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Gamasutra Expert Blogs: What's In A Game?

Showcasing highlights from Gamasutra's new Expert Blogs, industry veterans reveal thoughts on Spore, what makes a game, and whether it even matters.
In our weekly Best of Expert Blogs column, we showcase notable pieces of writing from members of the game development community who maintain Expert Blogs on Gamasutra. Member Blogs -- also highlighted weekly -- can be maintained by any registered Gamasutra user, while the invitation-only Expert Blogs are written by development professionals with a wealth of experience to share. We hope that both sections can provide useful and interesting viewpoints on our industry. For more information about the blogs, check out the official posting guidelines. This Week's Standout Expert Blogs Beyond Spore: Ideas for Connective Games (Part 1) (Neil Sorens) Maxis' Spore arguably hit some of its goals and missed some of its others, but its "massively single-player" structure has a lot for game developers to be excited about. Design consultant Neil Sorens explains why. The Mistakes of the Past (Armando Marini) They say hindsight is 20/20, but is that actually true in the games industry? Creative director Armando Marini argues that the industry has a problem with actually learning meaningful lessons from its past experiences. Games, Adolescence and Culture, Oh My! (Matthew Allmer) Heather Chaplin's GDC rant about "intellectually impotent male game developers" unsurprisingly stirred the pot a bit. Here, designer and writer Matthew Allred adds his own response, from the angle of working out what exactly a "game" is. Games Shouldn't Be Anything (Chris Pasley) ...and continuing on that theme, in this post designer and writer Chris Pasley suggests that maybe we should just stop worrying about what a game is supposed to be, and just make them. Square 2: Is [Not] A Shmup (Michael Molinari) ...but when is a game a shoot-em-up? Michael Molinari's in-depth series on one of the most insular genres around continues, this time working out the nuances of taxonomy, particularly as it relates to the unorthodox Squares 2.

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