CGD Podcast: Episode 34 – Videogames and Game Culture with Tevis Thompson

Writer and critic Tevis Thompson has been on my radar a long time as a rare person who talks about games in a way that is markedly less alienating to me than usual. I recently heard him on the 1099 podcast, which I recommend people check out, and I thought we could have a really good discussion about games and games culture, which that conversation just barely touched upon. And that’s just what we did! In this conversation we talked about big-budget games like The Witcher and The Last Guardian, violence glorification and other toxic politics of games, the hyper-defensive culture surrounding games, and a lot more.

Check out Tevis’s site here. Follow him on Twitter here.

As always, I look forward to hearing what you guys have to say about it in the comments. And if you want to support the show, do so here.

CGD Podcast Ep. 33 – Flow, Formalism, and the Depth/Accessibility Trade-off

First of all, I’m not really a formalist, and I explain why in the episode. Also: why I’m not sure anyone really “is a formalist”.

I talk about the “flow” concept that you’ve read about in almost every game design article and you ever read that wasn’t written by me.

I also address a number of other topics, answer listener questions, and I even talk about some of my favorite podcasts at the end of the show.

Enjoy!

And as always, if you enjoy the show, please consider becoming a patron on Patreon.com!

EDIT: I said that I would be talking about self-expression in games. I didn’t get around to it in this episode, but forgot to edit out the mention of it in the header. Apologies!

CGD Podcast Episode 32: Contests of Understanding, and Questioning Gun Worship in Games

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Hello everyone! A new episode, finally. This one is a distinct two-parter, coming in at about 45 minutes. I first talk about how games are better described as contests of understanding rather than contests of decisions. The “decisions” aspect of games tends to actually be a bit over-stated.

The second thing I talk about is a new IGN article that asks the question, “Are Guns In Video Games Holding The Medium Back?”

(Above is a screenshot from a new satirical VR game called The American Dream.)

Thanks for listening, and let me know what you think of the episode below.

Liked the episode? Please consider becoming a patron at Patreon.com. You’ll gain access to previews of new episodes, articles, and even get the first glimpses at my games and prototypes.

CGD Podcast Ep. 31 – permadeath, structure, the death of game design writing, and more

Hello everyone. Today I’m talking about a new article I read about permadeath/grinding, as well as what I perceive as the death, or at least curving off of, the world of game design writing.

I also read and responded to a Frank Lantz quote (now on the Dinofarm Forums!) on the topic of structure in games and win rates.

You should also check out the game design subreddit if you haven’t already: http://www.reddit.com/r/gamedesign

(By the way… beware the term “beautiful”.)

As always, you can support the show by visiting my Patreon page.

CGD Podcast Episode 29 – My Life In Videogames

This episode goes into my history as a videogame player (more than a designer) and talks about how recently I’ve been sort of regretting how much time I’ve spent playing videogames. Of all of the episodes of this show, this is the one I’m least confident about, in terms of, it doesn’t have some super strong “thesis statement”. So if that sounds like something that you wouldn’t want to listen to, you’ve been warned. Hopefully there’s some value in it for some listeners.

Thanks for listening!

CGD Podcast Episode 28: Responsible Theming for Competitive Games

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We obviously don’t want people to be jerks when we play games with them. But to what degree is our game itself kind of being a jerk? To what extent are our competitive games advocating players to be as toxic as possible? And what alternatives do we have to the traditional D&D / war-game based tropes that we rely on?

This podcast episode is sort of a follow-up to my article, “Beyond the Pentakill“, so I’d recommend reading that as well. Enjoy!

I also mentioned Jackson Katz and Jonathan McIntosh in the episode, both of which are people you should check out.

(By the way – I might have said “Draven” in the podcast when I meant to say “Darius”. I often confuse their names, sorry about that!)

(Edit! I also mentioned that I talked about single player being ideal for game design – turns out I also wrote an article on that and forgot about it somehow, haha.)

To support the show, please visit my Patreon page!