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Jens Alfke

A few unrelated points:

— And Cronenberg's "Crash" was based on an excellent novel by J.G. Ballard. I really don't think any existing game could come close to equalling that novel, though really that's comparing apples to oranges, because

— I see video games as having far more in common with architecture, and with certain types of performance art like Happenings, than with film or books.

— Speaking of the shock of the new in art: The late medieval shift from Gregorian chant to polyphony was viewed as heretical by some, as was the later innovation of having a piece change key. I'll bet the cave painters in Lascaux were considered degenerate weirdos too.

— The shortage of programmers seems to stem from college students finding the field unattractive. I wrote about this (in particular, the terrible lack of women in the field) a few months ago and got a lot of interesting comments.

Michael Abbott

Thanks very much for this thoughtful entry. I posted a lengthier - sorry:-) response on my blog making an analogy to the early days of the cinema. Here's a bit of it:

One more analogy to the cinema might be useful. The question for all the Hollywood studios at the dawn of the sound era was how to find enough people to make the transition quickly and capitalize on the new technology of sound. History suggests that two solutions were identified. If you were a big studio with lots of money (MGM, Paramount....Blizzard?, Valve?) you hired the best people from all over the world and developed your own self-sufficient in-house production systems.

If you were a smaller studio like RKO or Warner Bros. you did one of two things (or sometimes both). You hired a genius and gave him a small amount of money and total control (Orson Welles, Michael Curtiz), or you developed a less costly, more efficient way to make good movies (David Selznick's unit production system).

Looking back on the first decade of the sound era, I think you could make a decent case that RKO and Warner Bros. released just as many truly great films as MGM or Paramount.

Could there be a helpful lesson in this for today's game developers and designers?


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