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My games: the mechanic is the message

March 14, 2010

This morning, I was just leveled. I delivered my talk on Train at GDC and received a standing ovation. If you were there, thank you. I am still blown away by the reception you’ve given me and my games.

Destructoid writer Anthony Burch covered the talk here: GDC 10: The Holocaust Board Game.

You can see pics of Train and the other games in the series here: The Mechanic is the Message.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2010 4:47 am

    Dear Brenda,
    I saw your presentation on Saturday and was very moved. Even Tim Schafer couldn’t make me laugh afterwards. You will find my german Article about your Train-Presentation here:

    Best Regards

  2. March 14, 2010 9:16 am

    You deserve it. Congrats.


  3. March 14, 2010 4:25 pm

    I haven’t gone hunting for video yet, but if the tone was anything like the talk you gave at Art History of Games (and judging by the tweets, it could only have been even better), then it was entirely deserved. I think sometimes the industry forgets to be passionate about what we do, or that it can be as personal as it often is.

    Speaking for myself, listening to you talk about your process in February made me understand and come to terms with mine better. I’m quite certain that the shift in perception is largely responsible for my game projects this last quarter turning out well, due to being much more willing to say “no, this is how I work and it’s alright; let the games mature before I scrap ideas in a panic”.

    I don’t recall if I got the chance to thank you at the time, so consider it done now.

  4. March 15, 2010 4:17 am

    Just read the reviews. Awesome. Thank you.

  5. TimS permalink
    March 15, 2010 2:17 pm

    I had the good fortune to attend your presentation. I’ve already clumsily described your talk to non-gamer friends and family, and even they were blown away. Superb job.

  6. Jane Quan permalink
    March 16, 2010 12:41 am

    I’m honestly surprised that you don’t always get standing ovations for your talks, especially this one. It was incredible, and by far the best session I attended at this year’s GDC – more so than even Sid Meier’s keynote and Will Wright’s ramblings. I was totally distracted by the content of your presentation for the rest of the day and couldn’t stop telling other people about your games and the potential for games to teach people about these very hard subjects on a viscerally emotional level. I cannot wait to see them played firsthand at USC!

  7. March 27, 2010 6:00 pm

    I wanted to go to your talk so badly, Brenda, but I was busy working at Ian Bogost’s “Game Studies 5.0” session. I hadn’t realized those two sessions would be held simultaneously! I’ll try and catch it on the vault as soon as I can.

    • March 28, 2010 12:06 am

      That’s nice of you to say, Chris. Thanks. Hope you like the vault version.


  8. March 30, 2010 1:39 am

    Your talk was one of my favorites this year. I’d read about Train and your other projects, but your talk contained a lot of information I didn’t know yet.

  9. April 11, 2010 8:06 am

    Brenda – finally caught your talk on the GDCVault. Incredible. Two days later, I’m still watching my internal motivation set re-orienting itself.

    I know it’s probably embarrassing for you, but alas, you have managed to be deeply inspiring. I feel it’s my duty as a designer to warn you that I’ll be referring to you and your work as an “influence” now. My apologies for any discomfort this may cause – you seem like a humble person. (Of course, if I’m wrong and that’s all cool, then never mind about all that! 🙂

    Thanks for all you’ve done and all you’re doing. It’s important. 🙂


    • April 11, 2010 1:25 pm

      Wow, Jason, thank you. I remain incredibly surprised and humbled by the response I got to the talk and from game designers who support the design challenges I am confronting with these games. I have never experienced anything like it, and I appreciate your comments on it so much.


  10. December 2, 2010 1:25 pm

    You were Mentioned in Escapist Magazine’s Extra Credits this afternoon, lots of praise in the shout out.

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