Into to Pt4: Manipulation



"An ex-drug-dealer (now a video game industry powerbrain) once told me that he doesn’t understand why people buy heroin. The heroin peddler isn’t even doing heroin. Like him or not, when you hear Cliff Bleszinski talk about Gears of War, he sounds — in a good way — like a weed dealer. He sounds like he endorses what he is selling. When you’re in a room with social games guys, the “I never touch the stuff” attitude is so thick you’ll need a box cutter to breathe properly."

-Tim Rogers, Who Killed Videogames? A Ghost Story

Raiding, and Other Acts of God
The Grind
Scheduling Conflicts
World First
Five Years
Destroyed Time
Mooncloth Boots
Nilhouse Had a Daughter, Apparently
Epic Mount



(4/17/15) I've been less busy writing about games, and more making them. Prototyping them, anyway. 

I'd written out this big theoretical model for the game experience after In Play, and someone that I respect suggested that I shelve it, then make some games. Then another person that I respect said the same thing. So that's what I've been doing, alongside actual research with actual academics at the University of Washington and some talks at Seattle Children's Hospital. Now, a few months later, Games & Culture is interested in the paper and I have some specific game prototypes that have me excitable. 

NDAs are coming due on a few other projects that I'm pretty excited to talk on, but for now I want to post about the opposite of fun. I saw on twitter that there was a blog poking at the line between engagement and manipulation. So I decided to start up posting bits of the book, specifically the stuff on human manipulation. 

There's also a half-finished piece on Sunless Sea, about Samuel Beckett and the questionable value of having behavioral dings and grinds in a game about delicious text. I'm not sure whether I'll finish it. I like Failbetter and the real estate they've claimed. I want them to build something grand on that spot. 

We'll see. 

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