Play does not mean a waste of time.
One of the most unpleasant by-products of our Puritan ancestry is the negative association between fun and work. We are told: if you are having fun, you are not working. Fun is simple-minded; work is struggle; time is money. Time spent in play must be a waste, right?
We think play is a fundamental human endeavor. Play motivates us and speaks to our most natural human inclinations. Play greases the wheels of social interaction. A life immersed in play is a life well-spent.
Play is maturing as a medium.
Out of the sprites of Spacewar!, games have burgeoned into a diverse and sometimes magical field. Play at its best reflect all of the wonder, beauty, and intelligence found in music, film, theatre, literature, and the rest of the arts. We believe that our conversation should not dwell on whether games deserve their place in the pantheon of the arts, but *which* games deserve it.
Everyone games, but not everyone is a “gamer”.
We are moving out of a world where people ask “Do you play games?,” and moving into one where we ask “What games do you play?” Everyone plays. The term “gamer,” however, connotes one highly specific culture. There is nothing wrong with the popular expression “gamer”, nor with that culture, but we are more interested in the question of what type? as opposed to whether at all.
Play need an advocate.
No medium matures on its own. We believe that Kill Screen can be this advocate for the true, the beautiful, and the good in games.
Play are connected to every other creative field…
It is a common misconception that play is something apart from the rest of creative production. Nothing could be further from the truth. Game-making is a fundamentally creative act and those that pursue it face the same dilemmas as painters, musicians, dancers, and poets. To make games is simply to make.
But play has a lot to learn from other creative fields.
The moat around games is partly of game makers own design. Game creators have not received the necessary exposure for the public to respect games as art. At times, gamemakers have hidden themselves from the public. At their worst, games can be insular, narrow-minded, and pandering. We want Kill Screen to help bring culture to play and games to play.
All play is social.
In the history of games, only a handful have been single player. Yet games possess the reputation as private and anti-social. We believe that all games are social. They are either played with others or played against the designer herself. We believe that all games should be played, and more importantly, discussed, with one another.
Play is serious business.
Games generate billions of dollars of revenue for global economies, yet they are barely covered by the financial press. Games make a lot of money but do not yet command much attention.
Those who play are more diverse than you think.
The range of creative products over the past decade demonstrates a real shift in the demographics of gamers and the interests of game makers. We believe that everyone has the perfect game waiting for them.
Games are at a crossroads right now.
The Comics Code Authority led to book-burnings that set back sequential art a half century in the United States. The Hays Code regulated the film industry’s output and prevented the “ridicule of the clergy” and depiction of drug use. Rock n’ roll was banned from dance halls around this country just fifty years ago. Games are young, just emerging from similar growing pains into their maturity as a medium. We want to be the vanguard that pushes games away from its misunderstood past and towards its bright future.