Monday, September 8, 2008

Introducing EXP

We sit here struggling to write what will likely be the most difficult post either of us will compose for Experience Points. Even more frustrating is our inability to articulate the source of the aforementioned difficulty.

We grew up with videogames, and it seems they came of age as we became adults ourselves. For us, videogames are more than just a childhood toy. We and probably many others in our generation, feel that games are important for both entertainment value and social commentary. Asking us to explain how videogames can be both a fun diversion and a serious academic exercise is akin to asking our parents or grandparents to explain how film and literature can do the same. Essentially, we are similar to the enthusiasts found in any subject. We love our art: we love consuming it, we love discussing it, we love analyzing it, and we love interacting with others that share our passion.

The blog is a logical conclusion to the situation we find ourselves in. How do we explain our fascination with a topic that is both intellectually intriguing but also a normal part of our lives? We believe analyzing videogames does not sap the fun out of them. If anything, it enhances the experience. The medium is deep and intriguing, from conceptual art to industry happenings, we cannot turn our eyes away. There is a dialogue going on, in forums, blogs, and guild chats. The gaming "community" is finally becoming an appropriate term: the player and the creator, the "casual" and the "hardcore", the marketer and the artist, are increasingly interconnected. There is an existing and burgeoning conversation and we seek to be a part of it.

But enough with the flowery language. Here is what you can expect from us. We hope to bring you thoughtful posts approaching games from a quasi-meditative viewpoint, weekly think pieces if you will, from each of us. We will throw in the occasional review to give you a sense of our gaming tastes along with weekly thoughts on current events in the gaming world. Finally, we hope that this becomes a larger discussion; not just between ourselves but with our readers, with other writers, and anyone interested in videogames. As this blog develops we hope to find our stride as serious but not humorless contributors to the videogame community.

-Jorge and Scott


  1. Yay! Check out 'Lucky Wander Boy' by D.B. Weiss for a fun read- it's like to your theme.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll take a look at it some time.

  3. Don't know where else to pose this question but do either of you actually make games?
    I don't mean to sound derogatory but your idealism when talking about games seems a little naive.

  4. @ Anon

    No, neither of us are professional game developers. Though I've been familiarizing myself with design theories and written works whenever I can.

    We've mentioned this before in response to some comments in the past, but I think it's important to point out again that the purpose of this website is not to create a game design manifesto. If my own writings are idealist, thought I do not believe most of them are, then it is because I believe idealism in that case is more beneficial than pessimistic realism.

    My goal is to provide analysis and personal conjecture. I think there are plenty of clever developers out there to handle the rest.

  5. You guys certainly have the conjecture part down. Otherwise, it's your enthusiasm that made me want to read this site. I've been making games for years and it becomes an entirely different creature once you see behind the curtain. It can completely knock you down.

  6. @ Anon

    We've talked to some developers who seem very happy with their place in the industry, but that is clearly not a representative sample. It's no secret the rate of attrition is high. We'd love to talk to you about your own experiences if you ever feel inclined to email us.

  7. as soon as GoW III ships, I'd be happy to. :)