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Feature: 'Playing Catch-Up: Bill 'The Game Doctor' Kunkel Lets Loose'

In another of today's main features, weekly column 'Playing Catch-Up', chatting to notable video game industry figures about their celebrated pasts and promising futures,...
In another of today's main features, weekly column 'Playing Catch-Up', chatting to notable video game industry figures about their celebrated pasts and promising futures, speaks to Electronic Games co-founder and video games journalism pioneer, Bill "The Game Doctor" Kunkel. In this extract, Kunkel describes the infamous "video game crash" of 1984: "I think a lot of people believed that videogames had served their purpose, that they had been the foot in the door that enabled us to get on the computer and do really serious, important things. We went through a period near the end of our run where we were told by the publisher and the last saleswoman we had that we should avoid using terms like 'games' and 'fun' in our copy. It wasn't a game, it was a simulation." Kunkel also comments on the emergence of Microsoft's Xbox 360, commenting: "Sony's smart! You don't come out with a new system THIS YEAR, people are just learning how to do stuff on what we have. The Xbox 360, to me...it's a very questionable system and a very questionable idea. I say, let these system have ten years, let developers find all the little tricks. It's like if you're a painter, and they give you a million more colors to paint with every three years. 'But I need time to experiment with all these colors!' you might say. No. The canvas keeps getting bigger, and ideas are getting smaller. There are so many sequels, and so few new ideas." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, including a look at Kunkel's oft-overlooked game design career, descriptions of his new book, and a bit of good old fashioned Game Doctor commentary on the state of the industry (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).

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