A fixture at the Game Developers Conference, microtalks are a chance for designers to speak on short topics like pirate parties and love in games.
Kelle Santiago: An online rave would be awesome.
Gary Penn: Define memorable moments.
Chaim Gingold: Tricksters like Loki make the world. Use the instincts of his adversaries against them. Tricksters are flexible. Tricksters are culture heroes. “Hackers and game designers took the fire of computation down from the Gods.” Escape the trap of a paycheck, to make more interesting games. Playing with dirt is a culture specific thing, and it’s okay to get dirty or use dirt as a building block.
Jane Pinckard: I’m short [she prettily moves down the mic] Love is a really interesting thing to think about. Alistair, from Dragon Age has a lot of fans on Facebook. Games target the neo-cortex and the reptilian parts of the human brain but they are just now targeting the limbic system, where “love” is felt. Final Fantasy 8 was about a love story. Nintendogs was about love. Make a great first date in a game, use humor, use adrenaline-filled moements. Why not use expressions in more games? “I’d like to blow a kiss to Alistair after he does something awesome.” “Love is a complex battlefield.” “I don’t care about the Citizen Kane of games, I want the Pride and Prejudice of games.”
Ian Bogost: Ezra Pound’s short poem about the metro. This is just to say by William Carlos Williams and The Red Wheelbarrow. Imagism is important. “The reader does not receive the message of the poem but excavates it.” Much like games. “A player is the archaeologist of the ancient civilization that is a game’s creator.”
Margaret Robinson: Papa Sangre is an iPhone audio only game set in a Mexican day of the dead underworld. She then asked the audience how much they’d be willing to pay for it based on a flyer she passed out earlier. Half the room didn’t go higher than $4.99 while the other topped out at $2.99 but that was because she mind-controlled us. The flyers had different release dates and the higher number elicited a more expensive audience than the lower number. Perception of players is therefore really important. “Don’t forget to learn the hacks, because they are really powerful.”
Sam Roberts: Director of IGF. Theater writer, adapted works of fiction for the stage. Brecht and Hunter S Thompson both use supertext clearly stating who the speaker is. The labels of games work similarly: a game in which you shoot other characters is much different than a game in which you don’t. Labels are important. “Most games do not have well thought-out placards.” “Say something with your games.”
Jesse Schell: Interconnected system of games called the Gameocalypse. In the year 2020, computers will be 30 times cheaper than they are now. Games are everywhere by rambling off a list of social games ended with “Whatever the hell happens in Four Square.” “Did you rebel when Shea Stadium was called Citibank stadium? If you did rebel, it didn’t do any good.” Games therefore are going to expand into marketing and he showed a funny slide: “Achievement unlocked: You Drank 1,000 Cokes!” “Is money always going to win?” “Wake the hell up,” and “Figure out which side you are on.”
Suzanne Seggerman: Cofounded Games For Change. “We all know that games are important part of our culture, perhaps the most influential of this century.” Bob Dylan was on a list of the top 10 influential people (not just musicians), because he chose to change the world with his music. An Inconvenient Truth changed the world with a voiceover by a stilted robotic politician. So many oscar nominated films were vehicles for change, included The Hurt Locker. The same can be done for games.