Podcast 002: James Patton and Spinnortality – a Cyberpunk Episode
From the YouTube Channel
This episode is about James Patton, an indie game developer who is currently working on a game called Spinnortality - a Cyberpunk strategy game that cares about using game mechanics to represent specific aspects of the real world. This makes it (at least in certain ways) a political game, which is why I was interested in meeting James: using games to reflect politics is nothing new, but it has never been harsher than today, where specific gamers are very vocal, even abusively so, about how these two domains should never be merged.
This episode has a 10min introduction: if you want to get right to the interview, start the podcast at 10:35!
The intro has me philosophizing about software decay, DRM and capitalism, videogames and politics - and about Cyberpunk as a way to address our worries of the future. Also: The interview was conducted in the last days of the Spinnortality kickstarter campaign - which was since completed successfully.
I released a short YouTube clip about James' thoughts on Games and Politics, which you can view at the top of this page. I hope you enjoy this episode - and am looking forward to any kind of feedback!
THANKS TO ANTHONY KROYTOR / CITYNIGHTSTRACKS for letting my use his music!
- James Patton's Spinnortality, and the Spinnortality Kickstarter page
- A free version of the (unfinished) game can be downloaded here
- This episode's music was taken from the Spinnortality soundtrack, created by Anthony Kroytor (Anthony can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org).
James mentions specific individuals and tools from the video game industry. Here are links to these:
- Ian Bogost: Wikipedia and Twitter
- Brie Code: Website and Twitter
- Alexis Kennedy (he's the creator of Sunless Sea, Fallen London, and many more games)
- Porpentine's old website, her new site, and some of her games
- Emily Short and her "Versu" project
- The game "This War of Mine"
- Twine - an open-source tool to tell interactive stories
- McDonald'd satire videogame
James also mentions some individuals, theories and terms that aren't specific to video game culture - here are links to these:
- Hofstede's "Cultural Dimensions Theory"
- Roland Barthes and his essay 1967 essay "The Death of the Author"
- Late Capitalism
- Charles Dickens