Friday, March 29, 2013

GDC 2013 - Part 5

I'm totally worn out.  Everything hurts.  It seems sitting in armless chairs all day does something to me.  I'd like to write a humorous, invigorating, eye-opening post, but that's not why you're here, is it?

Instead, I will tell you about the Final Game Design Challenge.  For the last ten years, every GDC has had a Game Design Challenge, where the moderator gives famous game designers a strange concept to work with and they present what they found.  We've seen games about Emily Dickenson and romance and germs.  Sadly, these events aren't all that well-attended anymore, so they're bringing it to a close.

This year, previous winners were challenged to write the last game anyone would play.  Will Wright came up with a system where we record and sort all our experiences to make a game aliens could play long after we're gone to know what it was like to be human.  Steve Meretzky invented a game that would get hackers to break into the nuclear launch codes of several nations and set off World War III, because humanity sucks so bad.

The winner was Jason Rohrer and he's fucking nuts.  Jason decided to make a game that would be played long after he was gone, like 2000 years after.  He made up a game, tested it with computer opponents, and then had it built out of titanium.  Yup, he made a giant, titanium board.  Then he had the pieces made out of titanium and bolted in to the board.  He created a universal language and wrote the rules on acid-free paper, stuck them in a hand-blown, glass tube, and encased it in a titanium tube.

Then he buried it out in the middle of nowhere in Nevada.  Every seat in the room had an envelope containing a million possible GPS coordinates.  As Jason said, someday someone with a metal detector might find it.  I saw a guy collecting as many envelopes as he could.

Parents, don't let your kids grow up to be in games.  It does something to your brain.

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