Writing up talks is hard work. Anyhow, I thought you’d be interested to know that my talk from Gamecity ’08, the Nottingham game festival (which was, frankly, excellent) is now available online for you to read. I was due to give a talk to a more general audience than I normally do, so I decided to run with a slightly more general topic, and imagined a 45-year-old standing for office as a premier in 2018:

They’re 45 in 2018 when they stand for office – that means they were born in 1973. They would have been four when Taito released Space Invaders came out; seven when Pac Man came out. In 1985, when they were 12, Nintendo would launch the NES in the west. At 18, just as they would have been heading to University, the first NHL game came out for the Genesis/Megadrive and might consumed many a night in the dorm. At 22, the Playstation was launched. At 26, they could have bought a PS2 at launch, ; 22 when the Playstation came out; 26 when they bought a launch PS2. At 31, they might have taken up World of Warcraft with their friends.

They would have been a gamer all their lives. Not someone who once played videogames, trotting out the same anecdote about “playing Asteroids once” in interviews; someone for whom games were another part of their lives, a primary, important medium. Someone who understood games.

And if that was the case, what might they have learned?

The resulting thoughts were interesting, and led to some good discussion and (I think) some happy audiences. I hope you enjoy it too.

Read the full talk here; feedback, as ever, is welcome.

2 comments on this entry.

  • Elsa | 25 Nov 2008

    Thanks for the full write up, this saves me eventually asking for all the links you mentioned that I couldn’t write down.

    Good talk – cheers.

  • Glenn | 30 Nov 2008

    This is an incredible piece of commentary, and I am struck by how tactfully you answer the question gamers have heard for decades… “What are you getting from all that time spent in front of a screen?”

    In recent years, as life has become increasingly demanding and my budget has become even more stretched, I have not had time for video games. I still retain an interest in the social impact, however… even if I don’t have the latest systems, I continue to recognize that to millions of people, this medium provides more than “just a game.”

    Excellent work… I look forward to reading more by you.