We’re going to the Maldives – day 0

Yay! We got invited to participate in this cool game design trip to the Maldives.

Amani Naseem of the Collective has invited a group of international game designers to go and design games and make playful events in the capital city of the Maldives, Malé. We will work with key artists, thinkers and organizers in the Maldives and create a playful event in the public spaces of Malé.

Image courtesy of Ida Marie Toft

There are more reasons why we go to the Maldives of all places in the world. Firstly; Amani is from there. She has family there.and knows a lot of the local community. Secondly, Amani was invited to join the Maldivian pavilion for this year’s Venice Biennale and decided to invite designers to do collaborative game design events in the Maldives and in Venice.

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ERVAX for 2 nominated for A MAZE!

So, our little game / compositional tool ERVAX for 2 has been nominated for the Most Amazing Indie Game of 2013. We are, of course, very honoured and find it a bit daunting to see the quality and scope of the other nominees.

The competition

Before this, I only knew of three of the other nominees. I’ve played (and bought) Dear Esther and was vaguely aware that David Kanaga (of Proteus fame) had been working on some MIDI-hardware controlled project. And I’ve played Space Team once, when I happened to be in a room with enough iDevices.

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Against the myth of the lone genius

Check out this fun article in Slate questioning the myth of the lone genius (also known as the “auteur”). Money quote:

The shift in understanding creativity is well underway. The stereotypes of miraculous breakthrough moments—and the incessant drive to locate them in the head of epic individuals—are slowly yielding to a portrait of complex, meandering, inherently social paths toward innovation.

I couldn’t agree more! The article certainly jives with our messily collaborative approach to making games here at the CPH Game Collective. Reflecting my own design practice, I definitely do my best work feeding off the energy and inspiration of other people. There’s nothing that I enjoy more than sitting down with Lau to brainstorm a new design, working in tandem with Nils on a strange prototype, or drinking beers with the gang while we kick around ridiculous game concepts. Indeed, it is precisely this social milieu which gave rise our B.U.T.T.O.N. project. The core concept for the game cannot be traced to any one person; it must be attributed to all four of the original team members.

As Dave Hickey writes in his book Air Guitar:

I still endorse Peter Schjeldahl’s advice on how to become an artist: ‘You move to a city. You hang out in bars. You form a gang, turn it into a scene, and turn that into a movement.’ Then, I would suggest, when your movement hits the museum, abandon it.

To be clear, I would never call myself an “artist.” But I think Hickey’s advice applies to anyone working in any kind of creative endeavor.

Innovation and creativity are socially situated. Ignore this wisdom at your own peril.

(And even if lone genius does exist, it sure doesn’t sound like much fun…)

Pixels by Patrick Jean

Great video about 8-bit pixel creatures invading New York.

This is where we get down

Matt is in town! Here’s his take of Dronning Louises Bro, right near where some of us live:

Dronning Louises Bro

(The drawing is from this week, but the photo is from 2008)

At least they’ll see the black…

I have a new favorite blog:

Our good friend Matt Broach, a visual artist from New York City, just moved to Berlin, and he’s drawing a picture of the city every day – visual fragments, you might call them, in his signature sharpe technique.

For those of you like me who are wistful for Berlin (or who just like beautiful drawings), you’ll definitely want to add his blog to your RSS feed.

More on Matt’s work after the jump. Read more »