Professor Henry Jenkins was recently the guest speaker in an Electronic Arts workshop designed to encourage and foster creative thinking within the company. Fast Company reports:
This past September, the guest speaker was Henry Jenkins, a director of the comparative media-studies program at MIT and a passionate gamer. Imagine the motion-picture industry in its infancy, when it had been around for only 25 years, he told the group. “That’s where you are now,” said Jenkins. “Video games will be the most important American art form for the 21st century.”
The challenge for EA’s game creators is figuring out how to build an industry and how to create lasting art. In a previous workshop, Jenkins talked about narrative structure, character development, and memorable moments in Homer, Shakespeare, Dickens, and Poe. “What can you put in a game that will endure?” he asked.
Over two days at the Vancouver studio, EA’s creative leaders pondered these and other issues. The nature of fandom. The propensity of rule breaking and how designers might encourage this to enhance a game. And the importance of leaving space in a game for imagination, or the “meta game.” Meaning that the game continues in the player’s mind even when the console is switched off.