This is a very difficult entry but what is creativity? how do you define it? well im going to give it my best shot.
Creativity surrounds us, its in every man made object in some shape or form. Just take a look at a common object in the household such as a table or a cabinet. These all came from designs which either started on paper that somebody sat and thought about or straight out of the carpenters head. It even gets bigger than that just take a look at the nature of modern buildings and the higher desire to get curves to replace corners. These are two examples of creativity on a large and small scale outside of the games industry which shows how important it is.
Without creativity we would live in a generic world.. in fact without the combination of curiocity and creativity we would not have most of the technology we have today. Who created it though? well we only have to look at ourselves for the answer to that. We all have this drive or urge to stand out and be different in the little things we do dont you agree?
Well its this thirst to be different that spured this desire to create new things. Take clothes for example, its a creative industry like the games industry. I know a few people who do fashion and for this i have asked them why they do it, their answer wasnt for the money (though obviously being a job it does help) they told me it was because they enjoyed designing new, different and wild ideas that make people more individual.
In games creativity is pretty much a necessity in todays market. creativity in games depends on the departments really, as the text document is creative in its own way and the concept art goes without saying. That then follows over to Modelling but really modelling and animating is an observation and not really creativity unless the modelling is done straight from a person head.
Id say creativity is majorly enhanced by technical limitations. Think about it this way when something breaks and you are limited to what you can repair it with, you have to make the best of what you have and the same applys when a artist is given a specification.
For example if an artist is given a limit for a character of 1000 triangles then they have to create an imitation of life using low detailed meshes, which relys on the form and method but most of all and this is the biggest creative factor, the textures...
The textures have to be good and its not an imitation as it has to be better than life and its because of this that i see why Ben Mathis has such a passion for low poly character modelling.
When you try to point out creativity in games it doesnt stop at just the graphics which really are the obvious representation. The programmers also play a part in providing good gameplay and realistic physics which in some cases arnt always based on real life also theres the AI for NPC's (non-playing characters).
I think the best company i have seen for creativity is definatly 'Rare' all of their games are like childrens games for adults or never quite reflect reality but are still satisfyingly realistic.
My idea of creativity is being different and creating from scratch, in other words fresh new designs and styles that have not been used before but its easier said than done.
In addition a great thing i just seen on air crash investigation which explained why they had pilots in plane. Its because in the event of a problem arising they trust that the pilot has the creativity to solve a problem that a thoughless computer cannot. Which sums it up that its all about thought!