Disruptive Ideas in Games

by Matt Johnston on July 24, 2014

From the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/…./the-five-most-disruptive-ideas-in-the-video-game-design

  • Procedurality – games could one day create epic and unique stories each time.
  • Asymmetry – it’s not about two balanced teams duking it out.
  • Seamlessness – old divisions between story mode and multiplayer mode could disappear.
  • Performance – Gamers aren’t just players anymore – they share and create.
  • Persistance – The idea of cross-platform functionality.

They go into a bit of detail on each but I don’t think they have captured the “most” disruptive.

I think Persistence is right but it’s the idea that things don’t go away. That resources dwindle or buildings that are destroyed, stay destroyed. The idea of a persistent world is enticing in large battleground type games (like Destiny, Halo). It also means it’s on all of the time.

I think another factor is Aggregation – I’m enchanted by the idea that someone will be enjoying building the buildings that others destroy. Or farming the food that others eat. Or even just running the shop that others will virtually purchase virtual goods from.

The last is Fractionial – and this is not a positive thing. It’s almost impossible to get a complete game at a first try these days. Either a game is “complete” but there’s a bucket of downloadable content (DLC) or a game is complete but you have to pay to progress or pay to compete.


The Long Knives of the Media

by Matt Johnston on July 19, 2014

I think there is a chance for normalised politics and, dare I say it, progress.

But it is incumbent on the media to challenge our current political demagogues rather than feasting on low hanging fruit.

The contempt displayed by the media towards things that are new, towards talk of hope leaves me ever convinced that they were happier when bombs were blowing people to bits.

And when change does come, they can be proud that their long knives and contempt delayed it by a generation.


We are a common people, divided by our politicians

by Matt Johnston on July 10, 2014

Eamonn Mallie started a conversation on FaceBook. I’ve been commenting liberally.

It’s uplifting to hear people from opposite parts of the community say this because it’s too easy to characterise some as being only PUL or CNR. I want change because despite voting for peace, we haven’t moved one millimetre further than the GFA. Instead of an important milestone, it’s become the inscription on the tombstone of our broken society.

We are a common people, divided by our politicians. When I was a child (raised as a Catholic in Lisburn), going out to a bonfire and seeing the bands was normal. Thirty years later and sixteen years after a peace process, I would never go a bonfire celebration despite shedding my catholic identity years ago. It’s been tainted; extremists on both sides whose agenda is not my interest have stolen from me everything I hold dear. They have stolen the Irish language (that I never bothered to learn in school), they have stolen the bands and bonfires with their pomp and celebration, they have stolen any identity I had as a cultural Catholic Unionist and left me disenfranchised, disappointed and angry.

I was at an event in Belfast a couple of months ago and the speaker was Sir Richard Needham. Whatever you think of the man, he said some hard hitting truths. He said we have forgotten that our grandfathers were gods of industry. And he said that Northern Ireland is full of shit but laced with diamonds; and that we have to start finding the diamonds.


Are Games Just Products or Something More?

July 9, 2014

…the myopic focus on games soley as industry stymies developers in understanding their position relative to everything else. Is it any wonder The Arts Council don’t give a fuck about games, given how highly trained we are to think and talk of them as products? To be fair, I’ve found the Arts Council in Northern [...]

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Great Horror Campout: anyone fancy running this?

July 8, 2014

Click for more information.

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We are being played, my fellow citizens, by petty Machiavellians.

July 2, 2014

Our society is deadlocked by the past; more specifically by political parties wanting to prove their mettle by dwelling in the past and pushing it in front of us. It seems that every week that goes by there is a new transgression, a new legacy of the past that will thwart the development of our [...]

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Why should public transport be free?

June 26, 2014

Because it satisfies environmental impacts. It will overnight reduce the number of cars on the roads and reduce carbon emissions. It will also reduce the numbers of cars that are bought (a number that has been steadily increasing for years). Less than 5% of our workforce use public transport. Fewer cars will mean vastly reduced [...]

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Social Technologies

June 26, 2014

From The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and productivity through social technologies

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Libraries should become the convergence of creativity, dialogue and expression

June 24, 2014

Libraries should become more like Hackerspaces, converging centers of creation, dialogue, expression. Not the quiet reading room #civicmedia — Renata Avila (@avilarenata) June 23, 2014

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