Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Old Man's Got it Going On

Who in gaming doesn't respect Richard Garfield? I know I do. In the early days of Magic I think I could call him friend, though I suspect acquaintance is probably more accurate.

What strike me as interesting about Richard is, in addition to being a game design genius, is how he thinks about the way people play. (or is it the way he thinks about how people play?)

This interview really knocks it home how it thinks not only of the game, but of the gamers. In my experience, it's a rare combination.

"I also was scared of becoming a creator that wouldn't let anyone else contribute creatively. Instead, I tried [giving] the big picture for where I wanted to go and allow people to get there, creatively, on their own. I tried to offer advice and opinion rather than command, so that Magic grew with the best of many rather than the best of few."
This sort of thinking is actually both revolutionary and very rare. Many of the designers I know are vastly talented (more so than I) but often tend to be either independant maverics or a small cabal of independant maverics. The idea of allowing others to contribute to their games ranges from distasteful to horrifiying. Allowing the public to contribute, unthinkable.

Creating games that allow people to participate in front-line creative roles remains my dream. I'm not sure Richard was going there, but I think he'd appreciate the goal.


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