What is a game?

What is a Game?

Here’s an abridged version of Chris Bateman’s new book Imaginary Games. It examines what is a game is and what art is and if games are art.


Should in-game items be legally yours?

Virtual Justice

Here’s an interesting article about whether or not you should legally own the items you get in games. For years and years people have been selling in-game items and characters for real money (usually though these kinds of transactions are against the terms of service of the game). But, people still do it, so the question is if they should be legally protected when these kinds of transactions go sour.


Console Gaming is Dead

Interview with Richard Garriott de Cayeux

Or at least in a part of this interview, Richard Garriott comments that consoles are on their last legs. He thinks that there might be one more generation of consoles. They’re just too expensive, he thinks the future of gaming is on portable with devices with a free-to-play model.

I’m a bit skeptical on his belief that consoles are too expensive. Perhaps what should be looked into more closely is the design of the consoles themselves. For instance, Nintendo has made money for every Wii they sold (it took Sony four years before they started making money). Obviously building the most advanced and powerful machine is not the correct design, monetarily.

Casual vs Hardcore Design

Designing for Casual and Hardcore at Once

Here’s an article about Damion Schubert’s talk on the casual and hardcore models of games. He wants to end the need for “double coding”, which is where you essentially design a game for two different audiences at the same time. Similar to how many cartoons will contain jokes hidden in them that kids’ parents will get so they won’t be totally bored out of the their skulls.

Not surprisingly, Schubert’s general solution is to hold the player’s hand, walking them from the casual stage to the hardcore stage. Schubert recognizes that this will be a turn off to the hardcore gamers but doesn’t have a solution for it yet.

It seems like Schubert just wants to design a hardcore game and hopefully trap a few “casual gamers” into playing it because he’s going to lose a majority of the “hardcore gamers” due to the extensive tutorials.

The Design of Free to Play Games (Part 1)

The Design of Free to Play Games (Part 1)

There’s a new article up on Gamasutra about designing Free to Play games. It’s the first in a series. The Free to Play genre doesn’t really get talked about very much, even though it has been around for at least the past ten years and many companies are making tons of profit by essentially just releasing their games for free.

Anyway, I just think it’s a really interesting pricing/marketing aspect to game design.