Can games become uncreative?

Bookforum recently made a list of the best books in the emerging remix culture, including a write-up of a book called Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age by Kenneth Goldsmith that speaks to a lot of concepts that can carry over to gaming. Here’s the description of the book:

Goldsmith’s book-length essay coins the term “uncreative writing” and offers examples to explain it, from a site that collects Facebook updates and replaces users’ names with those of famous dead writers (“Arthur Rimbaud is so sleepy!”) to sites that alter images by changing .jpgs to text files and inserting Shakespearean sonnets. Working off the idea that “context is the new content,” some of these enterprises are even less transformative: one blogger reproduced the entire text of Kerouac’s On The Road by retyping it word-for-word and posting it one page at a time. These experiments do not meet the usual standards of art-except perhaps Andy Warhol’s, whose biography gets more than a few pages-but Goldsmith defends their worth in our post-modern world.

Another really amazing example of the new remix culture is On the Bro’d, a tumblr whose purpose is to reproduce every chapter of On the Road, but in strictly bro-centric language. What’s kind of amazing is that the tales of shotgunning too much Busch and working out to P90X has a unique poetry (broetry?) all their own.

Anyways, this brings up the idea of who actually owns an idea. Plotlines of games tend to follow a few basic templates (the rogue warrior out for justice, revenge stories, western-type things, etc). Who owns those ideas?

[via, image]

-Drew Millard with additional remixing by Yannick LeJacq