I wanted to sit down and write a feature about a type of people I remember being able to prove existed- pretentious videogame theorists. In my mind, these were people whose sole intent was to study, research, and claim as fact whatever convoluted design ideologies they had observed. Guys and girls who traveled the world getting paid to give lectures to highschoolers, telling them that after years of researching how people make and play games, that they knew the secrets to what made games fun- despite having never put any of their theories into practice by actually making one.
Unfortunately for me and my argument, I can’t actually prove these people exist. The closest I could get is Jesper Juul, but he makes games. Even so, I then realized that this makes him happy and he’s not hurting anyone- so I’m not gonna even try to rain on his parade. I personally prefer to learn about game design and development from people who do it professionally, but if you want to learn from people like him who primarily consider themselves researchers instead of a developers, then by all means go for it. Sure it probably means you’re gonna keep bandwagon hopping trying to catch the “next big thing” (waggle party, portable flash game ripoff, 3d better than real life HD, etc.) instead of sitting down and just trying to make something fun, but if that gives you your jollies then we consumers can always use more companies flooding those markets.
P.S. Next time I’ll have something more worthy of my self created TLDR moniker, and more on par with my past 2 offerings- so look forward to an argument you’ve probably already heard “I wish it was 1997”.