March 14, 2005
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Game Over

Greg Costikyan publishes the notes for his standing-ovation rant on the state of game design. His point: there is no future.

With so many scholars investing so much hope in the future of games, Costikyan's despair sounds a grim warning.

"The bar, in terms of graphics and glitz, has been raised and raised and raised until no one can any longer afford to risk anything at all. The sheer labor involved in creating a game has increased exponentially, until our only choice is permanent crunch and mandatory 80 hour weeks—at least until all our jobs are out-sourced to Asia. "

.....

You have choices, too. You can take the blue pill, or the red pill. You can go work for the machine, work mandatory eighty hour weeks in a massive sweatshop publisher-owned studio with hundreds of other drones, laboring to build the new, compelling photorealistic driving game-- with the same basic gameplay as Pole Position.

Or you can defy the machine.

You can choose to starve for your art, to beg, borrow, or steal the money you need to create a game that will set the world on fire.

You can choose to riot in the streets of Redwood City, to down your tools and demand an honest wage for an honest eight-hour day."