The need for Rockstars – Part 2

Following on from my post on why we need more rockstars locally, this link showed up in my Google Alert for Freeplay and reminded me that Kieron Gillen had said very much the same thing in 2005.

Rock Star is just used as short hand for fearless. It’s worth remembering that there’s all manner of Rock Star archetypes to follow. There’s Rockstars known for their piercing, caustic intelligence and puritanical rage as much as those who are just a byword for narcissistic excess. Some already do it – I had the rare pleasure of interviewing an independent developer who argued that the conservative critics were right: games /were/ murder simulations. However, since we live in a world where such power is centralized in Authority who regularly use it oppressively, it’s important that we’re able to train ourselves to resist them if required. Essentially, the videogame reinvented as a part of the revolutionaries toolkit alongside the trusty AK-47.

You can read the whole transcript of his talk here.

Proverbially dull, inarticulate, social misfits.

Earlier today, I watched the below video from The Wheeler Centre in which Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, discusses how digital and the internet is ‘rewiring our brains’.  I agree with much of what he says with regards to the ‘what’ of this rewiring and I don’t know enough about it to refute his predicted outcomes, but then, at around the 11:10 mark, Gideon Haigh makes a cheap joke that gamers are ‘proverbially dull, inarticulate, social misfits’ which garners a smattering of laughter from the audience.

Continue reading “Proverbially dull, inarticulate, social misfits.”

The need for rockstars

Last night, I was graciously invited to the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards by the Wheeler Centre.  It was a fun night (although I wish I’d been in a more sociable mood) and because my head is in a games + culture space, I found myself looking at the experience through a slightly odd filter.
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Some thoughts on games & culture – part 1

I’ve been asked to give a presentation on the cultural influence (although that’s not a perfect descriptor) of games in a few weeks and I thought I’d share my thinking on this (large) topic in a series of posts here, including the state of things, education, IP, how other mediums deal with their creative culture, the bleeding of games into other forms, and whatever else crosses my mind.

First up is to establish a bit of where we are, which was triggered by this post We’re not the clever country if we’re not a creative country on The Punch. It’s a look at the impact creative industries have on the economy, with a specific focus on games and the Interactive Skills Integration Scheme, and it got me thinking about a couple of things. In this post I want to look at some of the influences on our local industry in 2010 and the role of education.
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Those who do not have imagination cannot imagine possibility.

Recently, the Australian Council for the Arts commissioned a number of pieces from four established performing arts organizations looking at the idea of artistic vibrancy.  Three of the four pieces – On Orchestra, on Theatre, and on Dance, dissected their own practices as mediums and institutions, beginning what is hopefully a longer term conversation and evolution.

The fourth, which you can read in full here, was by Richard Mills, the Artistic Director of West Australian Opera, and it attempts to explore the wider issue of heritage rather than focusing on his company’s practice.
Continue reading “Those who do not have imagination cannot imagine possibility.”

Meanland: Reading in a time of Technology

There’s a good writeup of my talk on the Meanland site here, and they’ll be putting up video, but for those who can’t wait (or want a transcript of sorts), I thought I’d put up my slides & notes.

Click through the fold for the content.

Continue reading “Meanland: Reading in a time of Technology”

AFTRS Intro to Writing for Games

I’m going to be running a 1-day intro to games writing on May 3rd at AFTRS here in Melbourne.  Anyone interested can register here.

This’ll be different, and way more in-depth, than the 2-hour Express Media workshop later in the month.

And if you didn’t hear – we announced this year’s Freeplay festival too.

Some followup studies

As a followup to my local data breakdown, I thought I’d link to some other interesting findings:

Added 17/11/09: Marketing influences games more than ratings

Survey: Game Score-to-Sale Theory Again Disproven

A study from 2006 that concludes no correlation between sales & score.

When Pundits Attack: Game Sales vs Game Quality

This compares metacritic rating to overall sales for 1281 games during the PS2 era.

Each metacritic point is worth 7.7 extra sales per day

Some data extracted from between March 2007 & March 2008

The influence of metacritic on games sales

A more recent study from May 2009.