Archive for September, 2006

Katamari Tributes
September 21, 2006

It’s beginning spring in the south.. and to spread the joy of these sunny days, I felt it was a good idea to make a tribute-post to one of the most inspiring games of the last years… Enjoy.

 


I got the privilege to assist to the Game Design Challenge at this year’s GDC. Three game designers had to think about making a game that could win the Peace Nobel Prize. The two american guys came up with nice (but predictable) ideas on games about being in a refugee camp or a game that required social participation and it had a viral effect.

The third guy, was Keita Takahashi, the artist behind Katamari Damacy. All he just said is that it doesn’t matter how the game is, we all know how fun games actually are and the great power they have to let us live our dreams. “But a lot of people don’t have access to computers or even telephones.. So if everyone in the world could have access to play games, then no one will waste his or her time having wars against others. We just need to let anyone that wants to play, to be able to do it. Because games are way much more fun than guns, and can let us share beautiful experiences with anyone in the world!”

Say no more.

The Nature of the Digital Author
September 1, 2006

Keeping track with my last post on Collective Culture and how we’re starting to have a concrete perception of “culture as building blocks where we can remix anything just like we want it”, I wanted to narrow this vision towards games.

andy_warhol.jpg

Some weeks ago I found a fantastic game named Block Action. It’s the good old platformer we all know but with a fantastic tweak: Anyone in the whole web can edit and create their own levels for Block Action and it will get ranked by the users according to how fun and challenging your level is.

Besides being a fantastic tool to teach level design, is a marvelous example on how gamers are actually authors as well when it comes to interactivity. Gamers establish a creative contract with the game designer where one defines the contents and the other one, the rules.

Collective creation, participatory experiences where everyone matters it’s one of the most magical principles of the interactive age. Think of the web 2.0, wikis, blogs, game mods and youtube videos. I wonder if Andy Warhol knew how strong his prediction was when he said that “… in the future, everyone will get his 15 minutes of fame.”