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Killing the Games Industry: A Murder Mystery

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"The games industry is dying" is one of the most oft repeated phrases within the industry itself. But is it actually dying?

Following his talk at last year's GDC Europe, former Zoe Mode creative director and now games consultant Ste Curran describes his problematic relationship with video games from its nascent period in the 1980s to its commercialization decades on, which last year nearly led him to leave the games industry as a whole.

Curran's talk resembles the rhythmic spoken word of Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip's "Thou Shalt Always Kill" anthem: Part rant, part cultural analysis and read to an electronic beat. The 30-minute talk, a condensed version of its original 50-minute version, sees Curran offering up a Top 100 list of the most typically used reasons for why the games industry is on its last legs.

Bump mapping: a "metaphor for the bullshit technical effects we trace like zombies," he says. Polygon counts. Cell shading. Frame rates. Virtual reality. Linear stories. Hollywood. Women. Men. Sexism. LinkedIn. Kinect. Gimmicks. Children. PR. Marketing. He is. You are.

But perhaps, he concludes, the reality is no one is.

"It's not a thing," says Curran, explaining how the abstract concept of "play" can never die, comparing the concept of killing games to the idea of killing poetry. "Nothing can kill the games industry. The form will survive."

"Teach people about the thing that you love and just as importantly let them teach you."

Curran's speech can be viewed in full below, filmed during the Nordic Game Conference earlier this year.