Archives for category: Podcasts


In just a few weeks, Local No. 12 (the game collective that consists of Colleen Macklin, John Sharp, and myself) will be unveiling the next phase of our culture-jamming card game the Metagame. Meanwhile, the earlier version of the game has been getting a nice amount of attention online. So feel free to kill time until the next Metagame drops with these articles and podcasts.


It’s a bit of a blast from the past – last summer to be exact – but I couldn’t resist posting this link to the University of the Arts in Berlin. Nathalie Pozzi and I taught a workshop there last summer, and this page of their visiting faculty lists us, along with art world mega-stars Ai Weiwei and Tino Sehgal. I think now that I’ve shared a page with these luminaries, I can finally kill myself happily.

In other news from last summer, here’s a link to a somewhat impressionistic BBC radio program about Herman Hesse – the author of the Glass Bead game, one of the original inspirations for the Metagame. Alan Hall interviews me about the relationship between games and culture – and we play a round of the Metagame Culture Edition too.


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.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the death of German novelist Herman Hesse, and to mark the occasion, the BBC created a half-hour radio program about his work. I was interviewed about his book the Glass Bead Game, a story set in a future where a priestly class plays a mysterious game that lets them explore the relationships among disciplines like mathematics, music, and astronomy.

I have always been fascinated by the concept of Hesse’s Glass Bead Game, in part because he keeps the actual rules of the game frustratingly ambiguous in his book. As a game that potentially crossed every other cultural domain, the Glass Bead Game was a big influence on the Metagame, a card game I created with Local No. 12 in which players compare and contrast different forms of art, design, media, and entertainment.

You can listen to the entire BBC program here. I come in about halfway through, around minute 18:00. Among other topics, I discuss how our geek-centric, information-dominated age was presaged in the Glass Bead Game’s society of intellectual scholar-monks. Thanks to producer Alan Hall for tracking me down in Berlin this summer for our very enjoyable interview.

New video and audio on the web.

  • Earlier this year, I appeared on a panel at the Smithsonian celebrating their landmark videogame exhibition. Here’s a video of the panel where I chat with some amazing people, including Mary Flanagan, Tracy Fullerton, Richard LeMarchand, and Colleen Macklin about games that were meaningful to each of us.
  • The Australian Broadcasting Company (the other ABC) created a marvelously detailed radio show about strategy boardgame culture, in which I help provide some theoretical and historical context.
  • And another video, this one of my lecture at MIT’s Sandbox Summit earlier this spring. The title of the lecture is “Games are not good for you” and it is a rant against the instrumentalization of games as learning vehicles.
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