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Video: Raph Koster on how games and social media are converging
November 8, 2013 | By Staff

November 8, 2013 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Design, Video

"Design is about constraining people... Games are interesting, because they're only partly in control -- because they're about teaching you how to think."
In this free GDC Vault video from GDC Online 2011, Ultima Online lead designer and Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided creative director Raph Koster shares how developers can take control of social media and avoid it taking control of them in the talk 'It's All Games Now! How Games and Social Media are Converging.'

For more with Koster, he discusses further blending games with social media in this follow-up interview.

Additionally, GDC Vault has made free a postmortem on Ultima Online featuring Koster alongside Starr Long and Rich Vogel.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Online already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription Beta via a GDC Vault inquiry form.

Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can send an email to Gillian Crowley. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins.

Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more new content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from other events like GDC China and GDC 2013. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS.

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John Trauger
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One of the best videos I've seen here.

Michael Joseph
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"I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail." - Abraham Maslow, 1966.

just because two things share commonalities does not make them the same thing.

I agree with some of what Mr. Koster talks about up until the part where he tries to convince us (mostly thru inference) that every aspect of life is a game.

What Mr. Koster is talking about extends far beyond the idea of games emulating life or life emulating games. He's saying life is a game, business is a game, video games are games therefore let's just accept that they're all one in the same. But the games people and businesses play are not the same thing as video games. Life is life, business is business, and true games are true games.

Likewise, video games are not social media. We have different words\terms for things for a reason. Sure there are similarities, but apples are not oranges.

As for the circle or bubble being co-opted or gobbled up by larger forces... that may be true generally, but certainly not so overall nor will it ever be so. There are many video game designers who will never seek to cater to broad demographics for the sole purposes of increasing sales. So really it's not so much the circle of wizards is being gobbled up, it's that the circle of wizards are selling out. They are abandoning the old circle for the new but the old circle is still there and probably bigger than ever although now standing along side a larger circle that pretends it can offer all of the same and more.

Regarding "doom-casting indies" I don't know the future or how well indies will do in the coming decade but I do know that indies will never go extinct. Audiences have reminded us of this once and will likely do so time and time again perhaps every other generation that independent game developers are the primary source of innovation in the industry that they desire. It stands to reason because indies are not so cynical whereas the business or quest for riches world thrives on cynicism.