The Answer to Everything

The Answer to Everything
The Revolution Began With Paper

Greg Costikyan | 25 Apr 2006 08:01
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The future of games lies with people who love them. And here's where to find them:

In the hobby games market, of course, where the distribution channel is still open to the off-beat and odd-ball, and where development costs are low enough that experimentation is still possible.

In the live-action roleplaying movement, particularly in Scandinavia, where it has become a major cultural phenomenon, in which people are experimenting with integration of gameplay into realworld spaces.

In the "big games" and "alternative reality games" movements, in which people are experimenting with games that "break the fourth wall" (or, pace Huizinga, "the magic circle") by creating games that integrate with everyday life.

In the "indie RPG" movement that views roleplaying as closer to theatrical improv than to traditional ideas about "the game."

And in the independent digital games movement - people creating games on small or non-existent budgets and praying for a viable path to market, experimenting with novel game styles that will mostly fail, but just might set the world on fire.

Games are a big business now. But games are an art form. And as with any art form, if you want to understand its future, don't follow the money. Follow the passion.

Greg Costikyan has designed more than 30 commercially published games in various genres and platforms. He has written about the game industry for publications including the New York Times, Salon, and Game Developer magazine. He's also the CEO of Manifesto Games.

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