Nothing to Fear?

on Aug 24, 2012
When a game forces you into life or death circumstances and uses fear of your imminent death in its design, it’s usually labeled a survival horror.  This type and other horror games may use claustrophobic scenarios, monsters, grotesque human-like...

Community in Games an Interview with Ron Meiners

on May 1, 2012
During a recent trip to San Francisco, Jim Cummings and I had the privilege of sitting down with veteran community manager Ron Meiners. Ron has worked in online community for fifteen plus years, from Myst to Burning Man, from Splinter Cell 3 to The...

GDC: Game Optimization through Experimentation

on Mar 12, 2012
How do we know if a game design is any good?  How do we know if a particular feature makes a game better, worse, or has no effect? Until fairly recently A/B testing was a practice most of us associated with market research teams as they adjusted...

GDC: Chris Bell - Designing for Friendship & ...

on Mar 11, 2012
Meaningful relationships and anonymity. These are things that we don’t often consider together. In fact, much of the evolutionary literature on relationships and trust suggest that anonymity can deteriorate relationships. Yet, this strange...

Can games fix our broken reality?

on Jan 4, 2011
Jane McGonigal is not your typical game designer. She has a PhD from UC Berkeley (my alma mater!) in performance studies and predicts that a game designer will win a Nobel Peace Prize by the year 2023. She has been the subject of articles in The New...