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9:33am on Monday, 2nd December, 2013:

A Designer, Not a Poet


To create great work in a medium, you have to see the world through the terms imposed by that medium.
The creators of great works operate in the medium that best matches how they see the world anyway.
Game design involves the understanding and creation of interacting systems.
Therefore, the people attracted to game design are precisely those who naturally think in terms of interacting systems.

To create a system that works, you have to consider ways that it could be broken.
The creators of working systems have to think how the users of those systems might think.
Games involve many players thinking in many different ways.
Therefore, the people attracted to game design must naturally think in terms of how systems can be broken.

To change the world, you have to communicate with those who have the power to change it.
The consumers of great works pick up on the world-views of the creators of those works.
Game designers see interacting systems as functioning structures which can be broken.
Therefore, the players of games will also come to understand that functioning structures can be broken.

To be free, you have to live in a world where laws liberate you, not define you.
The people who are governed have the power to change how they are governed.
Games are teaching their players that broken systems are for exploiting.
Therefore, as more people play games, the freer they can make themselves.

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Copyright © 2013 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).