22 January, 2007
I’m not really a bastard, I just disowned my parents. ;) Er, wait, not that issue of legitimacy.
I mentioned previously about a gathering called Project Horseshoe, where some designers discussed various weighty issues. I brought up the issue of legitimacy in games and participated in a discussion about this topic. Well, our group’s initial report has been posted up on the web. (Along with some other great reports, including one on online issues that Raph mentions and contributed to.)
So, what new thoughts can you find on there?
The main issue we focused on was trying to establish a history of gaming. Having the amazing opportunity to have veterans Noah Falstein and Brian Moriarty really helped us gain a sense of perspective. (Not to downplay the contributions of Richard Dansky or Victor Jimenez, however; the group discussion was outstanding.) But, we lamented that one thing we don’t have is a sense of history. Games older than 5 years are ignored by most people. Games older than 20 years might as well not exist as far as most people know. We really lack a sense of history in the industry, and that hurts our attempts to be recognized as a legitimate artistic medium.
Part of Project Horseshoe is that each group has to go from just bitching about the problems to actually doing something. We decided that one of the more achievable goals was to establish an archive for older games. While this won’t allow games to achieve legitimacy overnight, it’s a step in the right direction. I think our decision was justified because we’ve already heard of a few other groups looking to do something similar. It’s exciting to have an opportunity to watch something like this unfold.
I think the meeting was great, and I was happy to have an issue I’m quite passionate about get the attention of some incredibly sharp game designers. Anyway, I’d love to hear comments from people here, even if it’s not about the legitimacy report.