The PlayStation blog has posted an interview with Fumito Ueda that asks about his upcoming title The Last Guardian as well as they concept of Shadow of the Colossus often being brought up in the argument as games as art.
Concerning the former, he wants people to come away with the impression that they are not playing a pet game so much as an adventure that includes an animal. In a move that reverses the concept of Ico, the little boy also has no real combat prowess, or way to fight, relying on the large animal--something we have seen so far in trailers. However, since you do not have direct control over Trico, the name they are using for the creature right now, this should provide interesting puzzles, much more so than the focus on the action. Then again, as much as I liked Mirror's Edge, here's to hoping they better balance the difficulty curve on a game that does not wish me to be the fighter all the time.
He was also asked some questions about whether or not the enemies we see are actually humans and if there will be combat situations that pose larger threats, but as to be expected, he has no answer for us yet. Trying to imagine what a boss fight in such a game would entail has my mind imagining all sorts of possibilities, particularly if I consider how much fun I had figuring out the tricks and solutions to the colossi.
It is not wholly news that Ueda does not really consider himself an artist, or his games art. During the last GDC he mentioned such, saying he focuses on the entertainment aspect--though he is not opposed to it, he does not wish to elaborate on it much either. During the interview he was pressed a bit more:
SS: Many game journalists -- and even the entry on Wikipedia -- have described Shadow of the Colossus as one of the best examples for video games being an art form. How does that make you feel? Do you agree?
FU: I'm happy about it, I'm flattered. But I wonder what part are they are referring to when they make that comment, that it's art. What part are they looking at? Because I think it's possible to make it even more artistic. But because it's a video game, those possibilities have been subdued somewhat -- it's a game. So I'd be interested to know what part, exactly, they mean when they refer to it as art.
There are games out there that are much more artistic than Shadow of the Colossus. And personally I also believe that it would be possible to make it even more "arty," so to speak.
Asked about the definition of art, he mentions that from his Japanese worldview, it would involve something complex, unique, or something around which you have to wrap your mind, to which the interviewer responds that many considers Colossus such because they often posit and sympathize with the colossi they have destroyed, which is counter to the opening sequences where we are watching someone mourn the death of a beloved one (whatever her relationship to him).
I suppose, in many ways, it may be for the best that we have artists in the industry right now who are not focused on just creating art. His team's games have certainly brought a response out of me, and they have been entertaining.