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February 3, 2014
The Squalid Grace of Flappy Bird
Why playing stupid games staves off existential despair
November 26, 2013
A Slow Year Now Available as a Digital Download
DRM free for Windows and Mac. Get it at the Humble Store or via Storybundle.
In 2010 I released a game called A Slow Year. It was a strange game on many levels: made for the Atari VCS, and dubbed "game poems," and composed as a kind of chapbook. The game was a finalist in the Nuovo category at the 2010 Independent Game Festival, and ...
September 11, 2013
On the Manifesto for a Ludic Century
My full response to Eric Zimmerman
The game designer Eric Zimmerman just published a "Manifesto for the Ludic Century," and several folks were invited to write responses to it, including me. You should click through and read both of those links because this post won't make any sense if you don't. When you do, you'll notice ...
September 5, 2013
Consumption and Naturalism in Animal Crossing
Animal Crossing's Strange, Unresolved Conflict. Excerpted from Persuasive Games.
May 25, 2013
The ouroboros only eats ouroboroi
Kevin Werbach, who has been teaching a free Coursera MOOC on Gamification, spoke about teaching a free Coursera MOOC on Gamification at the $1k-2k/head GSummit, the gamification conference run by gamification consultant Gabe Zichermann. Now you can pay $15 to watch a video of Werbach talking about teaching a free ...
May 1, 2013
Preview: Why Gamification Is Bullshit
From a longer article forthcoming in The Gameful World
My short essay Gamification is Bullshit was a very widely read provocation, but it was never meant to be a complex argument. I've finally written a longer, more detailed version of that argument in an article titled "Why Gamification Is Bullshit." It will appear in Steffen P. Walz and Sebastian ...
An art installation and iPhone/iPad game about earning or buying station.
November 10, 2012
Digging for Gold in a Turd
My "Fuck this Jam" Keynote
Rami Ismail and Fernando Ramallo have organized a game jam called Fuck This Jam, in which participants are invited to build a game in a genre they hate. Given our experience making games in genres we hate, Rami and Fernando invited me (Cow Clicker) and Zach Gage (Spelltower) to deliver ...
November 5, 2012
Did you know, road trips are just gamified cars?
Gamification has reached such a fever pitch that its proponents have begun sounding like parodies of themselves. An amazing recent specimen is comes from Mashable, under the title "9 Strategies to Gamify Your Startup". The entire article is "worth reading," so to speak, but this one's my favorite: When people ...
October 31, 2012
Coming Soon: Simony
A teaser for my latest game
I've been quiet lately because I've been working like a madman to complete my latest game, a commission in the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville's Project Atrium series. The game takes the form of an installation that will run at the MOCA from November 17, 2012 through March 10, 2013. ...
October 2, 2012
Words With Friends Forever
On cadence and deep design in the current social games environment. From my "Persuasive Games" column at Gamasutra
August 11, 2012
In Defense of Competition
On sport, games, success, and failure
On her blog, my Georgia Tech colleague Amy Bruckman writes about her dissatisfaction with this year's Olympics. While she loved the games as a kid, Bruckman wonders if her new feelings of disappointment arise from watching them as an educator rather than as a little girl: "I look at young ...
June 11, 2012
Cube Clicker
I implemented Peter Molyneux's Curiosity inside Cow Clicker
Peter Molyneux is unusual among commercial game designers. He's very well-known and successful, yet his games are often quite unusual, and his crazier ideas have a reputation for not quite making it to market. Molyneux's penchant for absurdist, conceptual design koans even inspired a Twitter parody, @PeterMolydeux, whose design one-liners ...
February 28, 2012
Game Developers Conference 2012
My schedule for this year's event
It's almost time for the Game Developers Conference again! To think, last year I was struggling to escape the grip of a certain cow game, and this year I've perhaps almost partly escaped the grip of a certain cow game. This year I've got a relatively light schedule. First, Ben ...
February 27, 2012
Videogames as Art Medium and Inspiration
or, A Slow Year at the Telfair
This week, the Telfair Museums will open Game Change: Videogames as Art Medium and Inspiration. My game A Slow Year is among the pieces that will be on exhibit from February 27 to April 1, 2012. I'll be in Savannah Thursday evening for the Game Change panel, from 6-8pm at ...
February 15, 2012
The Perils of Farmville
Me on NPR's Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane
I've had a chance to be on a number of different radio programs, both national and local. I really like doing radio, particularly longer programs on NPR and CBC since the additional time really allows more sustained exploration of a topic. It's also particularly fun and weird to be on ...
January 31, 2012
Slashdot Q&A
Just a short pointer post for those who get my updates via blog or RSS. Last month Slashdot covered the Wired article about me and Cow Clicker, and invited readers to pose questions. The editors selected some, which I answered, and which Slashdot has now published. The questions were good, ...
January 24, 2012
On Technical Agency and Procedural Rhetoric
A quick response to Joshua McVeigh-Schulz
There's an interesting discussion over at Culture Digitally between Gina Neff, Tim Jordan, and Joshua McVeigh-Schulz on the subject of technical agency, or "how we should (re)theorize the politics of technological systems." Gina Neff's opening comments include a welcome statement about the limits of SCOT perspectives on technical systems: Within ...
November 19, 2011
Two New Interviews
Two new and relatively extensive interviews with me were recently published. The first is in Forbes, conducted by David M. Ewalt. It mostly covers material from my latest book, How to Do Things with Videogames, but there's some new material toward the end. The second interview, with Aaron McCollough, appears ...
November 10, 2011
Innovative Leisure
An exhibition of new games for the Atari
I'm curating an exhibit of new Atari games at Babycastles, which opens this Sunday, November 13th. It's called Innovative Leisure (a term I lifted from an early Atari slogan) and will take place at a new art games arcade at Death By Audio. The show exhibits games by Sonny Ray ...