This is a recording of my 2013 GDC game design lecture. It is a big-picture look at how computers games are becoming the predominant form of entertainment & art form of the 21st century, and how games compare to the other media of earlier ages. The 2nd part of the lecture conducts a very specific examination of on how games work at their core level, and how we should look at authorship in titles like that are commonly described as "story-driven games".
Hopefully, this talk will provide you with some perspective on how games fit into today's cultural landscape, and maybe even give you a new outlook on your daily life and your interaction with technology. Annotated and sourced slide downloads will be available soon.
Below is the original description of this lecture from the Game Developers Conference:
"Talking to the Player - How Cultural Currents Shape Game and Level Design" "Game Designers are tasked with creating environments for very different types of games, even within the same genre. There are always questions about how linear the level should be; how much agency the game affords; when and how we take away control from the player; and whether cutscenes and big set pieces should be part of the game's vocabulary. The level designer is right in the middle of these decisions, as his job is to create game flows that integrate these (sometimes fundamentally different) opinions & approaches into a coherent mission. In this talk, Matthias will identify the cultural undercurrents which shape our opinions of how games should deliver content. He will introduce a game/level design metaphor that provides specific guidance to many of the questions under discussion."