Archives for category: Talks


Last fall at the start of the school year, legendary game designer and play theorist Bernie DeKoven visited the NYU Game Center for a lecture and workshop. I just came across these photos from his visit on the NYU Game Center flickr site and wanted to share them here.

Bernie had asked me to co-lead the 2-hour New Games session, and it was humbling to work side by side with him – like Mohammed Ali asking you to spar a few rounds. We led the 50 or so participants through Rock Paper Scissors Tag, Vampire, Prui, and many other classic New Games.

Bernie also recently published a new book – A Playful Path – with ETC press. It’s a spiritual successor to his groundbreaking book The Well-Played Game, full of stories and insights about living the playful life.

Thanks, Bernie!


Interference, the large-scale game installation I created with architect Nathalie Pozzi, is finally coming to the US. Interference was commissioned by la Gaite lyrique in Paris, and over the last year has traveled to Dublin and Moscow. But we’re very pleased to be working with Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) to bring the project to the Track 16 Gallery in LA.

Interference consists of five super-thin hanging steel walls, each less than a millimeter thick. Physically, it’s a gorgeous project – although all of the credit for that goes to Nathalie! The walls act as vertical game boards for a strategy game that occurs between pairs of players. The twist to the game is that each turn, you must steal a game piece from another pair of players. So players end up interfering in each others’ games, and social metagaming often ends up being the best way to win.

The opening on Wed Oct 2 and the exhibition is timed to coincide with the IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games happening in Culver City. There are several events happening around Interference, including a lecture at USC, modding workshops, and an opening reception. Here’s the back of the LACE postcard, which includes information about the exhibition and walking directions from IndieCade.

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This post contains links to some of my favorite talks I’ve given over the last several months. If you are looking to geek out on game design, you have come to the right place.

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Earlier this year, Nathalie Pozzi and I brought our game installation Interference to the Dublin Science Gallery as part of GAME – an exhibition about new forms of play.  Here’s a short video of Nathalie and I discussing the game  and playing against each other. (If I recall correctly, she beat me soundly.)

The Irish Times also covered the exhibition, taking the occasion to raise questions about the comparison between games and art. If you have more than a few minutes, you might want to watch a video of the talk Nathalie and I gave as part of the Science Gallery’s lecture series. We discuss the concept of the “space of possibility” that lies at the intersection of architecture and game design.


I know it was a few months ago, but I’m just getting around to cataloging all of my sessions from the Game Developers Conference 2013. Below are links to videos and coverage of some of the panels and lectures with which I was involved. If you weren’t at the conference, this piece from the NY Times helps convey the vibe of the gathering, and includes a quote from me about how the industry is changing.

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Over the last few months, I’ve been on a few excellent podcasts that I wanted to share here.

  • The strategic minds at the Ludology Podcast – Ryan Sturm and Geoff Engelstein – had an in-depth discussion with me about the idea of emergence – the way that unexpected patterns emerge out of complex systems – and what that has to do with playing and designing games.
  • Internet funnyman and geek connoisseur Jeff Rubin devoted a podcast episode to the NYU Game Center, where he drilled me on the details of our game design MFA program and other aspects of our curriculum and community.
  • I also had a great conversation with Wes Wilson and Spencer Williams at Core Elements, discussing the intersection of real life and games and drilling into the idea of the “Ludic Century” and the special relationship that games have to the times in which we live.

Another IndieCade has come and gone. More than any other game event each year, IndieCade feels like a game version of a film festival, chock-full of smart lectures, exhibitions of top independent and experimental games, and a social scene that brings together the indie developer community. Read the rest of this entry »


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