You’ve waited this long to hear what they’ve been working on…
Today, earthlings, I give you Brandon Perdue: Carnegie-Mellon grad student in Entertainment Technology, nice person, and proto-celebrity. Why proto? Well, Brandon is still learning his craft. He is not a celebrity yet. But I have faith he’ll become one! Probably very soon! Maybe as early as next week!
I met Brandon when I was down in Pittsburgh speaking at CMU on behalf of another Celebrity Guest Editor, Drew Davidson. It was a cool day for me: CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center is awesome; I got to meet students, which I love, and none of them said (out loud) that they wished they hadn’t come to my little workshop. One did leave in the middle. ANYWAY
Brandon was there, and at the end I gave my pitch for Tap, which I always do, and he said he might be interested in contributing. Thereafter we exchanged some emails discussing a paper he was working on (he never said – out loud – that my comments were useless), and once that was done he asked if the offer was still open. And look!
What we have here is an eloquent reflection on a gone-away genre, one that’s dear to many hearts and sorely missed. I think you’ll agree that he has a gift for capturing why we loved them. Take it away, Brandon!
“A future in which almost every aspect of your life includes a game like experience is all but inevitable.” — Jesse Schell, Video game designer/researcher, Carnegie-Mellon University I just got around to reading the December issue of Scientific American. Bad mistake, I should have gotten to it earlier because therein is a fascinating article by John Pavlus called “The Game of Life.” He makes the very simple claim that games will become part of our …
The article below represents months of work and appears in Well Played 2.0, a game studies textbook published by Carnegie-Mellon University under the guidance of Professor (and Celebrity Guest Editor) Drew Davidson.
Each chapter of Well Played discusses a single game or franchise, with both meanings of the well-played phrase in mind: the game must be well played as a book is well-read, and it must provide something to better the medium as a whole. Beyond that, the analytical expectations are dependent on the writer. My chapter was about the STALKER franchise, which I know and love well.
I really wanted to do a “director’s cut” version of the article for Tap, including self-made, narrated gameplay videos and the like, but a recent computer crash has eaten up all my STALKER saves. It’d just take too much time to put a project like that together. Instead please accept the odd embedded YouTube video, plus some additional pix and multimedia that don’t appear in the book.
This is a textbook chapter, not a blog post. As such it’s even longer, boringer, and more pedantic than I usually write. It even has footnotes. Enjoy!
Drew Davidson, who is clearly better than me with deadlines (given that I kept him waiting 21 weeks past mine to deliver an article for Well Played 3.0), returns to us with another fascinating cross-cultural look at games. Inspired by the concept of bite-sizability and just as low on time to game as the rest of us, today talks about how snacks and games can co-relate, and what we can learn from each when thinking about good design. You’re on, Drew!
Professor Drew Davidson, Ph.D., Director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie-Mellon University, can be a little intimidating when seen from across the room. A big bear of a guy with a beard and long dreads, he doesn’t match the traditional vision of “college professor.” I’d be quite surprised to learn Drew owned anything with elbow patches.
I first met him at SIGGRAPH several years ago, when I was sitting on a panel and he was giving some papers. We happened to share a table at the evening’s drinking and snacks networking event, and as we got to know each other I found that while he may look intimidating, he’s one of the nicest, most sharply curious, and most intellectual people you’ll meet in this field. He loves discussing games, chewing them like gummi to break them down and find their meaning. It’s no surprise that he’s the mad genius behind the Well Played series, which thanks to him I had the honor to be part of. In this Celebrity Guest Editorial, Drew remembers the time before the end of secrets, and what it will mean for game design. Take it away, Drew!
Behold! Well Played 2.0, a college textbook on video game theory, has been published by Carnegie-Mellon’s imprint, Etc Press. You can and should buy a digital or book-shaped copy here. Why? Because it includes a chapter by me, about me. Not about me. About STALKER. Because that’s a more interesting subject than me. Seriously, me would bore you to tears. And so might this STALKER article. But buy the book and read it all. Published …