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Op Ed

TechCrunch - The Fun Boson Does Not Exist. Thanks Ant via Slashdot.
Rather than continuing to innovate through measurement, the social sector as a whole rationalised itself into a corner. It knew of a couple of formats of game that seemed to work with measurements (but not really why they worked), knew how to build those, and then continued to repeat the same format again and again. So, just like the gambling industry, social gaming became about who had the best commercial processes in place to push their identikit product around as fast as possible. Farmville really wasnít about Zyngaís genius at replicating Harvest Moon. It was about their genius at getting that game in front of everyone on Facebook faster than anyone else.

But, again just like the casino business, that kind of thinking can only get you so far.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Dishonored Designer Joe Houston On Violence In Games.
In light of the recent gun violence in the U.S. and the resultant anti-game talk that has stemmed from it, itís important as gamers not to simply retreat to the easy reaction, that games arenít a part of the problem. While I think that might be true (after personal examination), I think itís a pity to stop there. Too often we think about what we might lose as players and developers if forced to engage in that conversation, becoming blinded by the fear of censorship. As a result we miss out on more creative and effective ways to be a part of the solution. As players we can stand to expand our emotional palette by seeking out games that challenge us. And developers have a responsibility to answer that demand with games that engage the player with meaningful choices, additional freedom, and ultimately greater personal responsibility.

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