Posts made in August, 2010

PR and Journalism: An Uneasy Marriage

PR and Journalism: An Uneasy Marriage

“I was reviewing a big, anticipated game in a well-known, successful franchise from a top-tier publisher. It’d gotten plenty of slobbery preview coverage from ours and other outlets in the months previous, but the final game was inescapably mediocre. So I gave it the score it deserved.” This sample quote – provided by an actual reporter – defines just about any day for a gaming journalist on staff at a major publication, or so I’d imagine....

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How Social Networks Reinvent Game Design

How Social Networks Reinvent Game Design

Anyone who attended the 2010 Game Developers Conference a few months back will remember it as a hard one to forget because the whole expo seemed to be obsessed with one thing, which I summed up in this tweet. Or, as Sirlin puts it here: “Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook.” Off the top of my head, here are the highlights and lowlights of this fixation: The long-running Casual Games and...

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Having Fun Isn’t Always the Point

Having Fun Isn’t Always the Point

Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Gabe Zichermann’s article Top 5 Ways to Make Your Site More Fun. Hallelujah! I am very excited to see more people finally connecting the dots between successful interactive entertainment software (video game) design and effective engagement design in software and websites for business. This is the kind of stuff I preach to clients, colleagues, and my (polite, but bored) boyfriend on a regular basis. Game Design for...

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Writers and Graphic Designers Wanted

Writers and Graphic Designers Wanted

Video game writers, we want YOU! That’s right, Game Theory – your number one source for game industry insight, opinion and analysis – is looking for a few good men and women to help fill out the ranks of its editorial staff. We’re currently on the hunt for freelance contributors and interns in the following areas: News Writers – Responsibilities include researching and reporting breaking news, sourcing quotes from subject matter...

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Video Games: Services, Not Products

Video Games: Services, Not Products

Recently, my 9 year-old daughter asked to borrow my iPhone during a three-minute car ride. I could hardly refuse. When we pulled up to the house I asked to have my phone back, but she said, “wait, I have to finish sending this email.” I didn’t even know that she knew what a browser was, and there she was using my device to send her emails. It just goes to illustrate the point: The explosive growth of the World Wide Web and mobile phones over the last two...

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Do Game Designers Really Get It?

Do Game Designers Really Get It?

One thing that is always striking about the mainstream game industry is how surprised game developers seem when they learn about the success of games, virtual worlds, and game-like systems that wouldn’t impress professional game designers. I don’t think the problem is elitism, just that the world of entertainment looks very different from inside the fuzzy vertical market called the games industry. Game Insiders Were Some of the Last to Know This past...

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How Funware Changes the Business

How Funware Changes the Business

I find [your ideas] mostly horrifying.” – Ian Bogost in response to my op-ed about the use of game mechanics on the web in the popular blog, TechCrunch. Those who know me know I don’t shy away from controversy. From the time I started in the games industry as Marketing Director for the Game Developers Conference (GDC)/Gamasutra/Game Developer magazine (I led the rebrand to GDC from CGDC under Jen Pahlka’s aegis), to my six years spent helping build and sell...

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Doctored Screens – We Call ‘Bullshot’

Doctored Screens – We Call ‘Bullshot’

bullshot: n. A screenshot fabricated by a company to misrepresent the graphics of a game; a combination of the words bullsh*t and screenshot. The above definition comes courtesy of the Urban Dictionary. It seems Penny Arcade coined the phrase, but the actual practice of “creating” screenshots has been around for ages; it’s simply become more prevalent in recent years, as the visual quality of games has increased alongside consumer expectations. If you...

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What’s Wrong with the Business

What’s Wrong with the Business

Here at Game Theory, we make no secret about being outspoken in terms of our opinions. It’s a philosophy shared by the entire crew, who believes that video games, and the games industry, should be held to a higher standard. But if the field is ever to evolve and mature, it has to change first.  And so we put the question to several members of the team: If you could fix just one aspect of the gaming business, what would it be? Per the crew’s rather...

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The State of Indie Development

The State of Indie Development

Life as an independent video game development studio has never been more opportunistic and, at the same time, more difficult than it is today. In a world largely governed by the weight of intellectual property (IP) rather than the combined weight of the development studio employees, independents find it difficult to nurture, build and market their own IP with so much noise, spend and focus going on elsewhere. Despite incredible, almost undreamt of opportunities on...

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