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Dialogue Tree: Dead Trees

In this episode of Dialogue Tree, Eric Brasure interviews freelance writer Chris Dahlen, co-founder of Kill Screen and writer for recent release Mark of the Ninja. In this interview, Dahlen talks about changes in game journalism, the rise of Kotaku, tendency of game design and game critique to focus on plot... and Skyrim. He also convinces Eric to play Dark Souls.

(Originally broadcast Feb 9, 2012 through Second Quest.)

Contents

01:55 “The only reason to do [print] was to do it right.”

06:55 “So, you know, we've worked with good people but it kinda took a while to kinda lock that down.”

07:45 “People are starting to respect game journalism.”

08:25 “The web, especially as things get becomes faster and faster... it almost becomes a tool of distraction.”

11:35 “We really needed that presence - and needed something online for investors to take it seriously...”

12:10 “You know the great thing about the magazine is that people buy it.”

16:10 “I've always written about games for more of a mainstream audience.”

17:20 “I think games are a little like porn...”

20:10 “There's so many different experiences that happen just within this one game - and how would you sum that up...?”

21:40 “I'm not one of those people who say games have to be art and I rarely think of them as art.”

23:15 “...start thinking of them as systems of rules...”

25:15 “Plot, I think, is about the least important thing in a game...”

32:50 “We had a publicist sitting there the whole time!”

38:00 “If this can became more than just a hobby for gamers then that would be wonderful.”

42:55 “I loved The Path.”

48:10 “Planescape had it. Grim Fandango had it. There a lot of things that come across my desk that don't.”

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References

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  1. Really dug this interview. The comment about thinking on games as systems of rules is important. I think we all still value the opportunity for games to tell stories, but also I think with games the place to start is always with the rules, or lack of them. “Play is the thing,” as Will Wright would say.

  2. Thanks Jordan, I know Eric will be glad to hear that.

    I personally think that’s the contentious thing about this interview, that it comes across as a boost to ludology. However, listen carefully, and it’s clear that Dahlen is really talking about something a little more proceduralist, what rules mean.


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