Saturday, 17 January 2009


1. • Creativity is defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others. (page 396)
• Three reasons why people are motivated to be creative: 1. need for novel, varied, and complex stimulation 2. need to communicate ideas and values 3. need to solve problems (page 396)
- Human Motivation, 3rd ed, Robert E. Franken.

I like the ideas presented in this article, particularly that creativity is not limited to the arts; instead it is a requirement for everything we do that needs independent thinking. Problem solving of any kind requires creativity, I see it as the formulation of ideas which is necessary for an intelligent individual. And since all of us humans are intelligent, as well as some animals, we are all creative. I think it’s sensible to gauge a person’s creativity by how much of that energy is put into use. Using arts as an example, a productive person who fills a sketchbook a month will be said to be more creative than someone who keeps their ideas in their head, but doesn’t act on them. Objectively, I think its fair, because we can’t see inside the heads of others. Their own ideas have to be expressed, creative ideas in the form of drawing/fine art, music, poetry/prose if the individual is interested in those things. Equally, science and mathematics both require creativity to progress. It’s a part of the brain we’re born with in order for us to live, e.g. attaching sharp rocks to sticks to make tools is a creative process. So in answer to the questions in the task description, everyone on a team must be creative individuals, moreso than the average person because their own creative skills are essential to their job and success.

When creativity manifests itself visually, it is usually linked with ideas that seem original in comparison to the rest. Something that is plagiarised has a less creative process to it than an idea that has been fully developed and researched, despite the technical skill. Although it’s fair to argue that nothing is original any more, I don’t think there is a limit to ideas which are different from anything that has been done before. It’s just harder to get to that level. In my opinion, an idea which consists of both research and imagination is extremely creative even if it’s been done before, as it’s very unlikely the two will be that similar, as long as the idea has been refined by the creators own unique imagination, to avoid cliché.

Creativity in games, is something you feel when you get excited about playing, or you notice many things in the game which stand out to you as being interesting, as well as the overall ambiance of the game. From there you can try and guess the creative process of the artist, as however loosely, ideas are based on something real, that is, your own experiences. Some companies I think are particularly visually creative are
Monolith, Atlus, and Oddworld Inhabitants. I’ve always been fond of Devil May Cry’s Bosch-inspired architecture and environments, fused with modern day cityscapes.

If it’s been done before and if I’m just being ignorant please tell me, but I’d really like to see a game with graphics in a more painterly style [I know of Ookami, though I’ve never got to play it]. Kind of like what Toei did with the Mononoke tv series, which is basically a moving Ukiyo-e, or A Country Doctor by Koji Yamamura, based on Franz Kafka’s short story. Imperfect, hand-drawn images work so well with animation I don’t see why it’s not the same with games. Perhaps the games industry thinks it looks pretentious? I hope not. I think many of their artists will start to come from a background more rooted in fine art with an understanding of periods and leading artists in history, who are more critically aware in general, like on our course where we’re shown films and learn about genre and movements. I love it.

As an artist, you show your creativity by the process that leads up to your results. Explaining that process is helpful sometimes, but usually visual development does not need much annotation, in my experience. When having your work acknowledged, having the technical skill to back up your ideas seems to be important. As long as the progress of your ideas is interesting and easy to follow I’d hope that it would be acknowledged. Some kind of instant appeal that makes an impression like stylised images or bold colour can make work more memorable. But I’m being really vague here.

This essay is quite an interesting break down of the components behind creativity; the un/importance of talent or ‘gift’ has always interested me particularly.

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