part of the reason i love Robert Yang’s work so much is he thinks about what it means to ‘interact’ with the world in a far more interesting way than most mainstream developers. The Tea Room is one of my favourite games for a lot of reasons, but at least one part of that is because it stresses that looking is an active action, unlike in most games where you can bounce around and stare and cause a ruckus and provided you don’t hit the Interact Button then it doesn’t carry consequences.
when you drill down into it, the reason that’s usually the case is that mainstream games are still being made by dominant hegemonic groups who are allowed to look without consequence. to give an example of the active look, a white person can stare at the police as they drive past, whereas a black person is much more likely to avoid their gaze or to at least be aware of how looking at them could draw attention to themselves and carry consequences. looking is not a neutral act.
i want more games which engage with the look as an active expression of power. there are other places it’s been used - first example which comes to mind is “look at who you want to die” in wolfenstein, although that’s sort of cartoonish and you still have to hit that interact button - but rarely is it as central and important to the game itself as it is in Yang’s games.
sorry, that’s not a Big Subject thing, but it is very important to me.