It’s an unfortunate feature of working as both a novelist and a games designer that I end up sitting through a lot of panels, round-tables, conferences, discussions and other exercises in head-nodding where digital people try to get to grips with(对付;处理)storytelling, or where story people try to understand the digital world. (身兼写小说和设计游戏两职，我工作中一个非常不幸的特征是不得不经常置身许多专题会、圆桌会、研讨会、讨论会以及其他摇头晃脑的锻炼场合，在这些场合中，数字人试图解决讲故事的问题，或者讲故事的人试图理解数字世界。)
Both these types of event have their aggravations.(这两类活动都各有其令人恼火之处。) When digital people run workshops or colloquia or jams (there are infinite names for the basic principle of bringing people together in combination with coffee) about storytelling, they often seem not to notice that quite a lot of very clever people have been thinking very hard about stories for, oh, the past 3,000-4,000 years. I’ve heard people suggest that maybe stories have a “pattern” or “structural ordering” that holds together their parts, without apparently realizing that a lot of people have written about this, from Aristotle on.
And let’s not even get on to (听信) the people who say things like “data is a story”, “products are a story”, “your robo-vacuum cleaner has a story to tell you”. No it isn’t, no they’re not, and no – unless artificial intelligence(人工智能)has come on much faster than anticipated(期待)– it doesn’t.
But more aggravating even than this are the forums, summits, breakout sessions and seminars on “digital literature” run by exceedingly(非常，特别地) well-meaning arts people who can talk for hours about what the future might be for storytelling in this new technological age – whether we might produce hyperlinked(超链接的)or interactive(互动的)or multi-stranded novels and poems – without apparently noticing that video games exist. And they don’t just exist! They’re the most lucrative(有利可图的), fastest-growing medium of our age. (电子游戏岂止简单地存在!它们可是这个时代最赚钱，成长最快的媒介!)Your experimental technological literature is already here; it’s the noise you’re trying to get your children to turn down while you pen(用笔写)your thoughts about the future of location-based storytelling.(技术实验性的文学已然在这儿，就是你在梳理基于地点的故事讲述之未来的时候，想方设法让你孩子关小的那些噪音。)
When I bring this up with arts and literary types, I often get the sort of “oh come, come” response that can only emerge (出现)from someone who has no familiarity whatsoever with what video games are, have been, and can be. (当我向那些艺术和文学类的人提起这点时，我得到的反应通常是“噢，别，别”，只有那些对电子游戏的过去，现在和未来毫不知情的人才可能做出这种反应。)“You can’t claim that Grand Theft Auto has literary merit,” they say. Maybe you can – plenty of people have – but no, I wouldn’t cite GTA as fascinating experimental literature any more than I’d cite robo-Godzilla-fighting blockbuster Pacific Rim as an example of avant-garde(先锋派)film-making (it’s fun though).
But are there video games experimenting with more interesting storytelling than any “digital literature” project I’ve seen? Yes, certainly. And if you want to think of yourself as well read, or well cultured, you need to engage with them.(如果你想自己成为一个阅读广泛、文化精深的人，你就需要融入到它们之中。)
To pick just 10 examples from recent years, it’s hard to imagine how you could opine on(对……发表意见)the future of literature without having played the brilliantly characterful and fourth-wall breaking Portal, the sombre(阴郁的)and engrossing(引人入胜的) Papers, Please, or the dazzlingly surreal (超现实的)exploration of the American subconscious, Kentucky Route Zero. Are you interested in discussing experimental “read it in any order” literature(一种文学形式，读者可以从任何地方开始阅读)? Then for goodness’ sake, play the mystery narratives of Her Story and Gone Home and the hilarious and unsettling The Stanley Parable. If you want to talk about how writers can engage with politics, capitalism, or the environmental movement, you’ll be showing your ignorance if you haven’t played Oiligarchy.
Interested in how storytellers can engage with themes of mortality(死亡)? You’ll want Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, or Jason Rohrer’s short, powerful game Passage, or the sublime Journey. Each of these games could – and probably should – be taught in schools to inspire(激励)the next generation of creators.
The problem is that people who like science and technology, and people who like storytelling and the arts have typically been placed in different buildings since about the age of 16. We haven’t been taught how to admire each others’ work, to recognize excellence, or even to know that there is excellence in “the other culture”. There’s a kind of sullen arrogance(自大，傲慢) on both sides, with some people in both camps simply denying that the other knows anything worth listening to. There is a kind of “worthy” arts professional who thinks that knowing nothing about games – like saying “I don’t even own a television!” – is a marker of intellectual superiority.(有一类自诩为“有价值的”艺术专业人员认为，对游戏一无所知，比方说些“我甚至连电视机都没有!”之类的话，就标志着他们在智力上要高人一筹。)
But we can’t afford that kind of thinking any more. Being culturally educated about video games is as important as going to museums or learning about opera. Games often manage to be both great art and an economic powerhouse; we’re doing ourselves and the next generation a disservice (伤害)if we don’t take that seriously.(如果我们不认真对待的话，我们会对自己和下一代造成伤害。)
Get to grips with 对付，解决
Artificial intelligence 人工智能
Opine on 对……发表意见
Do somebody a disservice 对某人造成伤害
1.That may mean that more artificial intelligence companies will start to emerge to meet this challenge.(剑5T3P3)
2.In the late 1970s, the infant mortality rate for the children of illiterate mothers was around 110 deaths per thousand live births. (剑6T4P2)
3. A teacher who continually draws attention to rewards or who hands out high grades for ordinary achievement ends up with uninspired students, Eisenberger holds.
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