Less Mordin, more details.
What are you doing?
More specifically, researching and writing two new books. Both, in their own ways, will follow-up 700 Hours of Yelling.
I’m bad at titles, so for now, let’s call them VG101 and TSW.
TSW is a fiction book about Parker, a 20-year-old programmer in search of happiness in a world of pervasive technology, lost connections and disgruntled ex-child prodigies. It’s my way of sharing some truth about growing up depressed while being surrounded by tech wizards, and what it takes to find love and fulfillment in a digital age. (And I get to use the phrase “nerd hovel.”)
VG101 is more simple in theory, but more complex in its implementation.
Looking back on 700 Hours, I regret not saying more about what video games are. I never formally defined the medium. I failed to start a conversation about why we need the medium. And that’s how I started on VG101.
VG101 is a non-fiction book and online course designed to be an introduction to video games. My goal is to teach gamers to think critically about the medium, to drag us away from using words like “fun” or “cool” when describing what we love. (I also avoid words like “semiotics” and “aesthetics.”) With a perception-based approach to examine what we play, there’s a chance that we can start a dialog about the medium that avoids the usual nit-picking and focuses instead on involving everyone in considering how our subjective wants combine to form objective needs for the future of video games.
Each chapter will be accompanied by a short lecture, lab and discussion on YouTube. The lecture will review the reading and important terms. The lab will be about how to apply those concepts to understanding games. And the discussion will explain how a recent game can help to illustrate those concepts. If I can make it work, the videos will equal out to the length of a college course on media.
If I can get one person to pause a game and think about its deeper meaning…
If I can get two people questioning the current state of video game journalism…
If I can get three people to agree on what the first video game was…
I aim to make people passionate about what they consume, to get them to appreciate the beautiful disaster, to rile them up about innovation and to incite them to comprehend their relationship with video games.
And that’s what I’m doing.