Ken Levine of Take-Two Boston (formerly Irrational Games) and designer of one of THE best Xbox 360 Games to date, BioShock, was interviewed by 1up not too long ago. Within the article lies a choice quote which in my opinion just rings so true. He mentions that when creating System Shock 2, the spiritual predecessor to BioShock, the developers created such an innovative game by not knowing how to create a non-innovative game. He called this "The genius of the novice" and I can absolutely 100% agree with that. It's not your conventional first person shooter by any means. True, you must vacate the occupants of your weapon on pretty much anything that crosses your path as in any other FPS. But that about sums it up in that regard. There is so much choice at hand that it's almost overwhelming. However the world is so immersive that you never want to stop. You want to know what lies ahead. You want to know what thing those chill inducing shrieks and thunderous footsteps belong to. Oh and audio diarys in place of real time cutscenes. Genius. Pure Genius. It integrates the story of Rapture so seamlessly into the gameplay.
So the innovation comes from not knowing what the rules are so to speak. Someone hands you a sheet of paper and says make me an airplane, while handing someone else the same sheet of paper and instructions on how to make that airplane, who, in your opinion, will have the most interesting not necessarily functional results? The novice is not a genius. The genius comes from being a novice.
Not that our music is innovative by any means but I like how Manny and I will be writing something and we will accidently play a chord which makes absolutely no sense on it's own yet when played together makes ladies drip in their pants with excitement. It's quite exquisite. All jokes aside though to extend on this thought a bit more, the same logic applies to my lyrics. To anyone who writes lyrics or poetry for that matter. I've never understood how you could teach someone how to write poetry, to write a story. Sure there are guidelines most people follow but when words come out by accident from pure feeling that's when you sit back and can say to yourself "the genius of the novice". I think only then will you fully understand. Unless you truly are horrible at painting images with words like Nickelback(the band). Although I do like her pants around her feet.