[-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 112, Issue 23
felan.parker at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 29 01:48:58 EST 2014
> It's important for people to know their tools if their work is not to be> determined by them. Game development tools are not made by or for a> different constituency from the rest of the industry. In their> reification and distribution of solved technical problems they all but> force recapitulation of the status quo artistically, technically and> developmentally.
This isn't really true of all game-making programs. While I appreciate that it's potentially useful to critique the underpinnings and assumptions of game design software, programs like Twine, IV Engine, or Scratch are very much made "for a different constituency from the rest of the industry." Indeed, they are not made by or for "the industry" at all - Twine games are almost universally non-commercial, and the program is explicitly designed to encourage the challenging of the gaming status quo (even more so now that it has become popular among women, queers, POC, and other marginalized people). For some analysis of Twine along these lines, check out Jane Friedhoff's platform study: http://lmc.gatech.edu/~cpearce3/DiGRA13/papers/paper_67.pdf
We should engage the politics of platforms, but I think it's reductive to suggest that all game-making programs reinforce the same status quo. Twine is a very different beast from Game Maker or Unity.
> Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2014 15:41:00 -0700
> From: rob at robmyers.org
> To: empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 112, Issue 23
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> On 27/03/14 02:22 PM, Kara Stone wrote:
> > I wonder how important it is that blossoming game-makers actually
> > understand how the programs they are using work.
> It's important for people to know their tools if their work is not to be
> determined by them. Game development tools are not made by or for a
> different constituency from the rest of the industry. In their
> reification and distribution of solved technical problems they all but
> force recapitulation of the status quo artistically, technically and
> > There seems to be something in particular about game-making that makes
> > people want to hold on to the code, hierarchizing programming and
> > “techy-ness” above all other aspects of game-making.
> I went into games programming a few years after leaving art school and
> was gobsmacked at management's resistance to paying for some decent
> coloured pencils for the artist designing the characters for the game to
> > The emphasis on “knowing the tech” strikes me as a another way to
> > ensure that women, POC, the debilitated, and the very young or old,
> > are not part of the dominant game-world.Not to say that any of us
> > can’t be techy,
> If being techy is such a determining signifier and enforcer of hegemony,
> why would any of us want to?
> And what would we do instead? Simply recapitulating the status quo
> through using tools determined by it is not a critical stance.
> > but to ensure that techyness is something dominated by white, cis,
> > 20-30 year old men.
> Not entirely to their benefit:
> - Rob.
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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