Long time no see. And now i bore you with a Steve Jobs reference for a start. To cite Mister Apple might not be very witty but i instantly had to think about his Stanford Commencement Speech 2005 when thinking about the last months. What i have done during the summer is somewhat best described with dotting around, collecting inspirations, reading and thinking around the topic of the blog, circling around the question: Can You Play The News? Should You Play The News? Should The News Be Playable At All? Why? When? And how? Oh, wait. Here is an anecdote by gamedesigner Jesse Schell.
“As I looked around for more examples of techniques to try, there was one juggler who stood out from the rest. He was an old man in a powder blue jumpsuit, and his tricks wre not like the others at all. He used patterns and rythms that were unique, and his tricks, through not astonishing in difficulty, were simply beautiful to watch. [...]
I watched him for about twenty minutes, and suddenly he looked at me, and said “Well?”
“Well what?” I said, kind of embarrassed.
“Aren’t you going to try to copy me?”
“I- I don’t think I would know how,” I stammered out.
He laughed. “Yeah, they never can. Know why my tricks look so different?”
“Uh, practice?,” Imanaged.
“No – everybody practices. Look around! They’re all practicing. No, my tricks look different because of where I get them. These guys , they get their tricks from each other. Which is fine – you can learn a lot that way. But it will never make you stand out.”
“I thought about it. “So where do you get them?” I asked. “Books?”.
“Ha! Books. Thats a good one. No, not books. You wanna know the secret?”
“The secret is: don’t look to other jugglers for inspiration – look everywhere else”. (Jesse Schell, The Art of Game Design, Burlington/MorganKaufmann, 2008 pp58/59) You get the point i presume….
What i found most interesting and compelling during the last months was a mixture of a bunch of art games, activist games, game trailers, user experience stuff and transmedia literature that struck me. I – for instance – liked stuff on the site http://oujevipo.fr. Try this game about smoking, drinking coffee and checking your mobile as an example. The site (not the game) is obviously run by Pierre Corbinais whom i found because he has written a Master Thesis about Newsgames (It´s in french).
I liked and played Limbo – at Lindas place on a huge screen in total darkness for hours. I like the dense atmosphere and the very simple yet stricing idea with a focus on story. I liked Aram Bartholls idea Dust because of its architectural approach. And Flee Buster because of the stress disorder it provokes. And i liked Cory Arcange´s Pro Tools exhibiton at Whitney – at least the Various Self Playing Bowling Games because of the historical and the interactive component.
Apart from that Warco – The News Game (!) looked interesting because of the camera-instead-of-a-gun-in-your-hand-thing. Pippin Barr´s Leisure-Suit-Larry-Sierra-meets-Moma-Abramovic was just plain cool. The cultural references of the Deus Ex 3 Game Trailer were interesting when seen under the influence of the “Videogames and Learning“- Video. And so was and is reading “The Art of Immersion” by Frank Rose. Even if others already condemn the term Immersion while trying to establish the term Incorporation.
I liked the visuals aesthetics of many casual games by Gree and the activist part of Phone Story. And so on. And so on. Not to forget influence by @craigmod and Koi Vinh and Daniel Cook and many others. So now – exactly what?!
My Master Thesis Preparation Phase at CGL started yesterday. From this point on i will use this blog as a work in progress area for the Master Thesis that will be finished in the summer of 2012. I will reflect and discuss progress and setback on the go. And i will work on the Ressources Section pretty soon. For now let me finish with my guiding question so far.