In the Library

On the Couch
At the Office
In the Library
Through the Mirror
My more theoretical and academic work
February 12, 2006
Platonism and Game Design Theory

So, I've been against a formal language of game design for a while now.  Last year at GDC, Raph Koster gave a talk on a formal notation system for game design, which was close enough to get my hackles up, and presented more or less the same system in his book A Theory of Fun for Game Design.  Just recently I ran into another, similar proposal from someone else entirely, and the ensuing discussion helped me to clarify for myself why I object to these types of approaches so vehemently. more...

July 13, 2004
The Parable of Irony
This one takes a little bit of a setup.  Simon Penny wrote an article called "Representation, Enaction, and the Ethics of Simulation" for a collection of essays called First Person.  Sections of this book are being published over at the Electronic Book Review, and one of the benefits of this re-publishing is that it allows for comments by other thinkers on the same subjects.  Jan van Looy wrote a response to Penny's article, in which he accused Penny of re-hashing the "violent games produce violent behaviors" debate and argued against that position.  Penny wrote his own response, in which he disavowed the position that van Looy had attributed to him and claimed that he was making a much smaller and more focused point, which he accused van Looy of having missed and unfairly dismissed. more...

May 30, 2004

Game Studies: A Model

This is a collection of some of my thoughts on game studies--where it's going, what it should be, who should be doing it, and how.  Along the way, there's also some ranting about what's wrong with how it's being done today. more...

May 21, 2003

The Fallacy of the Future
While fans of Neal Stephenson may appreciate the fantasy of a world where nanobots can create just about any product out of some raw form of matter, the elision between “Designers at Adidas print prototypes of their shoe soles” and “Other companies prototype toys, dinnerware, bottles, golf clubs, jet skis, and so on” in consecutive sentences should give anyone pause. more...