Chris Hecker Rants At GDC 2013 Without Saying A Word

Chris Hecker Rants At GDC 2013 Without Saying A Word
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It’s revealing that at first I didn’t get the point of this, which is Chris Hecker’s rant at Game Developers Conference 2013. So much of the non-stop big budget press conference bull you hear in this business all sounds alike, forcing me into a kind of weird active listening where I’m trying to decode pabulum and empty promises for anything usable in a story.

That is the point of “Fair Use” however. There isn’t anything usable in these appearances. It’s all incremental developments, sequels and derivatives and next-gen mumbo jumbo and it all sounds the same. Hecker, whose rants inspired the famous “Duct Tape Award” at GDC, is getting a lot of love for this from his colleagues. He doesn’t offer his thoughts or criticism of these eye-rolling demonstrations because he doesn’t have to. They speak for themselves. And they say less than Hecker, despite using a hell of a lot more words.

If you want to see the rant as it was presented live, you may view it here. (Skip ahead to 5:00 if you just want to see Hecker’s portion of the panel.) Per Hecker, these clips come from the PlayStation 4 press conference (as streamed by GameSpot); Glen Schofield’s DICE 2013 talk; Killzone: Shadow Fall being demonstrated on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; and Bungie’s Destiny reveal trailer.

Fair Use []


    • Yeah, took me a while as well.

      I think what happened is that at GDC, there is a session which allows selected developers to “rant” about something industry related, albeit in a controlled setting which is encouraging the rant.

      In this case, the person doing the rant (Chris Hecker) appears to be highlighting the stagnant nature of creativity amongst AAA game development, by highlighting how creative and innovative jargon terms are now used as marketing speak without any actually deliverables arriving in the form of unique game experiences.

      I think it’s very funny, and he picked a choice selection of clips and titles, but I have a few problems with it.

      Firstly, the PS4 launch conference (which he sampled heavily from) had plenty of unique games demonstrated which have actually substance, such as Jonathon Blow’s The Witness. Sony also made a point of courting indie developers, which seems to have been well accepted by the industry as a whole.

      Secondly, indie developers will be the source of innovation, everybody knows that. AAA titles are rarely afforded the creative benefit of the doubt due to the immense development costs of their games.

      Thirdly, this comes on the eve of having just finished Bioshock infinite, one of the most enthralling narratives I have enjoyed in any medium in a very long time, in the form of a AAA shooter.

      Finally, I hate seeing this kind of snide criticism without offering an alternative.

  • I’m going to admit that I’m missing the point a bit here. What I’m getting is it’s either a video ranting about video games having action, or it’s a video ranting about developers having passion about the video games they create. If the former, it’s nothing new; people have complained about that for years. If the latter; well, that’s sort of a jerk thing to rant about.

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