Yesterday a huge german weekly publication Der Spiegel launched a cover story about video games. The headline is “spielen macht klug.”, meaning playing makes you smart. The cover story attempts to legitimize games – to a readership that does not recognize games as culture, in a publication that does not recognize games as culture – by pointing to real life benefits in order to appease the gate keepers of the establishment.
It’s all so very wrong. Read more…
I recently started asking my students for links to their portfolios and permission to share them here. The links below include current students and former students. Here is the first batch. Check them out!
Time lapse video recording 90 minutes Photoshop sketch, inspired by the Locust designs from the Gears Of War series. Check the video after the jump…
So, there is this story making the rounds, where Paul Dini on a podcast explains why execs do not want female viewers for their super hero shows. There’s a link in the resources below, but the gist of it is basically “Girls do not buy our merchandise.” Sounds horrible right? People are shocked! Yeah, well, it’s worse then you think.
Here is the reasoning, that drive execs and marketers to pro-actively exclude women from their audiences and to pro-actively encourage a culture in which women do not feel welcome.
This is why we can’t have nice things… or can we? Read more…
On november 29th another year of students graduated from the Games Academy in Berlin. Since I started working as a teacher for the Games Academy in january 2010, I got to see a couple of students I worked with graduate. But this time was special.
The class of 2013, ladies and gentlemen. image via
This batch of talent and skill was the first group of students I got to teach and mentor from start to finish. From the first weeks of their first semester to the final graduation. My responsibilities at Games Academy sure include teaching classes. But I’m also supervising all Berlin student teams on their semester game projects. This means consulting in regards to game concept and execution, coaching for pitch presentations, milestone reviews, final gold master evaluation and occasional consultations for individual teams and students.
…so yeah, I’m in the perfect spot to see how each and every student develops over time, how they learn to deal with challenges and grow. And that’s a pretty awesome spot to be for someone like me. I’m super thankful for the time I got to spend with these young and bright bunch here. I’m pretty sure, that I have learned more from them as they have from me.
Dear students, you will make it big, if you manage to stay true to yourselves and it really has been an honor to be your sensei for the last couple of years. Arigato.
Visual interest – independent from what designers want to illustrate – is important to guide the viewers attention and is used in game design in a multitude of ways. It provides clarity and readability for gameplay situations, systems and storytelling. Let’s explore how visual interest is generated.
I’m not sure if calling this article a response to what Anita Sarkeesian has put out so far would be accurate. Response carries a ton of connotations, which all scream rebuttal or opposing commentary. Responding to a Sarkeesian video in most cases means, trying to correct it.
I’m no longer pretending to see an issue with people who fight for a cause that I share, when there is none. We need Sarkeesian and people like her. We need to make public discourse as supportive and safe for women who speak up as possible. … read more.
I did this today to relax a little. Took 30 minutes, done in Photoshop and yes, I recorded it. Video after the jump…
cosplay by Stella Chuu / cosplay photographed by madcatdrannon.deviantart.com / illustration © Namco
When it comes to criticism on matters of representation – gender representation or race representation or any other group – It’s important and kinda tricky to make sure, we do not debate the real life people and their choices, but keep the focus on the representations of them in media.
It’s more complicated, than one might think. …here is why and how.
Here is a break down of the character design walkthrough I made as a class demo for my film art students today. Research, thumbnails, surfacing, color. Step by step. …read more.
If you dismiss feminist game criticism by claiming that the critic fails to recognize satire/irony/parody, then YOU are the one not getting it. Why any attempt to silence criticism by using the satire defense is doomed to fail. …read more.
After Spec Ops: The Line, for me, there is no more going back. My relationship with games has changed. Profoundly. …read more.
This is my entry to Project Rooftop’s Storm redesign contest. And this is also an annotated collection of snapshots from the creative process behind it. … see how it was done!
I really have trouble seeing how everyone involved completely missed out on the fact that they produced a play about white guilt and reverse racism with a white entitled protagonists who gets to be the shining hero and the true victim. …read more.
Gears Of War And Genocide:
The iconography, cultural references and the similarity between events in the trilogy and real life turn Gears of War into an allegory for the United States of America and its wars. Considering the political context, this – made in America – shooter title has a really disturbing ending with disturbing implications.
… read more.