Brandon Boyer

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Braid creator Jonathan Blow’s session at the 2007 Montreal International Games Festival (one given before his game had been released, and one I covered for Gamasutra) was somewhat of a minor landmark for the industry — a lecture specifically designed to incite both developers and the public at large to think differently about the subtle messages games were sending to the average consumer, and an invitation to give people more ‘nutrition’ than the ‘cheap drugs’ they were more often being fed.

Amongst many other things, as you’ll hear above, Blow singled out games like World of Warcraft, arguing that exceptional action is meaningless in it and games of its ilk — that the true lesson it was teaching is that “running the same treadmill” as the everyone else would net you success and reward enough.

To spread awareness about the lecture (the full audio of which Blow posted to his site soon afterward), Toronto designer Craig ‘superbrothers‘ Adams (recently covered for his work on art/games blog the 1console) has posted DESIGN REBOOT HD, an animation inspired by the talk, created “just in time for GDC.”

More than a simple tribute, though, Adams hopes bringing the lecture back to light will inspire further discussion: he’s posted his own lengthy summary of and reaction to the talk, and called on a few select people to comment publicly (myself included, which I intend to do shortly after the frenetic whirlwind of GDC itself, when I’ve had time to re-parse and re-think the myriad issues Blow raised) — the results of which will continue and evolve via the DESIGN REBOOT site.

DESIGN REBOOT HD [Superbrothers, music for the video by the formerly-Momus-hyped duo Super Madrigal Bros.]

The 1console future: Toronto designer Superbrothers goes games …
Xbox Live Arcade hit puzzler Braid coming to PC in March – Offworld

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