TEDx Talk Bridges Non-Gamer Divide

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Having whittled my thoughts down to a ten minute talk for TEDx last week (see the above video, which we played earlier this week), I’ve gone back to my notes to piece together a long-form rendering of these ideas. What I discovered was a lot more background on how I see the current situation with games criticism and how I hope to see this move forward.

This should go some way to answer questions and complement suggestions in the comments on the TEDx talk, in which I’ve been roundly impressed how how open and well informed viewers have been. So here’s the long-form of my talk:

Human beings are storytellers. When Goldsmith and Mann filed a US patent for their “cathode ray tube amusement device” they unknowingly created a new way to tell stories about the world, and a new way to be human.

Video-games are about more than violence, sex and quick reaction times. Goldsmith and Mann’s gift has created some of my favorite places to be in the world, characters that tangibly exist and to whom I feel closer than any from books or films.

But the way we talk about video-games currently is unsustainable. Descriptions of their content and comparisons of their playability leave untouched the pool of meaning they offer the human heart.

We need to redefine our professional video-game talk, and open a way for everyday people to join the conversation and benefit from video-game’s ethical, physiological and even spiritual contribution.

Picking up a controller to play a console game not only raises my adrenaline and excites my senses, but for a few hours makes me feel more complete. While the world of films, novels and even faith left me without a foothold, video-games invited me in. For a few hours they become my story.

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