Games designer/entrepreneur and novelist Greg Costikyan has written a provocative piece about how games and stories fit together. His premise is that games democratize fiction: with fiction, the author tells the audience how the story goes; with games, the story is made by the audience.
Thinking about this recently, and about what Manifesto is trying to do, it occurs to me that the video game industry has, in some ways, betrayed the democratic nature of the form it sells. The game industry, even if the product it promotes is democratic and interactive in nature, is structured virtually identically to entertainment media that predate it. Creators contract with publishers, who do their best to screw them financially; marketing is "top-down," broadcast-style, with a carefully crafted message disseminated via PR and advertising to consumers; publishers, console manufacturers, and retailers jointly act as gate-keepers to narrow consumer options; and gamers are viewed as little more than sheep to be fleeced, induced by a glut of advertising and manipulated press attention to go to the store and buy the next game in the franchise.
Now, let's think about this a little. There are essentially two groups in this value chain who love games: the people who create them, i.e., developers; and the people who consume them, i.e., gamers. Everyone in between is a necessary evil, a means of getting games from developers into the hands of gamers. But it's also everyone in between who basically doesn't give a rat's ass about games, and indeed, would probably be happier selling detergent, or working in film. For developers, and for gamers, games are something special; for the intermediaries, they're just another SKU in a packaged goods industry.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Black Friday Mac Bundle 2.0 is one of the Boing Boing Store’s best-selling Mac bundles yet, and it’s about to come to an end. If you don’t get your copy now, here’s what you’ll be missing:This bundle comes packing 9 top-rated Mac apps in one package, at the hugely discounted price of just $23.99. […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]