Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sun(Wednes)day Papers (October 27th)

Yeah, it's not Sunday yet. Oh well. And these aren't really timely, or specific articles in general, but they're all related to design so I'll post them anyway.

» (edit:) Emily Short's critique of the casual game "Mr. Right" is game design analysis and close reading at its best: “I played this game in a haze of loathing.”

- If you have an interest in architecture, you gotta read "Small at Large." It's kind of anti-BLDGBLOG, anti-design establishment -- not so into urban design as into a very specific kind of architecture and how this (rather old, now) architect was scorned at the time. There's plenty of juicy personal drama, anecdotes about how famous st-architects are divas, and lots of concrete thoughts on the practice of architecture that are kind of refreshing from the usual cloud-gazing of the popular urban design blogs today. AND THE ALL-CAPS IS POSITIVELY CHARMING.

- Some of the other essays are good, but I read the first issue of "Journal 3" mostly for the interview with Molleindustria -- probably the best designer working in the "political games" genre today, with the best articulated design philosophy and great games to boot.

- I was asked what I thought about "Super Columbine Massacre RPG", specifically the creator's statement on the power of games. I had never played the game or followed the critical reception, but now I've played it (admittedly for 5 minutes because I found the basic design so awful) and read Danny Ledonne's statement and I'm conflicted. He seems to say things that I'd agree with... but they're coming out wrong. He's more interested in creating a dialogue than a playable game. Which is fine. But I think instrumentalizing video games so blatantly, so vulgarly as tools to an end -- that's a betrayal of art. That's why Ledonne's not a game designer; rather, he's a filmmaker who made a game, which is fine, but I don't want him speaking for me.

- Lost Garden has a post about "Triple Town" for the Amazon Kindle... wait, I didn't even know you could make games for the Kindle. Whaaaa?!

- Being at Parsons, I feel like I should be benefiting from the fashion design influence around here. But what can game design possibly learn from fashion design? I keep staring at Alexander McQueen's (supposed) last dress, some essence of godliness, waiting for some epiphany. Look at those folds, the draping, the creases, the cut, the sheen!... Maybe more fashion designers should work in the game industry so they can prevent the trainwrecks that are Final Fantasy character costumes?...