This morning Phil Harris talked more about the politics of the video game industry rather the actual process of producing a game, and I am very glad he did. The main take-away from his lecture for me was the game industry is not really developed to the point it should be. They are not taking full advantage of technology in order to help society. Since the world of gamers is growing because of the access to games through phones and other devices, it is important the game industry embraces these changes for the better.
~The company Phil works for~
Phil emphasized how games tell a story, and this is his job as a narrative designer. But he also said these stories cannot be the sole purpose of the game, so he strategically interweaves the story. I have never thought of video games as being “personal” experiences before hearing what Phil had to say about this being essential to the success of a game. Players want to feel integrated and an emotional connection when they play the game, or what he called “agency.” I thought it was interesting when he talked about using video games as a tool to help the mentally and physically handicapped because they feel they can be part of something. When he said this it seemed so obvious as to why this would be effective, but there are very few people who have found success in this area.
~Games on my iPhone~
People use games as an escape, but everyone has different issues they cope with through gaming. Phil talked about finding the right niche markets and tapping into those and how difficult this is to do. It is hard to make a game that appeals to a large group of people, and I think this is why the industry is so difficult to break in to. You have to be creative and come up with a game that has not already been done. I took a class this past semester about how niche markets are crucial to film and television, and this is exactly the case with video games. Many of them fail, and I am assuming the industry follows the 80/20 rule, where 80% of the profits come from 20% of the products. Video games are becoming increasingly popular with various demographics. If they want to keep this trend the industry will have to tap into niche markets and utilize the social media and marketing world more than they currently are.
~Most popular games on iTunes Store~