Recently after spending sometime on my new Ipad, I’ve came to think about the issues of cloning. The app store is nefarious for this but cloning exists throughout every corner of gaming. Reading an IGN article about the benefits of cloning further escalated my interest on the matter. Questions such as whether cloning was right or wrong popped up and I finally found my answer: cloning isn’t built on inspiration. Wait a minute, how does that answer the question? If you’re perplexed, hear me out.
Every artist or creator has their inspirations be it film, music, art, or games. Suffice to say without inspiration nothing would be created because inspiration is food for creativity. Now, cloning isn’t that. The major difference between the two is respect and admiration for the original work. Unless you count taking someone’s work, apply fresh coating to it, call it your own then shrug your shoulders and say: ‘Hey, everybody does it.’ as admiration and respect for that person. However the biggest problem with this is that the resulted games only contribute to genre saturation.
Playing a game allows you to figure out whether it was inspired or a shameless clone; either that or the original creators’ twitter feeds will inform you pretty well. Everyone wants their work to inspire people but few would like it to be ripped-off. Yet maybe none of this matters to gamers? If you honestly love games and don’t see it as a mindless cloning industry (like how some of the mainstream media sees it) but as a varied, imaginative and generally surprising industry, it should matter.
I don’t think it is possible to come up with a 100% fully original game or anything for that matter. If there wasn’t Super Mario bros there’d be no thousands of other platformers, without Sweet Home there’d be no other survival horrors. It’s a food chain of influences where one person inspires another then another to create something brilliant. Cloning makes the chain boring. Sure perhaps cloning gave birth to genres but it doesn’t make them thrive, that’s inspiration’s job.