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Friday, October 29, 2004

A dad on games

Reader, dad, and gamer Tim recently emailed me about a book review I cited in Harvard Business School's Working Knowldege. The book in question: "Managing the Gamer Generation." Interestingly, London University's Institute of Education just released a study finding that "games are a legitimate area of study in their own right," and "pupils should also be able to create their own games." See the BBC report on this. Here's Tim:

"I recently found and have been enjoying your blog. As a dad of two, and a gamer myself, I enjoyed the link you provided showing that gaming may not just be the idle waste of time my parents thought it was. But a minor correction: 'Fable' isn't a 'god sim.' Generally speaking, 'God sims' have a top-down perspective and feature an environment you can control, that automatons then populate. Generally speaking, despite their names, the player doesn't control the denizens of these worlds directly - you act instead as a deity who has more or less complete control of the world, and the creatures that populate it must live with the consequences of your decisions. Popular god games include 'The Sims,' and 'Sim City.' Historically, I believe the first of this genre was 'Populous,' and it's arguable that some strategy games (such as 'Civilization') have some elements of god games. Perhaps you were confused by the fact that Peter Molyneux, the creator of 'Fable,' previously released 'Black and White,' a god-type game. 'Fable,' like 'Black and White,' does have a very strong ethical component...." Click here for the rest of Tim's comment, and email me anytime.


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