thinker.jpg The last time we covered Matt Sakey's regular 'Culture Clash' IGDA column, we got all het up (again!) about some of the invective in it. This time, however, his May column, on developers vs. academics, comes from a basically sound concept - the suggestion that the two parties should mingle and mix contentedly.

For example, I think the following is absolutely true: "The application of film theory and criticism to motion picture production has resulted in better movies, and a deeper understanding among filmmakers of what ingredients go into quality film... An understanding of the theoretical and critical context of games will help the medium evolve to provide ever more meaningful and impactful game experiences." A good point.

The only note of distate I find is the sentence: "Xenophobia is common throughout all industries. Insular communities tend to be protective of their shared wisdom and suspicious of outsiders. They believe that only their own confederates can possibly contribute anything of value, even when it's applicable across multiple disciplines and incontrovertibly proven." Note the link to the previously GSW-discussed Jason Della Rocca piece on quality of life issues - is this meant to imply that Jason's argument is 'incontrovertibly proven'? I do hope not.

As for Sakey's comment: "In the games industry, many developers are quick to angrily and often rudely stereotype academics as frustrated wannabe game makers" - well, from what I hear, the lecture hall was completely packed out for the GDC 'Top 10 Video Game Research Findings' talk, and the Serious Games Summit @ GDC Jesper Juul keynote was also a notable success, so... I don't know, sometimes I feel like the IGDA (and, in particular, Sakey's column) browbeats game professionals entirely too much, for being a complementary organization. It'd be nice to start from a position where both parties are given the benefit of the doubt.