Rough Draft of Thesis Statements

1. Is rapid game design a viable method of researching play and games? What kind of games emerge from production as research? 

2. This work reveals that rapid game prototyping is a playful act in and of itself, and is integral to the research and development of playful systems.

3. Play, and by extension games, can be an exploratory device, ranging from subjects such a physical space to the self, through introspection.

4. By exploring inputs beyond traditional game design, alternative controllers allow for and encourage for more playful systems within games.

5. …

Research Methods Thesis Questions

I numbered these in order of interest. My first question is not complete, but it is centered on the act of making short vignette games as a major part of my thesis, I just have to develop what that all is going to mean.

1. Short, simple games focused on narrative, mood, …
non-player centric design
playful, though limited in its systems
games as vignettes (political?)
Vignette as Aesthetic
Narrative experiences > poetry over prose

There’s a question in here somewhere.

More spew:

is it possible to make art from a research question? what kind of art emerges from research questions? how do the questions have to be shaped?
is it possible to make artgames in a week? good artgames? what consistitues? what kind of games emerge…?
playful approach to rigor, rigorous approach to play?

Is rapid game design a viable method of researching play and games? What kind of games emerge from production as research? 

2. Rapid game design is a quick way to explore different aspects of play; can the act of rapid game design be considered playful? Rapid
prototyping as research?

3. How can games be used as a form of explorative play, from exploration of space (Psychogeography?) to exploration of self?

4. Can alternative methods of control (breaking away from the keyboard, gamepad, etc) encourage players and videogames to move from
finite games (systems to be won) to infinite games (systems to be explored).

5. Prosthetics and physical augmentation are prevalent in many cultural rituals - how, historically, how they been used for play? Can
rituals be considered a form of play?

Real happy about Mood, which is generally my main focus for things. Next time rate more games.

Real happy about Mood, which is generally my main focus for things. Next time rate more games.

Gordophone: Breath Sensing 101

Importing terrain from Google Earth into Unity3D in 5 Steps

"I often use the metaphor of Perseus and the head of Medusa when I speak of science fiction. Instead of looking into the face of truth, you look over your shoulder into the bronze surface of a reflecting shield. Then you reach back with your sword and cut off the head of Medusa. Science fiction pretends to look into the future but it’s really looking at a reflection of what is already in front of us. So you have a ricochet vision, a ricochet that enables you to have fun with it, instead of being self-conscious and superintellectual."

Ray Bradbury (via maxistentialist)


"Politics is not inserted into games by critics, but is in fact an integral part of the design process. I think this kind tweetable summary is the point where most people would start to have doubts, so we’re going to drill down on some sample games and make stunningly obvious observations about how their political context has influenced their design. Exciting stuff, right?!"

Game Design Is Always Political I’m Not Even Exaggerating Here | Midnight Resistance (via humanegames)

(via humanegames)


Varúð = Caution.

Morse code in video is apparently:
"It doesn’t matter what I say”
“The only thing that matters is how you feel”
“Understanding that the words are irrelevant is of great importance”
“What feelings do you have”

Why Caution? What danger are they trying to protect us from? The fact that morse code is used just emulates a more mysterious and foreboding atmosphere. Words fall away and there is nothing left that can help us communicate but this desperate - almost agonizing - substitute for the spoken voice. What if i wanted to cry? What flickering light can communicate to you my despair? Faces fall away. We’re just another black silhouette slumping up into view, overwhelmed by the coarse, dark features of the landscape where rocks and cliffs hold nothing but danger. When all of this fails, we surrender the light, and retreat, slouching back into the dark where at last we surrender to silence.





too good 

(Source: natelife)

Video Games, Misogyny, And Terrorism: A Guide To Assholes


This article is well worth a read. There’s been a whole bunch of shit going on with the targeting of women this week of which I have heard strangely only rumours. The women themselves (understandably) didn’t want to talk about it - Anita Sarkeesian noted on her Twitter that she had received threats and had to call in the police, but was now safe. This gives a very thorough account, passionately written. Lines such as:

What we’re seeing is the gamification of a social struggle.

Seem to cut to something fundamental in what can seem a bewildering onslaught of mind-bogglingly unacceptable behaviour. Yes, it is because they view it as a game. And because they are the ones with the privilege, they are free to do so. They are free to engage without emotional connection. To treat it as not real, or not really mattering. Because they have no idea what it is like to be on the other end of that. To them, it is a battle for territory that must be defended, because… uh… well, if you have something in a game, you defend it, right? That’s what you do.

Nevertheless, some comments make this stand out as something obviously written by a man - by someone on the outside looking in with horror:

Before the internet, this didn’t happen

Andrew exclaims in outrage.

I’m sorry, Andrew, yes it did. Men did view women’s lives and issues and ambitions and dreams as something to be totted up and scored against. 4chan is not the first echo chamber. You think gentlemen’s clubs, boardrooms, even playgrounds haven’t been echo chambers before? Men have been listening to themselves and ignoring the reality of women’s lives and needs and treating them as pawns in games for a long, long time.

I say this not to knock Andrew. This is a good article in many ways. A thunderingly reassuring article. I was reading it thinking ‘This is great. Finally people are listening to what an awful and impermissible situation this is!’ I was thinking about recommending it to everyone I knew. And then I stopped and asked myself why.

Andrew isn’t saying anything new. He isn’t the first person to write passionately about it. He isn’t the first person to be articulate about it. I think what got my attention was that it was a guy reacting articulately and passionately at what seemed to be an appropriate level. Finally.

But guys aren’t ‘people’. People have recognised that this problem exists for years. Decades. The last time I can remember gaming and not having had boys tell me gaming wasn’t for me and I didn’t know what I was doing (often in very harsh terms) I must have been… five? six? And I probably only didn’t have that earlier in that my family was a bit ahead of the game in terms of having a computer at home.

And this whole gaming thing is just an extension of what goes on in the rest of our lives. It happens when we walk down the street. The name calling, the lewd suggestions/demands. And it’s not that rare for that to include threats of violence, and of sexual assault. Or for that to end in violence or sexual assault, even death.

Yes, in an explicitly gaming environment the game/territory aspect of it does get upped. But I think the real difference, what’s really making men shocked now, rather than at an earlier time, is that they are aware of it.

They’re starting to see quite how much of it we endure. Because it’s right there on the page in black and white. It’s not when we’re walking alone. It’s not when you didn’t even notice you it because it was said with such a casual tone. This stuff happens every day where you can’t see it, and it happens right under your nose. And men who think they are good men - not sexist - encourage it or even join in, because tone and familiarity and male bonding with physically present males casts it in a light that makes it seem OK. Not that serious.

You literally have no idea how much this goes on in all arenas of life outside this one area to which your attention has finally been drawn.

And it’s good that it’s been drawn. And it is shocking and appalling. And the extent of the suffering women like Anita Sarkeesian endure is part of a culture that needs some serious overhaul.

But I feel like it’s important to stress that women have been threatened and beaten up and raped and killed for daring to voice opinions before. Gaming is not isolated. It is part of a culture of misogyny where men don’t view women as real and where rape is trivialised and… UGH.

I wasn’t going to write a great long screed about this.

I was gonna point at the article, say it had its flaws, but was good and worth reading, but here I am again.

And this is why I think the article stood out to me even though I was slowly accumulating flaws - the kind of flaws women aren’t allowed to get away with when we speak on these matters - as I read through: because what stood out was not the content or the passion or the articulateness. What was different is that when it comes from women it’s something we have all heard a million times before, and are used to tuning out. And that us women who write about misogyny are tired to death of repeating and seeming to make no difference.

And it makes me mad that a man’s voice can seem new and fresh even though lack of intimacy with the subject matter means a well-meaning man misses IMPORTANT things and reaches conclusions that are way shallower than we need them to be. But at the end of the day I am tired, and it is nice to hear a guy speaking up where our voices are not heard.

And I am conflicted about that. But I’m too tired to say anything else right now.

Go read the thing. Then watch a Feminist Frequency video, why don’t you.

(via humanegames)

Gamasutra - Why make a game a week?: Learning game development in public

On rapid prototyping.

Why political engagement is critical to games journalism


Earlier tonight, someone tweeted at me, “Not to be rude, but you’re part of the problem. You’ve compromised your integrity as a journalist by being an activist.”

There are always a few things that come to mind when I hear this viewpoint expressed. First of all, my role at GameSpot was not that…

Would’ve really liked to re-skin Unity’s default button system, but I don’t think I would’ve made the deadline.

To The Stars for LudumDare

Would’ve really liked to re-skin Unity’s default button system, but I don’t think I would’ve made the deadline.

To The Stars for LudumDare

The King And His Objects


Matthew gently teases the consumer identity of ‘gamers’ apart in a pleasant and insightful way.