For the first time since I began speaking at the GDC three years ago I let the deadline for abstracts pass without submitting my roundtable proposal. I am still not sure why I no longer have an interest in moderating roundtables on the subject of Creating Emotional Involvement in Interactive Entertainment, but I am certain that I do not. As the deadline passed a few days ago I felt nothing but relief, despite the fact that I still believe emotional involvement is the key to our industry’s long-term success.
While I hope the industry will take this objective seriously in the future, right now, in general, the status quo stills reigns. Having seen the current approach in action for the better part of a decade, I confess I do not have the conviction necessary to protest against yet another round of graphics adoration and feature masturbation. Until the money people actually demand design and storytelling competence from developers, I don’t think all the lectures and roundtables in the world are going to convince developers to improve their skills and products.
For the record the ratings I received from the attendees at my roundtables were always very high, and there were always a number of committed people who were very interested in the subject matter. Unfortunately, they weren’t the ones turning yet another five million dollar budget into a steaming pile of development waste.
— Mark Barrett