ADM : Heinz :: Facebook : Zynga

GDC Social Game Debate

Now that I’m back from the Game Developers Conference, I’ll post some summaries of my talks. Let’s start with the Are social games legitimate? debate, which moderator Margaret Robertson quickly transformed into an “Are social games evil?” debate. I was clearly the only real detractor on the panel, and I’m happy to be able to adequately summarize my position with… read more

Digging for Gold in a Turd

My "Fuck this Jam" Keynote

Rami Ismail and Fernando Ramallo have organized a game jam called Fuck This Jam, in which participants are invited to build a game in a genre they hate. Given our experience making games in genres we hate, Rami and Fernando invited me (Cow Clicker) and Zach Gage (Spelltower) to deliver short keynote videos for the jam. You can watch the… read more

Words With Friends Forever

On cadence and deep design in the current social games environment. From my "Persuasive Games" column at Gamasutra

Imagine that you were a big game studio that had built your business around free-to-play social network games. Say that you had recently gone public, but your stock was down sixfold from its IPO price. And let’s also imagine that the social network facilitating most of your business was also taking a hammering on Wall Street. Imagine too that analysts… read more

The Perils of Farmville

Me on NPR's Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane

I’ve had a chance to be on a number of different radio programs, both national and local. I really like doing radio, particularly longer programs on NPR and CBC since the additional time really allows more sustained exploration of a topic. It’s also particularly fun and weird to be on a show you’ve listened to extensively. I did NPR’s Talk… read more

The Bulldog and the Pegasus

Originally published as an opinion piece at Gamasutra In Greek mythology, Bellerophon is the hero who tamed the Pegasus. He used the winged horse as a mount to defeat the Chimaera, a monster with the heads of a lion, goat, and snake that breathed fire and devoured villagers. Bellerophon’s many heroic deeds were widely praised, and his subjects adored him.… read more

Why Debates About Video Games Aren’t Really About Video Games

This editorial was originally published on August 1, 2011 at Kotaku. For more on diversity of use in games, read my new book How to Do Things with Videogames, available this month. After the Supreme Court announced its decision regarding a California law that would have imposed state limitations on children’s access to certain videogames, a deluge of reactions flooded… read more


More Zynga bullshit

Kyle Orland, co-author of the forthcoming book Farmville for Dummies, writes this introduction to a two-part feature over at Gamasutra, by Tadhg Kelly. The title: “How Zynga’s CityVille Has Compelled 70 Million Players.” Given today’s surprising new interest in Cow Clicker over on Reddit, I thought I’d share some delightful snippets Orland extracted from Kelly’s work. One of the keys… read more


Stuff I said to the Press

I thought I’d share few recent mentions of me in the media. I try not to do this with every little mention, but all of these are really good articles that you should read anyway. First, Chris Suellentrop’s New York Times Magazine story Video Games that Bring Afghanistan Home. It’s a wide-ranging feature, and even though I only have one… read more

Cow Clicker

The Making of Obsession

I made a Facebook game about Facebook games, called Cow Clicker. You can go play it on Facebook now, or you can see some screenshots on on this site. Here’s the short description, from the page just linked: Cow Clicker is a Facebook game about Facebook games. It’s partly a satire, and partly a playable theory of today’s social games,… read more