knew things would change because gaming is a very young medium. We’re at a point where the film industry was, say in the 60s, when all production code changed and you could have nudity and violence and cursing and all of these more adult issues. I think that with gaming, it’s like any other kind of art, it’s got to develop and get to a point where all people that need to be represented can start feeling like gaming reflects their point of view.

“It’s important to show these different points of view and to make people feel like the games are representing a wide swathe of the public, and I think that’s why Life Is Strange was so successful. What was so pleasing and interesting is how people around the world, across race and gender and culture, seemed to embrace the game and feel a connection.”

Hopefully the warm reception that Life Is Strange received will make diversity in games less of a risky prospect for devs and publishers. “So many games are doing this now, it’s not just Life Is Strange,” says Divine. “Gone Home and Virginia, for example. All these new games coming out are now touching upon all of these different issues and I expect there to be even more variety based on how many more people will be developing games. Now you have a whole new area, a whole new level of people entering the game world.”

With this variety of developers comes a wealth of experience which can inform stories, characters and settings for games moving forward. For Christian Divine, this came in some important forms. “I brought my own point of view to the game in terms of David Madsen,” he says. “My dad served in the military and I grew up on military bases, so I have a direct connection to having a military man for a father. One thing that was important to me was to make sure that David wasn’t the typical cliche?, angry PTSD veteran. “I’m partially disabled so it was also very important to me to represent disability in a way that’s not condescending.

You have to represent, you just have to

Christian Divine, Writer

“I can only speak for myself, I can’t go into everybody’s point of view of how they are as a disabled person, but certainly when it came to Chloe’s representation in the wheelchair, we wanted to make sure that we were doing justice to people who have these social and physical obstacles and present them in a way that hopefully makes the player relate to them if they’re familiar. And, if they’re not, maybe give them an insight as to the challenges that people have to face. The things that we don’t think about. Just the idea of going to the bathroom, or going to the door or going to a cafe.”

As Divine says, even within a minority group, one person’s experience may be completely different to another’s. It’s impossible to get across everyone’s story from a single viewpoint, but that’s why it’s important to have a variety of diverse creators involved in the industry. So people are able to tell their own stories. It’s so easy to underestimate the impact of seeing yourself reflected in your favourite games as a member of a minority group.

But even though Christian Divine doesn’t need a wheelchair to walk, his own disability makes him cognisant to the struggles of those who do. “In terms of Chloe’s disability, I was born with one hand,” he explains. “It’s not being in a wheelchair, so I have a totally different frame of reference. I know people in wheelchairs, to the degree that I can understand what obstacles they go through. I’m empathetic. As a writer I think you need to be empathetic.”

This empathy as a writer is really the most important thing when it comes to drawing your characters as real people, in a way that will get players to react to them with their own sympathy and empathy. People all over the world fell in love with Max and Chloe and that’s a testament to Divine’s ability to create loveable, human characters.

“You put yourself in the point of view: ‘okay, if I was in a wheelchair and I had to use a restroom, what does that involve?’ That’s not just getting up and walking into another room, that’s a whole other issue. And so you have to riff off that. In terms of Chloe it’s talking about these issues and how Chloe feels abandoned by people because of her condition and she’s treated differently.

“I feel like people who are disabled are the biggest minority in the world, but it’s a minority that’s not bound by culture or gender or race or anything. There’s fewer people who speak out for the disabled, because it doesn’t just represent one point of view. It’s not a cultural point of view, it’s not a gender point of view. I was able to bring something of that to the character in terms of how I have seen people with disabilities treated and how I have been treated.

“It’s not just disabled people, if you’re a person of colour, if you’re a woman, if you’re trans, anything. If you’re different from the group, you’re going to be treated differently. And I think we all understand in the end, people all around the world, even if they don’t share these obstacles, they understand them.”

So what’s the best way to integrate non-white, straight, male, etc. characters into your work? In short, do it for a reason and with sensitivity.

“Don’t be exploitive. Don’t try to go for the easy emotion. Don’t try to paint Chloe as ‘woe is me, I’m in a wheelchair’, because that’s not necessarily how people in these situations perceive themselves. I know dynamic individuals who live really amazing lives. But they’re also people. They’re just people. I can be disabled and still be an asshole.

“As a writer you want to present all aspects of that personality. You don’t want people to be heroic only, or only bad. Just make them human.

“Even if you don’t like David Madsen at first, I love the fact that many players grow to really love him. And some people don’t love him at all and that’s totally valid too. That’s what’s fascinating about the game, everybody brings their own point of view and the outcome is based on their own empathy or sympathy or anger, or whatever the emotion.

“But the main thing is just not to be exploitive. Not to go for the very simple solution to complex realities and to push yourself as a writer, to go beyond what would be the obvious response or obvious scenario.” As for when these characters and themes should be included? There’s never a wrong time. People will see themselves in your games and will be stronger for it. It could help them through a tough time of self-realisation, or simply be a character who resonates with them on a deeper level. Either way, you’re connecting with people who may not experience inclusion on a regular basis.

“You have to represent, you just have to,” Divine states. “The world is a big place and it doesn’t just represent one point of view. Life Is Strange doesn’t have all the answers, nor is it intended to, but the fact that we were able to present different points of view, different representations, cultures, it’s really important in games.” (source:develop online