A Game Is…

31 July 2008

Lots of brain-food and notes to come from Develop, but in the meantime, this cracker from Matt Southern’s session:

“a game is an exercise of voluntary control systems in which there is an opposition between forces, confined by a procedure and rules in order to produce a disequilbrial outcome

(Elliott Avedon and Brian Sutton Smith; emphasis mine.)

It’s been a crazy few weeks, so it’s only now that I’m getting around to mentioning (again) that I’m going to be speaking at Develop Online today. The talk is called Playing Together: What Games Can Learn From Social Software, and it bears a marked resemblance to the session I gave at NLGD a month or so back. I’m looking forward to it, even if it’s a bit nerve-wracking to be talking to a slightly different audience to normal.

Once I’ve given the Develop talk, it’ll be available online. I’m looking forward to sharing this talk with people outside the circle it was initially written for.

I’ve also got a few more talks to put online, which I’ll be organising over the coming week or so.

The first is my session from Skillswap Brighton (and LRUG before that) entitled Settling New Caprica: Getting Your Pet Project Off The Ground, which is all about shipping for yourself and making spare-time projects into reality. I think I mentioned that earlier.

The second is a session I gave to some students at the Polis Summer School, run by Charlie Beckett – a summer school on international journalism and its future. Charlie initially asked me to talk having read an an article I wrote for the New Statesman in 2007. I gave a session entitled “Journalism in a Data-Rich World“, exploring what journalism on the web of data might (and does) look like. From the feedback they gave, they seemed to really enjoy it, which was good.

So those will be coming online very shortly. Then I can stop writing about the past, and look to the future again. Looking forward to that.

Back to Bioshock

27 July 2008

or: trust the designer, not the mechanic.

I have a problem with not finishing games. I doubt I am the only one. But sometimes I become disappointed with my inability/lack of time to finish a game, and Bioshock is one title I’m disappointed not to have put more time into.

Most games stop being played either because my interest wanes or beacuse they demanded too much time. Bioshock did neither. Bioshock was, whilst I was playing it, wonderful: simple mechanics, but deep design; beautiful architecture; solid story-telling.

I was really enjoying it, and really into it – and then we broke up. We broke up because of what it asked me to do.

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