Category Archives: Games as Art

The new Game Club at Kotaku.

Kotaku Game Club

Brian Crecente over at Kotaku has started a Game Club. The idea is to provide a place for intelligent discussion about games, in the manner of a book club.

As Brian explains:

I’m a strong believer that people and by extension their work tend to rise to meet their expectations. If we as gamers start to look more critically at games, at their plots, the nuance of control, the deeper meaning found within a title, I think developers will feel more appreciated and, more importantly, will be more willing to spend time working on those things rather than on better graphics.

Of course I’m also painfully naive.

They’ve chosen Moonpod’s Mr. Robot as the first game to play, in a test run of sorts. I’m not exactly sure that Mr. Robot is a deeper meaning kind of game, but it is an interesting indie game that tries to do something a little different, and represents a good choice.

Here’s the original post announcing the Game Club.

Here’s a kick-off post with some additoinal detail.

Here are the rules, and how you’d go about participating.

Jonathan Blow’s Schedule of Events for the Second Half of 2007.

I seem to have a lot going on this year, and I needed to make a list to keep myself straight so that I don’t do something embarrassing like miss a speaking engagement. While I am doing that, I might as well make the list public. If anyone out there wants to meet up at any of these and talk about interesting game design topics, I am up for it.

Continue reading Jonathan Blow’s Schedule of Events for the Second Half of 2007.

Gameworld Extended.

I’ve been told that Laboral is extending their Gameworld exhibit (which I previously wrote about here, here and here). Daphne Dragona has told me that the show will now run through September 10th, which will allow many more people to see it, since Gijon is a popular tourist destination during the summer. Maybe this means I will get over there and see the exhibit live.

I don’t know the reasoning behind the extension, but I’d like to believe it’s because people are really enjoying it.

Laboral was not kidding about their Gameworld exhibit.

Laboral Gameworld Exhbit books, shot 2

A while ago I posted about the Gameworld exhibit at the Laboral Centro del Arte. Unfortunately I haven’t made it to the exhibit yet, and the chances of my making it to Spain within the next month are slim. However, Laboral has put up information about all the works in the exhibit, on the web here.

In the mail I also received some very nice print books containing the same information. I have included them below. Maybe if you go to the exibit, you can pick up copies of these books in the museum store, as souvenirs!

Continue reading Laboral was not kidding about their Gameworld exhibit.

Understanding Games episodes 3 and 4

Understanding Games, episode 4

A while back I posted about Understanding Games, a small series of games that teaches simple aspects of game design.

Episodes 3 and 4 have now been posted:

Episode 3

Episode 4

My comments about episodes 1 and 2 apply to these as well, with the added caveat that I don’t think episode 4 really works. It has significant problems that weaken the points it’s trying to make, that some more tuning in the interactive portions could have fixed. But it’s still a worthwhile effort and I would like to see more things like this.

The Realtime Art Manifesto

The Realtime Art Manifesto was written in 2006, but I’ve only just read it now, and I figure that many others may have been unaware of it too.

This manifesto is about what kind of games we should be designing and building. It is very thoughtful, and written in a poetic style. Many of the statements can easily apply to areas outside of games.

There have been several game-related manifestoes over the past few years: some focus on independent development, like the Scratchware Manifesto and the Manifesto Manifesto; some are area-specific screeds, like the Turku Manifesto; there are manifestoes I don’t really feel like linking, because they are misguided and damaging, like Dogma 2001; and there are manifestoes about manifestoes, such as The Videogame Revolution I Want. But the Realtime Art Manifesto is by far my favorite. It has its heart in the right place, and it’s a deeper place than where the rest of the manifestoes reside.

The Realtime Art Manifesto is not perfect — it is at times too specific about certain kinds of games; this specificity makes the document less universal, and also too long. But I wish that more designers thought this way. All designers should read it. Here is the link again, so that you can read it.

The Marriage is now available.

The MarriageRod Humble’s experimental game The Marriage is now freely available.

Rod presented this game at the 2007 Experimental Gameplay Sessions, and also at Nuances of Design the next day. It’s a very interesting piece that expresses itself mainly through the rules of gameplay — not through the graphics or the sound or a story made of words. If games are really going to come into their own as a medium, we need to work hard in this area and develop it further.

I wish Rod hadn’t explained the game so thoroughly on his page, because for me part of the magic of the game is seeing the rules for the first time as you play, and building in your head your own version of what they mean, but also wondering about the ambiguity of some things. So I think there are some major spoilers on that page. If you don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading as soon as you see the heading “Rules Summary:”.

In case you missed the link, here it is again.

FuturePlay Game Competition deadline is very soon!

FuturePlay is a conference happening November 15-17, 2007, in Toronto. They’re holding a competition for artful / experimental / indie / serious games to be exhibited at the conference. You can read more about the competition here.

The first deadline is coming up soon on March 16, 2007; at that time you only need to submit a textual description of your game, so entering is pretty easy. If accepted, you need to have the game Done Enough by August 1st.