What Games Are is a blog about game design, publishing, marketing and production. It will also be a book.
My name is Tadhg Kelly. I've been working in games for twenty years, first in table top and live action roleplaying games and latterly in videogames as designer, writer, producer and startup founder.
In addition I'm a regular contributor to industry-leading sites such as Gamasutra, and I write both a weekly gaming column for TechCrunch and a monthly column for Edge magazine. I also teach a class in game production at the National Film and Television School in the UK, and am a member of BAFTA.
I'm currently writing the What Games Are book and consulting for game and entertainment publishers. My specialities include game design, production and social mechanisms. If you are interested in contacting me regarding either the book, conference speaking, or consulting for your organisation, I can be reached at email@example.com or (+44) 759 019 4000.
Games are an art form.
Like any art form they are capable of being put to many uses and deliver many experiences, yet deep divisions have arisen over the years around what that form is. Various designers have proposed that games are simulations, interactive toys, interactive stories or positive psychology engines. Many find the past of games juvenile and hope that games will be an art one day. Many find the focus on fun in games embarrassing, or difficult to reconcile with loftier goals.
What Games Are talks about games as they are, not as they could be. It advocates that the tools and mode of interaction needed to think of games as an art already exist, but that art may not be what you think it is. The book is largely about language, and rewiring the framework of understanding that you may have about games. It is also about legitimacy, about claiming the art form of games on their own terms rather than trying to borrow it from somewhere else. Finally it is about tools that you can use to help express your game designs in a way that might be productive.
Part personal journey, part analytical breakdown of many of the core ideas behind games, my hope is that this book will help spur the debate about games in the wider world, and allow game makers to see themselves as makers rather than craftsmen.