Creativity is not a monthly magazine covering all things creative in advertising and design. Creative is not a song by Leon Jackson and is not a book by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi whoever the hell that is. So what the hell is creativity?
Unlike many phenomena in Science, there is no single, authroitative perspective or definition of creativity and no standardized way to measure it. I think it more important to consider our own interpretations of creativity and decide for oursleves, and perhaps using our own creativeness begin to unwrap and more importantly discover. I feel by loosening and broadening our views we can begin to develop our own ideas, and perhaps only by discovering our own creativity can we really concieve meaningful ideas and answers.
So what does creativity mean to me? Firstly i believe that we are all, or can be, creative to a lesser or greater degree if we are given the opportunity. I believe that creativity is the freedom to develop new and imaginative ideas, the freedom to question, to discover and to explore. Creativity must have a purpose, i believe it is a process of bringing these ideas into being, into reality, it requires passion and commitment. It requires courage, we all have ideas but to not act upon them leaves us only imaginative, and it requires risk, we should not be afraid to be wrong or make mistakes, mistakes are only the process of creation.
"Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction". - Pablo Picasso
So where does creativity manifest itself within the world of video games? Who has creativity? The art director? The artist? Programmers?
As i have said i firmly believe that we all as individuals have the capabilities to be creative, but it the games industry as a whole which is either loosing its creativity or possibly just turning a blind eye to the whole creative process. I say this because even as we move forward at a lightning speed within the games industry i feel we are still being held back by some generic pattern that even some of the biggest selling games follow. This problem i believe can be seen not only in the games industry but in any industry. The problem is control, or to put it a better way the lack of it. Like any, the games industry is no longer so much of a passion, it is a business, a business just like any other, not controlled by those who work within the business but by those who dont, and in the end it all comes down to the vast sums of money pumped through it each and every day. Games are no longer made by the individual to be creative, to be bold and unique but to be scrutinized and criticised, to only give the people what they want, nano-machine warriors with gigantic guns, and to make shit loads of money, as, at the end of the day we will still go to the shops and spend upwards of 40quid for FPS after FPS after FPS after driving game after driving game after driving game after FIFA after FIFA after FIFA. And those who own, who run the businesses, the money makers must be rolling with laughter s sure of it, to nobody's surprise the money keeps rolling in.
Now as i have said this isn't the truth with all, and recently we have seen some truly creative games, Little Big Planet for me defines creativity, but playing some of my favourite games, including game of the year Uncharted 2; Among Thieves i cant help but feel that underneath, these games are almost exactly the same as all the other games i've played over the last decade with a mask pulled over, just new characters, new storylines, new settings, new vehicles, new tracks etc is all that set them apart, still the same.
It is perhaps through the miracle of the internet i feel we can be saved and through the ever growing capabilities of our games consoles with interent connectivity, downloadable games through Xbox Live and Playstation Network. Being the owner of a PS3 i have been fortunate enough to have been able to download some truly inspirational games including PAIN, THE LAST GUY and FLOWER, some much lower budget games from much smaller individual development teams which i feel scream excitement and passion and most importantly true originality, creativity! It is from games like these and from the smaller developers that we can put a halt to the games industry from perhaps turning into this corporate 'we dont give a fuck about the outcome as long as it equals money' business that dosn't care about the people just like amny others out there. We have a chance to say "Fuck you!" back and to turn in a new direction, give back to the individual, to truly show love and passion in what is being created like i know myself and my peers show with our own work, especially when money isn't concerened, when we create what we want to show our capabilities, our beliefs, to demonstrate new ideas, originality and to truly discover creativity.