Are Game Developers Adolescents?

Matt Barton's picture

One of the most-talked about things that happened at GDC (and which Bill and I sadly missed) was the "rant" session, where a reported named Heather Chaplin blasted the industry for producing childish, sexist games. At one point she said that the game industry itself isn't in an adolescent stage; it's rather that the developers themselves are "f* adolescents." Anyway, I just read some commentary on the rant by one of the other speakers, Leigh Alexander. I really liked Leigh's comments and think you will, too. I really loved this part:

Why do power fantasies need to be childish -- what human being at any age dreams of being less powerful? And what does maturity have to do with gender, anyway?

Right on!

Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think of the whole thing.


Chris Kennedy
Chris Kennedy's picture
Joined: 08/31/2008
Situations for laughter in games

There have definitely been a few games that have made me laugh. Here are a few -

Space Quest series - Sometimes its randomness would have me chuckling a bit. This was especially true for some of the narration pop up messages you would receive. Adding Gary Owens in the later games (SQIV, SQVI) definitely increased the laugh factor due to the equally increased randomness factor. I really didn't expect to click the eye icon on two fat guys and hear, "A pair of hefty doofi stand at the rail and just seem to giggle a lot." It was all about the randomness, current situation, and execution.

As an additional mention for Sierra, the John Rhys-Davies narration in Quest for Glory IV had a few moments. I remember wandering around in forest and seeing a plant with eyes. I clicked the eye icon on them, and John comes in with "There's something strange about this bush...maybe it's the eyes? Oh! Forget it..." Worked quite well.

Phoenix Wright (Ace Attorney) series on GBA/DS - An entertaining courtroom/investigation game with some wacky personalities. I've laughed out loud with this one plenty of times. The characters are over the top, and the expressions communicated via the artwork work beautifully alongside an excellent localization.

Persona (Shin Megami Tensei) RPGs - These games have great character development as well as English voice acting. There is no lip syncing to do here. When a character speaks, an avatar appears on screen along with the text. This allows for quite a bit of freedom on the side of the English voice actors - actors that are generally hampered with having to completely drop their acting abilities in order to properly sync their spoken lines with the characters' mouths. As you get to know the characters and understand their personalities, their reactions to each other tend to fit quite well. I've found myself laughing the same way I would if I were watching a sitcom that contained characters I know well.


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