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Tag: opinion

Is China really that wrong?

I was reading the new policies from China regarding games and thinking that somehow I do agree with most of them.

I am not an anti-capitalist. I believe that (also if it has its flaws) commerce is the best way we find as human beings to make fewer wars. I am not in favor of the Chinese propaganda, too.

But I observe my society, I teach at local institutions and I can see the obvious drama… There is a battle for attention that pervades also video games. I see that many people have their attention completely sucked in super cool and engaging gameplay, as well as social networks and other forms of entertainment. Some of my students are completely immersed in “Clash Royale”, or other games, while I show them how to build their future. Is that even fair? Do they deserve that? Of course, it’s their choice… but do brilliant designs manipulate their will?

I did not choose to make games to trap the players’ minds. I choose to make games because I want to create interesting gameplay when they decide to step into the magic circle. It is completely different.

The games market is growing and more and more realities are competing to own the free time of people like my students, and others.

Is that what we want or it would be better to put limits to greed? My answer is that we have to put limits. Complete freedom when lots of products are carefully designed by top talent to keep the attention of people looking for their hourly endorphin doses is very dangerous.

Data means nothing

Data means nothing without the ability to get meaningful information from it.

I still see a lot of discussions around pure data everyday, most of them completely pointless.

“I am sure this works, data says it clearly!”. False, data is raw. Data says nothing. Data has to be put in context.

“You think our players would like this? Let’s prove it with data!”. You will never prove anything with data, you should write down concrete hypotheses and then take the raw data and transform it first in information and, only after, in insight.

“Yes, I also like this. But I want to see the data first!”. If you want to make real games you should consider just being bold sometimes. If you really like something, put it on! Players will appreciate that. If results are bad, I swear, it will probably depend on other things.

If you use the data-driven approach, you risk to really miss your point because when anything becomes the subject of our analysis the result of this analysis will be influenced by this fact. You should use data to get information to inform your design decisions, not to drive them.