Boy crying with ice cream

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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2 thoughts on “Dialogue Tree: You’re Ruining Our Fun

  1. I love hearing Abbott, he’s always insightful and so remarkably down-to-earth sounding, which is hard when being so flapping brilliant.

    Joel– love this idea of adding an outside source to the site (starting with a podcast was nice). So glad to see the site continuing to grow and being extra nifty.

  2. Hello again Jordan, long time no see! Eric’s only going to be doing podcasts and if I find him trying to do any writing I’ll take his crayons away again. Actually it’s only because I really really like Eric’s podcast work. He does such a fine job of it that it makes me miserable when I listen to mine =)

    Michael Abbott is always great to listen to. There are some really interesting observations in this interview, particularly with regard to the state of academia (both within games studies and without).

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