30 November 2014

Cybersalon - Game On: Reclaim the Game

The best about living on a satellite of London is that there are many fantastic events to go to. This month great minds of gaming gathered underground at Cybersalon, indie devs brought games and academics brought ideas. Among the games was Hungry Planet Games' Astroloco: First Contact, a Monkey Island on caffeine set in space as well as Rich Metson's Off the Grid, a political stab at data surveillance. Talks included William Latham, Chris Baraniuk and the very engaging Richard Bartle who's quotes now fill my twitter feed. Among my favourites:

Particularily interesting was how the grandfather of all MMO's, Richard Bartle's MUD, started as a political statement on their indignation at UK class structures. Future MMO's copied this without thinking what the mechanics were actually saying about the world. World of Warcraft, it can be said, is built upon the political ideologies of two angry students.

The talks were topped off with Mark Farid of Seeing I and a panel where we discussed games as a political medium, the validation of self and companionship in games. Overall a very thought provoking night with plenty of networking, games and beer.

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