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robertogreco : jenniferdaniel   4

A New Yorker walks into a San Francisco start up… — Medium
"Design can change the world. Are you kidding me? Are we having a debate or a therapy session?

Designers will do anything to convince themselves we are not in a service industry. Why are we so desperate to make ourselves feel better? Because we feel GUILTY and we have to reconcile what we do professionally with the world we live in. We WANT to save the world so we repeat our daily affirmations on our way to work…

“Design can change the world.”

…on our way to yoga…

“Design can change the world.”

This debate as is an attempt to assuage the guilt we already have and know we have because we’re here doing THIS instead of something truly meaningful.

We cannot congratulate ourselves.

We drink fancy coffee and eat free gummy bears and free catered dinners meanwhile the median cost of rent in SF is $4,300 dollars. Is idealism truly that desperate here that we equally applaud free wifi in Africa and a $1,500 smart oven that “smart” preheats your soylent to save you a little extra time for cross-fit and netflix?

Change the world? Design can’t even change the design industry. Let’s talk about something meaningful and actionable like why we have six dudes and one lady on stage. We don’t need a debate about design’s place in the world — we need a reckoning.


Jon, Daniel, and Enrique are here to make you feel better about design.

I am not.

This debate isn’t going to solve your guilt problem

it’s just the problem of living

that doesn’t mean you’re evil

it just means you must reckon

like a grownup

like we all have and do

with being fucking alive

on this planet

Yes, i too have chosen this as my profession.

but I have come to peace with precisely the trade I have made — and how I compensate for that debt, and how I am on the planet, in my own way, with the people I care about.

So don’t let these boys come up here and whisper sweet nothings in your ears about saving the world with free wifi and clean water. We could go all day tit for tat about how design has changed or samed the world. Talking about design to designers is like talking to a brick wall about bricks. Designers think everything is design. All professionals see their craft amongst the world … “When you think about it — and I mean really think about it — *everything* is meat distribution engineering.” — meat distribution engineer.

Ultimately the rhetoric behind this debate resolution is elitist self-aggrandizing propaganda and voting for it won’t make you feel better about yourself. Negating won’t make you feel better either but it’ll help make your peace with your false religion."
jenniferdaniel  design  life  employment  2015  self-congratulation  worldchanging  affirmation  reckoning  elitism  self-aggrandizement  self-delusion  humanitariandesign  designimperialism 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Welcome To The New York Review of Video Games — Matter — Medium
"Welcome to The New York Review of Video Games. If that name conjures for you an anachronistic, elbow-patched editor sitting at a dimly lit desk amid piles of plastic Atari 2600 cartridges and Sega Dreamcast discs, then good. It has done its job.

If not, then let me try this:

Video games are almost a $100 billion industry, sure. But video games do not matter only because they are large. They are also a new popular art, the kind of thing that comes along once a century. Two intertwined forces, computers and interactivity, have changed the world radically over the past 50-odd years. What is a video game? It’s a creative work — a competition, a story, an experience — that exploits the intersection of those two forces.

It may have been hard to tell in 2014 — what with “GamerGate,” the silly name for both a Twitter argument as well as a serious, orchestrated campaign of harassment of women — but video games are our most experimental medium, and the one art form in popular culture that feels alive, rather than embalmed. Video games are broad enough to encompass interactive short stories written in HTML, shooters that resemble 1980s action movies, robust simulations of everything from sports to all of human history, idiosyncratic personal statements, and Flappy Bird.

Games create joy and laughter — not to mention the thrills of tension and fright — where there had been none, and that is not insignificant. But they are also carriers of ideas, both explicit and unspoken. Video games have asked me to empathize with — no, become — a soldier, a superhero, a murderer, a transgender woman beginning hormone replacement therapy, a border-control agent trying to follow both the law and his conscience, a child who loves yet fears his monstrous, alcoholic father. Video games have also asked me to place falling blocks into neat rows in order to make them disappear.

I’m pushing 40, and I’ve been playing video games for basically my entire life. Even so, games never felt like a lifestyle. They were just there, solid and immovable. Like your parents. You wouldn’t go out of your way to tell people that you have parents.

Video games are a permanent fixture of culture, and not just youth culture, one that these days competes for our attention with Netflix and Hulu, with HBO Go and Serial, with The Americans and Station Eleven and Birdman. That’s why it’s wrong to think of video games as a victory to be celebrated, or a curiosity to marvel over, or a threat that you ought to fear, or the organizing principle of a tribe with narrow interests and cloistered rituals.

Still, just because video games are here to stay doesn’t mean that their trajectory is inevitable, or that we can’t help shape their future. The medium—our least respected, most misunderstood art form—deserves more from us. It’s possible to think that video game criticism is better than it has ever been and yet still find it wanting. I am arrogant enough to think that we can do better. The New York Review of Video Games* (*possibly this week only) will highlight some of the strongest critics of video games, including podcasters and YouTube critics. We will ask game designers, and not just players, to write for a broad audience, just as novelists have long been willing to do in literary journals, or filmmakers in Cahiers du cinema.

And like a great book review, we will seek to create interesting collisions between writers and subjects. Can some of the finest video games of 2014 survive the scrutiny of a former New York Times television critic? A book critic? A Tonight Show writer? One of America’s best young writers of literary nonfiction?

Press start to play. [ ]"
games  gaming  videogames  reviews  criticism  2014  art  charlessuellentrop  ianbogost  simonparkin  kerryhowley  kenlevine  lauramiller  idelthumbs  anitasarkeesian  carolynpetit  timmcdonagh  jenniferdaniel  mimileung  stevegaynor  virginiaheffernan  mikedrucker  rachelsyme 
december 2014 by robertogreco

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