I mean no pejorative here. Time playing or watching games can be time well spent, but I hope only to point out that games demand much of us. They dominate our time. They complete our attention. They are so total in their commitment that nothing else can be performed while playing them. You can listen to music while reading. You can converse lightly with friends during a Broadway show. I find with games, I can literally do nothing else but play them.
Over the last two weeks, I’ve playing a lot of David O’Reilly’s Mountain. And by “playing” I mean letting it run quietly at my desk, occasionally tending to its slopes as if pruning a garden. Mountain is a game that fits into my life, and not the other way around. O’Reilly’s core proposition is that Mountain exists for you, but also can live on without you. It does not carry the high cost of your commitment.
It is human-centered game design.
It’s also a response to a particular problem. Ana Bjain, founder of London-based design practice Superflux,presented this brilliant adaptation of a quote from paper architect Lebbeus Woods:
"Design should be judged not only by the problems it solves, but by the problems it creates." Paraphrased from Lebbeus Woods.
On human-centered game design.