GDC Rant Session: Social Game Developers Strike Back

February 24, 2011 -

An interesting Game Developers Conference session will give social game developers a chance to lash out at all the haters. this year' "rant session" is called "No Freaking Respect! Social Game Developers Rant Back," and is co-sponsored by former IGDA head Jason Della Rocca and Eric Zimmerman - or as like to call them, Rantmasters General (both have delivered potent rants at previous GDC's over the years).

The tongue-in-cheek description of the rant session goes explains that this year's rant "has invited the people who everyone is blaming with ruining the industry: social network game developers." Participants include such notable developers as Brenda Brathwaite (Loot Drop), Trip Hawkins (Digital Chocolate), Brian Reynolds (Zynga), Steve Meretzky (Playdom), Ian Bogost (Georgia Institute of Technology), Chris Hecker (D6), and Scott Jon Siegel (Playdom). The full description:

"For the last six years at the GDC rant session, game developers have made themselves heard. They have trashed their publishers, shocked players and fans, and expressed heartfelt passion about the industry that we all love to hate. Last year, we heard from developers that had recently lost their companies and their jobs. This year, its time for the underclass to get even. At the GDC 2011 rant session, we have invited the people who everyone is blaming with ruining the industry: social network game developers. At least since last years GDC, when social game talks were met with boos and catcalls, they have been taking your abuse.

At the rant session, well give social game developers a chance to strike back. What exactly does burn them up? They may well rail against common criticsms of social games, but THEY choose the topics of their rants, so be prepared for the unexpected. Cutting through the clutter of polite industry chit-chat, the rant session takes on the issues that matter to developers in a no-holds-barred format. Fasten your seat belts and prepare for strong opinions from some of the game industry's most distinguished and dissatisfied game developers. The invited panelists from scarred veteran to hothead youngster - will be given free reign.

You have been warned. Co-hosted by Jason Della Roca and Eric Zimmerman, the rant session is about identifying solutions as well as problems. The audience will have a chance to respond to the rants and join in the discussion. Topics will address issues of concrete importance to the game industry. And we may catch a glimpse of a better future for us all." If you manage to get into GDC this is one of those sessions you won't want to miss."

Check out the GDC site for more information.


Comments

Re: GDC Rant Session: Social Game Developers Strike Back

It's not that they're "not real games" because technically, they are. They're still designed for entertainment purposes, just like the AAA+ titles you play everyday.

The problem I have with games like Farmville (and then you have other games like Mafia Wars and all the spin-offs) is that there is absolutely nothing compelling about the gameplay. I used to play both FarmVille and Castle Wars simply because I was bored and had nothing else to do. They're actually pretty good for that as you do tend to waste a lot of time on them.

The problem with them is that they require you to start adding friends that you don't know (I had over 600 at one point and am now weening it down, gotten it down to about ~315 or so) to progress further in the games. You then start playing other games and realise how nothing is ever actually different. They're all the same game, but set in a different setting. That's it.

They might be games but they're an insult to the entire purpose of game design, not because they're not "real" but because it's so obvious that their only reason for existing is to make somebody a quick buck. That's it. There's no gameplay value, no storylines attached, nothing like that at all.

They're for monetary gains only and frankly, I have a hard time believing anything else.

-- Randi Tastix

Re: GDC Rant Session: Social Game Developers Strike Back

I won't go as far as to say that things such as Farmville aren't games, but they do leave me with a feeling of disquiet that I really can't explain.  Probably because there isn't very much in the way of gameplay, and it is just a naked corporate money grab.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: GDC Rant Session: Social Game Developers Strike Back

Damn, pity I won't get to see that... I have having progressivily less patience for the 'this isn't a game I play, so they are destroying the industry!' crowd....

 
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Sleakersimply oust people that do harass others.09/20/2014 - 11:34am
Sleaker@Conster - I can say the same thing if you think there's been more than a handful. Until there's an actual study on rates no one can claim to know how widespread the incidence of harassment is. Thus the best we can do is 'there might be an issue' and...09/20/2014 - 11:33am
ConsterSleaker: if you think there's only been "a handful of" incidents, you have your head stuck *somewhere* - I'm assuming it's sand.09/20/2014 - 5:38am
prh99Most of it's agitprop clickbait anyway.09/20/2014 - 5:27am
prh99A good reason to stop reading reguardless of view pointhttp://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli.09/20/2014 - 5:22am
Andrew EisenWell this is unique! A musical critique of the Factual Feminist's "Are Video Games Sexist?" video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K4s7cV4Us409/20/2014 - 2:41am
Andrew EisenSome locked threads. Some let them be. So, no, I'm not seeing a problem here. No corruption. No collusion. No ethical problem with privately discussing ethics.09/20/2014 - 12:48am
Andrew EisenAnd still, in the end, Tito made up his own mind on how to handle his site. All 150 or so members went off to handle their own sites in their own ways. Some talked about it. Some didn't. Some changed disclosure policies. Some didn't.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenThere were two comments other than Kochera and Tito's. One pointed out the Escapist Code of Conduct, another comment was in support of Tito.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenKochera privately expressed his disagreement on how Tito decided to do something. No, I don't consider that crossing a line nor do I consider the exchange an example of the group pressuring him.09/20/2014 - 12:36am
Kronotechnical reasons. Anyways, I need to get to sleep as well.09/20/2014 - 12:29am
KronoAnd he wasn't the only one pushing Tito to censor the thread. If Tito had bowed to peer pressure, we likely wouldn't have gotten this http://goo.gl/vKiYtR which grew out of that thread. Said thread also lasted until a new one needed to be made for09/20/2014 - 12:28am
Krono@Andrew So it's an example of Kuchera crossing the line from reporter to advocate. And an example of the group pressuring for censorship.09/20/2014 - 12:21am
E. Zachary KnightAnyway, I am off to bed. I will probably wake up to all of this being knocked off the shout box.09/20/2014 - 12:20am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, that is the type of reading too much into things that bugs me. Ben did no such thing. Greg had the last word in that part of the exchange. The rest was about how to approach the story and Quinn.09/20/2014 - 12:19am
Andrew EisenSo?09/20/2014 - 12:13am
KronoExcept that the forum thread wasn't harassment, and Kuchera continued to push for the thread's removal after Tito made it clear he didn't consider it harassment.09/20/2014 - 12:12am
Andrew EisenPersonally, I see nothing wrong with someone offering their opinion or the other person making up their own mind on how to run their site.09/20/2014 - 12:06am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, I read nothing of the sort in that email chain. I read Ben giving advice on what to do when a forum thread is used to harass someone and spread falshoods about them and others.09/20/2014 - 12:05am
KronoThat's exactly what Ben Kuchera was doing to Greg Tito.09/19/2014 - 11:58pm
 

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