The dying throes of AAA

Bungie last week announced their new expansion for Destiny, The Taken King, and in the process alienated another big chunk of their fanbase. The motivation for their behavior is obvious: to extract as much money as possible from paying customers in a desperate attempt to postpone the inevitable. But it’s getting to the point where even the most indoctrinated players are starting to feel exploited.

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Extrinsic Motivation: the Danger That Games Embody

There’s a new editorial up today on Kotaku describing a man’s struggle with the disconnect between reality and the elaborate systems of extrinsic rewards we have used as the basis of so many things in our society. As Kotaku is a gaming news website, the role of video games in this process is of course mentioned.

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Little Games

On Wednesday the New York Times Magazine published a really interesting article that talks a little about gamification and a lot about specifically the type of games, often found on Facebook and mobile devices, that capitalize on the snippets of “free” time everyone has between doing other things. It’s definitely worth a read; go check it out.

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More about the Mojang/Zenimax settlement

More news sites are realizing today what the Scrolls trademark going to Zenimax means for Mojang. Of course, they still haven’t really said anything about how little sense the whole thing makes. I think Zenimax Media gets better treatment than Tim Langdell by gaming news sites just because it actually makes games people enjoy.

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Kickstarter Success

If you hadn’t heard, Double Fine Productions is going to be making a new point-and-click adventure game with Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert headlining the team, funded entirely through a Kickstarter project which went live last night. It’s big news today: this is the fastest-funded Kickstarter project ever, and already the one with the most backers less than 24 hours since it went up. It even prompted the U.K. Interactive Entertainment trade group to start work on a report to persuade lawmakers in the U.K. to make adjustments to legally support this type of funding mechanism for game developers.

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Reality is Broken

This morning (yesterday morning now; I’ve been working on this post all day) I followed a link shared on Twitter by Jamie Madigan and Brenda Brathwaite to read an article entitled “I Don’t Want to be a Superhero.” Having read through almost all of Alfie Kohn’s Punished by Rewards by now, it got me thinking about the whole “gamification” thing and I feel like I have something to say about it that isn’t really being said by most of the people I’ve read discussing it. A lot to say, actually; this is gonna be a long one. Buckle up. Disclaimer: I haven’t read Reality is Broken. Continue reading Reality is Broken

Punished by Rewards

I’m reading the book Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn, at the suggestion of Jonathan Blow. It’s incredibly interesting, and I think should be required reading for most adults. It is interesting for game design, but also for managers, teachers, parents, and I would think most other people.

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Musings on Game Plots

Alan Tew made an interesting observation on his LittleBot Studios blog: that the plot of escaping enslavement lends itself especially well to the video game medium. This led me to wonder what other sorts of plots might also lend themselves well to the medium, and I decided to do my musing here. This will be more rambling than normal, since I’m basically writing my thoughts as they come…

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This Celestial Life

I’ve been working on a game lately when I have time. It’s probably way too early to talk about but I’m going to say a little anyway. The title of the game is “This Celestial Life” and it’s sort of my take on the Japanese dating sim. It isn’t really about dating, though; it’s basically directly inspired by the non-combat portions of Persona 3.

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