Austin Game Developers

Lordamighty. Is it over? Really over? Can I go home and sleep now?

Went to my first Austin Game Developers meeting last night. Bruce Sterling spoke on the future of gaming. Since he’s a writer, not a developer, he didn’t talk about technology and design as much as how the social aspect of gaming will change and affect the world. Needless to say, it was an excellent talk – Bruce presents the way he writes, so last night’s talk was both insightful and witty.

But one of the things he suggested was that games would stop driving hardware and start driving politics – games would become political. I couldn’t disagree more. Gamers might become more involved in politics, but I don’t think games themselves will. We don’t make multiplayer games where you’re sitting in a stifling negotiating room across the table from another diplomat, stubbing out cigarettesas you both pick statements and responses from a list and watcheach other’s body languageto tell you how well you’re doing…

Actually, that almost sounds kind of cool.

But we don’t generally make games like that.In games, it’s pretty much a given that diplomacy has failed and it’s time to start blowing stuff up. And that’s just not going to change.