Deep Plaid One guy trying to make some interesting decisions

This blog is being “sunsetted.” Probably a word.

Posted on November 4, 2012

I hereby "sunset" this blog. (That's a Zynga euphemism for "close down.")
There is, however, a new Tumblr-based blog, which I totally promise to update more often, albeit with usually shorter posts! You can find it here:
Please switch your RSS feed to it or whatever. Thanks!

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Games Can Create Empathy… So Why Don’t They?

Posted on July 3, 2010

I just posted a new blog post on Gamasutra; in response to Roger Ebert's latest statement in the "games as art" debate, I tackle a question implied by his definition of Great Art. Essentially: can games create empathy by communicating something real about personal experience?

You can find the full article here.

My assertion is that games are actually better-suited for this than any other art form, but for some reason this potential is under-utilized in the industry. (I also talk about zombie sensitivity training and making a game starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman, if that makes the article sound more interesting.)

I'm really happy with this particular post; especially because it's sparked a renewed interest for me in a side project that I've been working on for a while.

“Stickiness” in MMOs… on Gamasutra

Posted on February 1, 2010

I've been reading Gamasutra since I was a nerdy little CS major dreaming of someday working professionally in games, and desperate to read anything published about the art, science, and business of games. Though it appears that the site has had its bumps through the years, these days I think its content and news are better than ever, probably thanks to an absolute killer staff led by, among others, Leigh Alexander (of the Sexy Videogameland blog) and Chris Remo (of Idle Thumbs insanity), both of whom I have serious crushes on.

Since no one actually reads this blog, I thought I would try my hand at writing up a blog article on a blog I started on their site, since they apparently offer that service now. I was thrilled to log on the next day and find that I had been flagged as an "Expert" blogger (though perhaps this just denotes than I'm an actual game developer and not, say, a student, or someone who stalks game developers). Moreover, my first post had been given a "Featured Post" flag - I think that means that it will show up in their weekly round-up of blogs. A very pleasant surprise, and an honor from a site that I respect greatly.

Here's the first post: "Stickiness" in Games, or: Why you can't beat WoW

And the follow-up: Levels vs. Stickiness, or: How WoW can be beaten

Yes I am attempting the "inflammatory/oversimplifying headline" technique of blogging.

I may start posting my game design thoughts on Gamasutra rather than here, and reserve this blog for more general ramblings and short posts. I'll cross-post them here of course.

UPDATE: Huzzah, the second post has ALSO been marked as "Featured"!

Brad & Shay’s Textellent Adventures

Posted on October 1, 2009

I haven't posted about this before on this blog, so I should probably share it: Brad & Shay's Textellent Adventures is a site where I collect some chat conversations featuring me and my friend Brad Lewis. It's a little game we play wherein Brad pretends to be an 80's-era text adventure game, and I pretend to be a person typing into a text box. I'm very convincing in this role.

If you've never experienced Brad's unique sense of humor, it's worth it just for that. Here's a bit of an episode in which his wife Katie filled in for my usual role:

Katie: unbend sword with blacksmith tools
Brad: You haven't any tools
Katie: yes i do, unbed sword
Brad: You unbed the sword, it is sleepy, and grumpy after a long nap.
Katie: unbend!
Brad: syntax error
Katie: use sword
Brad: You bum $3.80 off the sword and convince it to go pick up your dry cleaning. When the sword asks your help moving a shelf, you conveniently are "busy"
Katie: this game is stupid end game
Katie: exit
Katie: MEH I don't like your game
Brad: Your score is 2.