(many speakers) 12am – 1:00pm
(official GDC brief)

A series of respected speakers gave “5 minute/20 slides” mini-speeches, to explain “how they play.” They mostly offered personal philosophy and arty thoughts.

It is interesting to note that many of these game developers mentioned that they think the modern U.S. educational system is broken…

    Dig these various zingers that pppped up across various mini-speeches:
  • Games make the player into the author/storyteller.
  • Games are way for your mind to reveal unto itself : how the mind really works.
  • Games present goals we instantly and easily pursue.
  • A good writer has ways to remind the reader of how smart they really are (the reader).
  • Striving to realistically portray things in modern games has robbed them of the engaging immersion that text adventures once offered.
  • There is an important difference between sugar coating something, and actually making it delicious through and through.
  • And games are uniquely suited to exploring another person’s dreamscape.


    1st speaker: Michael John (EA)
    “this is a story about fathers” … He notes education sucks, but hints at gates foundation and others working around to get outside the existing broken systems. … “game designers are the cool new kids at the dance.” … notes Conrad Wolfram Ted Talk(Teaching Kids Real Math?) last year … “all designers should be programmers” (what did he mean?) … talks about how amazing it is his daughter is working on games… Recommends downloading “scratch”(MIT programming language/experiment, for newbie programming).

    2: Jamin Warren (Kill Screen Magazine)
    Talks about classic artist or philosopher who asked “what is a toaster” (who?)… Talks about games as filled with stories; Players as story tellers. … Significant objects is blog that assigns elaborate backstories. Which gives them more value. … Notes cultural divide regarding game culture. … “chris klosterman” talked about games as expressions of free will (uh, who?) … Look into paper version of his magazine Killscreen

    3: Naomi Clark (Fresh Planet)
    Games of skill, verses games of chance. She lays this out as an old battle. … “The fantasy of labor.” … Why should we sell fantasies to players? … Through playing a game : your mind reveals to itself how it works. … Reflects on our adoption of goals. And pursuit of them. … Shakespeare said holding a mirror up to nature was theatre’s job – What is games?

    4: David Jaffe (Eat Sleep Play)
    Neogaf asks people to show their gaming setup. His is not so cool (wee, funny picture. hmmf). … Takes too long to get into game. 3-15 minute wait times on PS3. Lots of barriers to entry. (his talk is very console focused)
    Wishes games were limited to 4 updates per year. None in first month. (doesn’t seem to get that updates have become marketing. Something to tell your friends about, when they are done right)

    5: Colleen macklin (Parsons the New School for Design)
    Play testing … frank lantz said games should embrace their wild side and resist being too domesticated … Notes danger of data driven design. Talks about new games being in constant state of development / alpha (mine craft) … Plays a game of “outliers” with the audience. We all hold up card (blue or red side) to indicate our vote. Most popular votes are eliminated (sit down). She seems impressed by how quickly they narrowed it down… David koster Wallace quote: “What writers have is a license and also the freedom to sit—to sit, clench their fists, and make themselves be excruciatingly aware of the stuff that we’re mostly aware of only on a certain level. And if the writer does his job right, what he basically does is remind the reader of how smart the reader is. Is to wake the reader up to stuff that the reader’s been aware of all the time.”

    6: Asi Burak (Games for Change)
    We are more limited in our modern 3D worlds than we were in text adventures of the 80s… Tired of cutscenes… What happened to meaningful decisions and moral dilemmas?

    7: Jason Roher (Independent)
    Current arty games that are “expressive” are also, sadly, boring. … We need to keep them engaged. … Don’t want spoon full of sugar with medicine. We want genuinely delicious medicine. … Paintings can be enjoyed for a couple minutes. Music for a couple minutes. But both leave other senses open to wander. But movies somehow engage much longer. … You might get bored on a city street. Your mind wanders. But if a couple has a fight nearby, you can watch forever. … He notes that plot is what is needed. Mentions the length of Arlo guthrie’s “Alices Restaurant” song/story… You can’t even knit while gaming. … Maybe challenge is that something extra in game medium… Arguments can last for hours, even days. Why are they more engaging? Because they’re personal? … Hard to weave nuance through the limited game genres/conventions (jump, drive)… Asks us to imagine (the tragedy) if movies could only be about bank heist.

    8: Brandon Boyer (Independent Games Festival)
    He doesn’t usually want to talk about games. Wants to talk about comics and such, which are about “everything”. … “I need to know what others are going through.” … There are already games which make him cry (LBP, reminding him of childhood naivete) … Games are the best tool available for exploring someone else’s dreamscape… We’re ground down by the spectacle. We want something more meaningful. … Wants people to remember why they used to play, not why they stopped. (invited people to contact him about this)

    9: Brenda Brathwaite (Loot Drop)
    Encourages us to see the system and game in everything. … “where’s my phone” game example (an activity she enjoys with her kids).

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