Weekly 5 – 3/29/13

Hello friends, welcome to another Weekly 5. This week we’ve got a bunch of stuff to share, and so much going on in the games world what with GDC going on this week.

1. Sweatshop HD Pulled from Apple StoreKonstantin

Apple pulled the serious game Sweatshop HD from the Apple Store, stating they were “uncomfortable selling a game based around the theme of running a sweatshop.” It’s an interesting, if not appalling move on Apple’s part, and the ramifications may be far reaching for serious games. Pocket Gamer has the story.

2. IGDA Party FalloutAbe

GDC, the big industry convention every year has some great talks from developers and academics about the state of the game industry, and then there are parties. Many people talk about the quality socialization that happens around GDC. Well IGDA teamed up for the second straight year with YetiZen to throw a party and there were scantily clad female dancers hired to perform. It is disturbing, tasteless, and the fallout has been significant, with many folks pulling their support for the organization or resigning important positions.

3. Underground GameRik

One of the highlights of GDC is the Game Design Challenge. This year’s winner was Jason Rohrer, who created (and buried) a game that has never been played by humans. In 2000 years time, what will be made of this titanium artifact (assuming it’s found at all). It begs the question of whether a game unplayed is still a game.

4. Zach Gage Talks About PlayPhilip

Zach Gage, developer of the amazing Spell Tower and a contributor to the totally addicting Ridiculous Fishing gave a talk at Resonate.io, and he published his notes for the talk online. It’s a nice antidote to the inane are games art conversation, so check it out.

5. #1ReasonToBe GDC PanelAbe

This is a great writeup of what sounded like, from all the twitter buzz and chatter online, a truly spectacular panel at GDC this year. Featuring, Brenda Romero, Robin Hunicke, Leigh Alexander, Kim McAuliffe, Elizabeth Sampat, and Mattie Brice,the panel discussed  their own personal experiences with gender bias in the industry, speaking to a packed audience. Games Industry International has a writeup of the talk that many, myself included, hope gets put into the GDC vault for all who were unable to see it.


Abe Stein is a Research Affiliate at the MIT Game Lab and recently completed his SM in the Program in Comparative Media Studies at MIT, writing about sports videogames. He has authored a number of articles about sports and sports media and is co-editor of the book Sports Videogames. He currently works as an Associate Director of Communications at Wheaton College, in Norton, MA and as a researcher with the eSports company Azubu, and have studied and written about sports media.