Game Development Lectures

GDC 2013: “Talking to the Player – How Cultural Currents Shape and Level Design”

My 2013 GDC lecture explores computer games’ place in the cultural landscape. As developers and players, we hear comparisons between movies and games all the time, and we are still heavily influenced by the way in which movies (and books) have shaped our expectations for storytelling, authorship, and even our very patterns of thinking. But it turns out that computer games are not a direct continuation of that media lineage, and that the era of authoritative entertainment that books and movies represent is presently being replaced by a new cultural age that is much more complex than the one that came before. My lecture extrapolates those findings into hands-on advice on everyday problems faced by level and narrative designers, and explains in detail how computer games are the perfect expression of our current cultural values; an age that is commonly referred to as Secondary Orality.

You can download the fully annotated slides (45mb) for easy reference. I have also recorded a complete walk-through of my slides, which you can watch above.

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