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Tycho / on Wed, Sep 28 2005 at 11:19 am

Manifesto Games

When we were at MIT, which I will eventually describe in unerring detail because the people there were amazing, I fielded a question near the end that I didn’t answer to anyone’s satisfaction.  There wasn’t enough time, and I’m not entirely sure I understood it.  He wanted to know what I thought of Greg Costikyan’s manifestos, specifically the two part (self-admitted) screed available at The Escapist.

Essentially, what did I think of his new business mechanism to do away with publishers and so forth.  I’d read the article, it had diagrams of this new relationship, but it didn’t really stay memory resident.  I came up with the same system while drinking, hanging out with the guys who made Eets.  Having a good idea isn’t really worth anything if all it does is foment unrest on your blog or flit in the unbounded realms of your mind.

I mentioned at the “lecture” that a system to make the PC games industry more sensible and equitable is great, but I don’t know what good it does for the hundreds of millions of people playing or developing games for proprietary systems.  Xbox Live Arcade is an interesting move to create an “indie” digitally delivered game scene on a home console.  I’d love to see what those contracts look like before I started praising it, though. 

This could move very easily into a tirade against Greg Costikyan, the message board messiah, if he hadn’t decided to take an actual risk himself in order to manifest his supernatural utopia.  Best of luck to him.  Them revolutions is tough business. 


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