Tag Archive for: Trends

We Must Eradicate / Support Social Gaming Before It Ends Life On Earth / So Kittens Can Live Forever

05 Apr
5 April 2011

You couldn’t go ten minutes at GDC  this year without running into someone either raging against or defending the virtue of “social gaming.”  The content of the conference mirrored this, frequently seeming very much like the same arguments attendees were lobbing at one another only delivered on stage (and with somewhat less slurring).  Satoru Iwata, Nintendo CEO, bemoaned the decline of the industry at the hands of smartphone and social-media in his keynote.  The rant session was a collection of people from the social-gaming space ranting against the fact that other ranty people were ranting about them too (probably most mentioned from this being Brathwaite’s call for solidarity).

And now Zynga apparently feels a need to answer critics of their development process, with Brian Reynolds going out of his way to assure people that, hey, there actually is creativity involved in how they make games.

I’ll borrow from the late, great Kurt Vonnegut here and recast his take on overly-concerned literary critics to fit the current situation:

Any developer who expresses rage and loathing for a type of game is preposterous.  He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.

Read more →

Don’t Bank on Kinect

18 Aug
18 August 2010

Shockingly, baby launch consumed more time than I anticipated, so myriad things are complaining about neglect.  One is a set of notes I’ve been carrying around since last year but was waiting for mid-June (hey, only two months ago) to finish.

June was on my mind because of E3 which, in turn, was on my mind because I honestly expected to see something there that would change my mind about Natal / Kinect.  From a distance, this product appears so obviously flawed that I imagined at least some people in positions of authority saw it too and had impressed upon all the need for something that would permit a “now shut up” type of E3 announcement.

Read more →


09 May
9 May 2010


And he’s from Pittsburgh, too.

PlaySpan and the Free-to-Play Hype Machine

23 Dec
23 December 2009

I know this will come as a shock but I’m a fan of arguing.

In fact, I’m such a fan of it that I’ve cultivated that truly endearing quality all your favorite debaters exhibit — the ability to fervently argue a position I in no way actually support.  That’s right, I’m not happy just arguing with people who don’t agree with me.  I want everyone in there.

Some of this is work-related.  I only truly get comfortable about some design decisions by attacking them myself, so I pick fights about these and take various stances and see what develops.

Some of this, according to my wife, is that I’m a jerk.

Who’s to say which of us is correct (P.S., I am) but, whatever the reason, I argue a lot and I tend to gravitate toward people who can hold their own in a verbal scuffle.  But, while I love a spirited discussion, I am not a fan of several trends in modern arguing, chief among them “the Google argument”.

Read more →

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

18 Nov
18 November 2009

(Via GamesIndustry.Biz; here.)

Pants size influences obesity three times more than fudge

Research by EEDAR has shown that buying really big pants increases the wearer’s weight three times more than eating dozens of Ho Hos.

The perception that stuffing your face with cake cylinders leads to obesity is a myth, said EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich speaking at the Montreal International Games Summit today, and developers should realize the cold fact that a person who buys enormous pants will weigh far more than a person who can’t say no to another Ring Ding.

“You can eat fistfuls of Doritos and it won’t even matter. I know that’s discouraging to developers at first but it’s very true,” Divnich told the audience.

“Outlandishly large pants influence the wearer’s weight three times more than pints of Haagen- Dazs eaten in the middle of the night. There’s a giant myth out there that eating sticks of butter is crucial to gaining weight. The reason why that is is the information is readily available – we can go to Arby’s – and we see people like that guy over there eating five sandwiches by himself and we make that correlation. But the truth is, huge pants actually have much more of an influence to weight than the Arby’s Five for Five promotion.”

Read more →

This line only goes up, right?

18 Oct
18 October 2009

During the upcycle of a trend, it’s rare to see a quote from someone at the COO level that isn’t blue-sky / this-is-the-future / one-billionty-percent-growth-forecasted balloon juice.  Which is why Dean Takahashi’s VentureBeat piece last Wednesday, in which John Schappert is quoted as opining that the current “social gaming bubble” resembles the “mobile games hype” of yesteryear, warms my heart. 

(Even if, as Dean points out, Schappert’s comments could be designed to help EA achieve a better price for any companies they might want to acquire.  A little late for that to be useful if rumors like the Playfish deal turn out to be true….) 

Read more →

…but I know what I like.

13 Oct
13 October 2009

“Are games art?” has always seemed like a silly question to even ask.  I’ve been to exhibits featuring an old toaster someone fired an arrow at — if that qualifies I’m comfortable suggesting that the definition is fairly broad.

 But therein lies what is probably the best litmus test for art of any sort: Do you think it’s art? 

Or, better yet: Did the person making it think it was art? 

On any game I’ve worked on, I’ve thought it was art.  Not art-art.  Not I-dress-in-black-and-wear-a-beret art.  Not frame-hanging-on-the-gallery-wall art.  But “art”.  I had something I wanted to get across, something I wanted you to experience. 

Read more →