In the first episode of Dialogue Tree, Eric Brasure interviews Michael Abbott, also known as The Brainy Gamer. Over the course of an hour, Abbott talks about Portal in the classroom, the perception of videogames outside the videogame club, whether the history of cinema can tell us anything about the future of videogames, fixing the academic process and much more.
(Originally broadcast Dec 7, 2011.)
03:10 "We've been telling these guys their whole lives that video games are a waste of time."
04:40 "First of all - you've done your research!"
08:00 "...it assumes that 'well, you know, we're still in the nascent period of games'... well, really we're not."
14:00 "With few exceptions, the artists making the stuff aren't thinking reflectively about the stuff they are making."
17:50 "[game studies academics] tend to not have much influence outside that academic circle."
20:00 "...that's when I find game studies useful because they've gone there before..."
27:50 "...it's like this small little miracle."
33:00 "I love those old adventure games but I think they're fairly passé, to be honest."
36:30 "It comes with a whole series of conventions that I'm just... kind of tired of, personally."
39:10 "The idea that you have to draw a map. Yourself. On graph paper. Like, that just blows their minds."
44:40 "And it's such a compelling universe that you start to feel rewarded by paying attention."
54:10 "And they write about it or they post on a forum about it... and that's scholarship to me."
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- Featured music: Motorama - "There’s No Hunters Here" (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)
- Abbott adds Portal to the reading list at Wabash college
- Duncan Fyfe writes about Abbott's earlier course "The Art and History of Video Games"
- Abbott on how Ultima IV is now unplayable
- Abbott on Portal 2
- BlizzCon's peculiar homophobic moment
- Denis Farr "This Gaymer's Story"