Archive for November, 2006

Gaming Evolution
November 24, 2006

It’s interesting to see how the graphics of games have evolved during the last 30 years but gameplay has almost been the same during all that time. The fact that “Star Wars” is considered sort of a genre in this video is also quite revealing of how immature the game industry still is.

To me it’s quite clear that we’re still dealing with the equivalent to the silent era of movies, although some light can be seen in the horizon (Wii!). Our technology will some day end up maturing so creating games can start being essentially about shaping beautiful play.

Playing at the Flash Mob
November 19, 2006

Last Saturday, the first Pillow Fight Flash Mob was held at the planetarium in Buenos Aires. And it was a genuine generational moment for the online hordes of bloggers from this internetized 21st century.

Each time you interact at an online forum, blog or website you’re abstracted from the fact that probably hundreds of other guys just like you are out there reading your words. As we gain more power to communicate, we are afraid we might lose the pleasure of real face-to-face flesh interaction. Hence: the flash mob movement emerges without any kind of sponsor or institution behind it; and what’s more important: It’s a process in itself. I has no further meaning than the joy of just playing it.

Unlike Woodstock or May ’68, there’s no political statement calling for a fight for our future in the flash mobs. Postmodernism has claimed that paradise can be experienced right now and we return to the beautiful days of our lost paradises from infancy to just keep on playing.

I love to play.

Games 2.0: Visions of the Future
November 8, 2006

For a while I’ve been thinking and planning projects according to a view I have on the future of games and game development. Inspired by the revolutionary way of creating culture that is clearly shown by the Web 2.0 philosophy, there could be a possible path for us to start seeing Games 2.0.

Just like in the video posted above, it could be an interesting alternative if in the future we could start seeing remixed games, where a user can take his character from The Sims to the universe of Warcraft. And this thought leads to the idea of Game Objects which I heard before from Will Wright.

Imagine if the future of game development becomes closer to the common guy by just throwing objects into a big ludic scenario and there’s no need of coding. A future where all games use a same standard of ludic objects and hence let the industry lower its costs and empower its creativity.

This post permits me to advice that on my personal project Utopia there had been some important improvements and some changes towards this direction. If you’re curious for more, visit Utopia’s blog.

Chat on Games and Art
November 3, 2006

Manifesto Games invited me last Tuesday to participate on a chat about “Games and Art” with inspiring colleagues. It was a nice experience to share some ideas and discover different point of views on the subject.

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Yet, due to the subjective nature of art, it was quite hard to have a good common driver to the overall chat, it was like reading random thoughts rather than having a proper conversation with other people.

Jesper Juul put a full transcript of the chat in his site.

I’ll take this opportunity to state a simple argument on why games are art: to me, Play is the answer. Art has a lot to do of expressing how we feel, and what the world means to us. And Play is something that is strictly related to existence.

We play even since before civilizations existed: all it takes to discover this is to watch two dogs playing. And the joy of art has a lot to do with the process and not with the results: The artist enters his own universe when he finds himself absorbed by his creation, and just like the musician that Plays his instrument, or the Actor that plays his role; games are a space that lets anyone feel the power of Play.

Of course, art has nothing to do with quality, but a lot to do on discovering who we are. And as an artistic discipline, there’s no doubt that nothing has more potential than games to become an art of excellence for the years to come.