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Epic Emergent Design Discussion on Twitter

July 16, 2009

Twitter is amazing. This afternoon, an epic design discussion broke out spontaneously between the following individuals:

  • Harvey Smith @harvey1966
  • Clint Hocking @clicknothing
  • Brenda Brathwaite @bbrathwaite
  • Rob Fermier @xemu
  • David Jaffe @djaffe
  • Ian Bogost @ibogost
  • Damion Schubert @zenofdesign
  • John Romero @theromero

Outside of GDC, where on earth would you see this happening? As I type this, the core discussion has been gone for hours, but the #gamedesign search tag is still hopping.

If you haven’t jumped to twitter, do it. Look at who I follow and follow them. Almost all of them are industry vets.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2009 11:36 am

    So that’s what twitter feels like to folks important enough to be followed by those they are following? I suspect the experience for someone like me, an outsider with exactly one friend in the game industry, would be rather less interesting. I don’t see much value in talking to myself, and I doubt the folks on your list would care enough about what I have to say to actually follow me. It’s an industry insider thing; outsiders like me aren’t really part of the conversation.

    I must admit, however, there is something interesting about how social circles can emerge on Twitter. Twitter looks utterly pointless when looking at a single person’s feed, but it becomes at least somewhat interesting when you’re looking at how these separate feeds can coalesce into social circles and productive conversations.

  2. July 18, 2009 3:03 pm

    Hi Adrian,

    Actually, everyone was pretty engaged, and those on that list above replied to many, many individuals. I think you would have enjoyed the discussion. Your point adds a really interesting perspective for me, however. I do not take for granted the friends and connections I have.


  3. July 18, 2009 8:01 pm


    When I wrote the above I was assuming the only way to see another person’s tweets would be to follow them, but I just read on Twitter’s website that messages aimed at particular users do appear in that user’s lists of replies, so it turns out at least the targets of any replies would be able to see my tweets, even if I had no followers. Other people wouldn’t see those tweets unless they followed me (and the target), but if the targets of my own tweets were interested enough to reply it might — at least in theory — help grow my list of followers.

    I wonder what an animated topological map of a Twitterer’s relationships might look like. To see these connections forming might actually be very interesting.

  4. Dan permalink
    July 22, 2009 11:56 am

    I hadn’t given Twitter a lot of thought, but after this post I think I will break down and get an account. I would have loved to have “listened” in to that conversation.

  5. July 25, 2009 7:39 pm

    I’m posting late, but this points out one of the shortcomings of Twitter: there’s no historical context. I’ve been busy and didn’t read this blog post until today. If this had been a bunch of blog discussions with trackbacks and comments, then there would still be a conversation for me to follow. As it is, I have to go dig through the search feature and try to find this wonderful if ephemeral discussion and put it together.

    Even now I can chip in a comment over a week later on a blog entry and it may seem strange, but there’s a chance someone will read it (if only the author of the blog; hi, Brenda!) Replying to a Twitter message from back then would be like necroposting.

    Yet another reason I’m not all that fussed about Twitter. I prefer my thoughtful discussions longer and with more history. Maybe I’m just getting old before my time (Ow, my hip….)

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