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Chris
Inveterate philosopher, game designer and author
Recent Activity
My Paternity Leave has begun, so nothing more from me until May. Enjoy the silence! Continue reading
Posted yesterday at ihobo
Just a quick note to say that I appear to have hurdled the final step of the bureaucracy required to complete my Doctorate… thus unlocking additional bureaucracy pertaining to storing my doctorate in the library system. It would be nice... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at ihobo
Just a quick note to say that I appear to have hurdled the final step of the bureaucracy required to complete my Doctorate… thus unlocking additional bureaucracy pertaining to storing my doctorate in the library system. It would be nice... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Only a Game
Ed: the programme is really for the graduating students at the University of Bolton. This is the first year running it, so I'll see how it goes, but if all comes together I hope to make it a regular feature of the Summer.
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on The Calm Before the Storm at ihobo
1 reply
With a new baby approaching at the end of this month, I am about to go on Paternity leave. I will tie up the blogs when my leave begins, for now I am working hard on finishing up the script... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at ihobo
With a new baby approaching at the end of this month, I am about to go on Paternity leave. I will tie up the blogs when my leave begins, for now I am working hard on finishing up the script... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at Only a Game
*grins* So far, Copy is working out for me. Very generous with the file space, but I guess they have to compete on space as they're 'last to the table'. ;) All the best!
Toggle Commented Apr 7, 2014 on Defecting from Google Drive at Only a Game
1 reply
Nicholas Lovell and I continue our debate about the future of games pricing in Shoes are not Shoes. Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2014 at Only a Game
Nicholas Lovell and I continue our debate about the future of games pricing in Shoes are not Shoes. Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2014 at ihobo
After Google Drive decided I could choose between having duplicates of all of my folders or deleting all of my files, I decided to defect. I plan to be free of Google for productivity software in three years, if I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2014 at ihobo
After Google Drive decided I could choose between having duplicates of all of my folders or deleting all of my files, I decided to defect. I plan to be free of Google for productivity software in three years, if I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2014 at Only a Game
What would you like to talk to me about? As regular players will have noticed, I’m writing blog-letters this year as part of the Republic of Bloggers. But if you have a blog you are part of the Republic too... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2014 at Only a Game
Hi Robin, Thanks for your comment! Your reading here is rather odd... Campbell was a justly celebrated scholar who did not suffer significant discrimination to my knowledge. I don't see Campbell as a heretic, since he broke with Christianity and it would only be by Christian standards that a claim of heresy could be applied. As an outsider Hindu, for want of a better term, Campbell was far from heretical! :) Best wishes, Chris.
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2014 on What Did Joseph Campbell Believe? at Only a Game
1 reply
Thanks for your thoughtful comments! I am pressed for time, but will briefly respond... Rickard: This all begins with the piece linked above, "Is Fiction a Wrapper for Games?" If your interest is in Dan and my positions, following this piece will put this into mcuh clearer context. It's important to appreciate that the fiction of a game in (my/Walton's sense) is *more* than the narrative - and one of my points here is that *no game* gets by without generating fictional worlds (Rule #2 above). As for narrative and games, MUDs also generated similar narrative play to tabletop RPGs, and I believe some of this survives in the corners of the MMOs. My wife and I get pretty good narrative play out of the boardgames "Arkham Horror" and "Pandemic", although obviously it's heavily constrained by the design in both cases. I could also point to something like "Journey" or "Bientôt l'été" as an interesting case of narrative play in videogames, where a second player takes the games in question beyond a static narrative. Thanks for sharing the earlier discussion! Very interesting stuff. James: Thanks for your kind words! This was my favourite of my blog exchanges from last year and I really wanted to return to it when I had time. Actually, I *still* don't have time, but with a baby due in a few weeks it was now or never! :) Since finishing writing "Chaos Ethics" (the last part of the trilogy that began with "Imaginary Games") my perspective has really shifted into examining practices, and to understanding games and games design in terms of practices. I do not believe I've even come close to scratching the surface of this topic yet! I have always suggested the designer is the invisible player at the table/screen of any game, just as the author of a book is always 'present' when you read their books - albeit distant and inscrutable. This thought can go further than I have time to expound upon today, alas! And yes - "no-one plays alone" is precisely a claim that we should never forget everyone involved in getting to that play experience - I think perhaps I glossed over your point here in my rush to defend the plausible counter-arguments, but I certainly meant to imply exactly what you say here! As for going 'slightly too far' with a comment - never! My blogs used to generate this kind of thoughtful commentary all the time, and I'm grateful for anyone who takes the time to do so now, when the focus of the internet has moved more into social media. ;) All the best! Chris.
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2014 on The Rules of Game Worlds at ihobo
1 reply
Over on ihobo today, an open letter to my long time blog-friend Danc (Dan Cook) at Lost Garden about The Rules of Game Worlds as part of the Republic of Bloggers. Other replies welcome! Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2014 at Only a Game
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An open letter to Danc at Lost Garden as part of the Republic of Bloggers. Other replies welcome! Dear Dan, Last year one of my firestarters on fiction denial (one of my ‘four questions’ posts entitled Is Fiction Just a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2014 at ihobo
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I was just bemoaning my total lack of interest (as a player) in the big releases this month, when suddenly my secret wish was granted… I’m delighted to share the announcement of a new Tale of Tales project, Sunset: Sunset... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2014 at Only a Game
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I was just bemoaning my total lack of interest (as a player) in the big releases this month, when suddenly my secret wish was granted… I’m delighted to share the announcement of a new Tale of Tales project, Sunset: Sunset... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2014 at ihobo
LateTide: Thanks for this comment! I actually intended to write explicitly about how the cost of development needs to be recouped and that the free-to-play model thrives on low development cost, but in the end I just covered this by pointing out that the content of the AAAs would be impossible under free-to-play (the same point you make here regarding the fixed cost of manufacture, just expressed differently). Nicholas' piece was a firestarter - he's aiming to drive a lively discussion - so it doubtless pushes further than in needs to in order to make its points. But I do believe that free-to-play economics are going to take over the lower market (indeed, they already have!) and perhaps the mid-market too. The exception - as noted at the end here - are the indie devs who aren't in it for the money but can still end up making money. I also wonder whether games-as-products might make a comeback as free-to-play aesthetics of play distort games... gamer hobbyists in particular are choosy enough that they might be able to maintain their own niche markets. Indeed, they already do! :) All the best, Chris.
Toggle Commented Mar 8, 2014 on Games Are Not Shoes at ihobo
1 reply
Over on ihobo.com and on gamesbrief.com, my counter-argument to Nicholas Lovell’s claims that the pricing of PC games will trend towards zero. Here’s an extract: What a AAA fixed price game can deliver to players is (potentially, at least) a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2014 at Only a Game
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Earlier this week, Nicholas Lovell argued that the consequence of Steam allowing developers to set their own pricing will be the price of PC games heading for zero, as free-to-play economics effectively vanquish the opposition through market competition. His argument... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2014 at ihobo
One of the things I was keen to achieve by having one foot in academia and one foot in commercial game development was to give the students at University of Bolton a chance to work on actual projects. This year,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2014 at Only a Game
One of the things I was keen to achieve by having one foot in academia and one foot in commercial game development was to give the students at University of Bolton a chance to work on actual projects. This year,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2014 at ihobo
Have a few moments to spare? This survey on player preferences will only take a few minutes to complete, but will help a student on a player-centric game design course complete his thesis. Check it out! Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2014 at ihobo
The final part of the post-mortem for Kult: Heretic Kingdoms is now up, over on the Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms developer blog. It’s all about the incredible recording session with Tom Baker – check it out! Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at ihobo