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Kotaku picked up a video interview of Will Wright made for the Chronicle of Higher Education.  I try not to worship Will Wright, but I think he gets just about everything right in this interview.

  • "We've gotten disconnected from the idea of play.... I don't think it's games so much as play.... we still think of play as a sort of useless, time-wasting activity.  When, in fact, play is a fundamental educational technology."
  • On Serious Games: "I think there's an environment they're emerging in, a certain garden, ecosystem ... in which they have to look serious first." "They could be a lot more fun than they are ... lot of them are maybe too specifically targeted." 
  • He offers Rod Serling's Twilight Zone and Dr. Seuss as examples of serious messages couched within a rich context or a playful presentation.
  • Perhaps motivation is a better goal than education, for games.  They'll educate anyway, but it's too serious a goal for most designers, who would do better aiming to motivate instead.
The Kotaku comments also have some good links to other material, including some TED talks.  It's a wonderful antidote to the representatives of the GIF Theory that you find on any Kotaku thread about one of the big three consoles.

Recent Readings

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This week's readings are all over the place.  After a talk by Clay Shirky, I read up on him; I missed a conference that I'd have liked to have gone to; and I followed up on some old topics of interest.

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