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Should publishers put creators forward to talk about the game-making process, rather than simply promoting product? In the return of <a href="http://www.gdcradio.net/gamasutra_podcast/">the Gamasutra podcast</a>, Tom Kim talks to GameCity festival directo

Tom Kim, Blogger

June 3, 2008

2 Min Read

Gamasutra is proud to present the latest Gamasutra Podcast, part of our regular GDC Radio podcasts, which include both the Tom Kim-presented Gamasutra Podcast show, alongside the best lectures, tutorials, and roundtables from this and previous years' Game Developers Conferences. For today's podcast, we present an interview with Iain Simons, writer and live events coordinator of Nottingham's GameCity Festival. Besides serving as the co-creator of GameCity -- now going on to its third year, Simons is the author of three books: Difficult Questions about Videogames, BFI Film Guides 100 Videogames, and Inside Game Design -- part of which was recently excerpted on Gamasutra. He is a tireless advocate for the cultural significance of games. In the course of conversation about the festival, which grew out of and evolved from initially more informal alcohol- and curry-fueled get-togethers, Iain speaks passionately about various subjects such as the role of game advocates as apologists of the medium, the lack of a human face to the games industry, and the reluctance of game publishers to discuss the process of creating games as opposed to promoting finished product. He also takes the comparison of games and cinema to task, particularly regarding what that analogy implies about the aspirations of the form. He talks about themes that have been going through his mind recently, such as non-threatening entertainment, the removal of player-character death from modern game design, and safety and the permission to explore in-game environments. He also discusses how to make games and game culture more palatable to non-gamer audiences. These include directly addressing the creative process of making games -- getting to questions that one might ask of any creator working in better known contemporary mediums. Finally, Simons discusses ideas that didn't quite make it into his latest publication, Inside Game Design, and what factors defined which ideas made it into the book or not. He also shares some wonderful personal anecdotes about developer involvement with both GameCity and Inside Game Design. And he closes with Nottingham Trent University Undergraduate and Post-graduate programs' support of GameCity's latest project: an archive of early to current game artifacts and history. You can now download the Gamasutra Podcast with GameCity director Iain Simons (.MP3, 108 minutes, 32 MB). In addition, you can subscribe to the Gamasutra podcasts by clicking this link for iTunes. You can manually subscribe to our feed in your favorite RSS reader that supports enclosures by using this URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/GDCRadio.

About the Author(s)

Tom Kim


Tom Kim is the host and executive producer of the Gamasutra Podcast on GDC Radio (http://www.gdcradio.net/gamasutra_podcast), an editorial and commentary show covering important issues facing the game development community and game culture. Tom is a lifelong avid gamer going back to 1978, honing his nascent gaming skills on Sears Tele-Games Pong and some of the earliest PC games on the original Apple ][. He has worked as a graphic designer, art director, interactive designer, game designer and producer. He has over 16 years experience as an art director, creative director, and marketing consultant for companies such as BMW of North America, Bungie Software, Circuit City Stores, Konami of North America, LucasArts Games, Nintendo of America, Proctor & Gamble, Samsung Electronics Worldwide, Sony Online Entertainment, Walgreen Co., and others. Tom graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. degree in neurobiology, and attended DigiPen Institute of Technology's program in Real-Time Interactive Simulation. He is an active member of the Chicago chapter of the International Game Developers Association. He lives in the 'burbs with his lovely wife and son who can both beat him handily in Wii Sports Boxing.

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