Whither Game Research

To cut to the chase:

  • The game industry currently doesn’t believe in “game research”. You’re
    either working on a shippable product, or you’re bullshitting around.
    Shippability implies minimizing risk; minimizing risk implies minimizing
    innovation.

  • There are regions of design space that cannot be reached incrementally. That
    is, there exist new game genres that can’t be invented through a sequence of
    incremental, shippable products.

  • Academia currently has no funding mechanism (and potentially, no tenure
    mechanism) to support research inventing new game genres (research that often,
    along the way, involves solving some hard, first class technical problems).

So neither industry nor academia will do the non-incremental work necessary
to explore these hard to reach regions in design space. Who will?

Michael MateasWhither Game Research (Grand Text Auto)

Mateas focuses on interactive drama.