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The Abstraction Trap

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The Abstraction Trap

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A lightning talk about abstractions, how they are great, how they are dangerous and how to mitigate the dangers.
Delivered at GameDevDays Graz 2019, will be available on YouTube in the future.

A lightning talk about abstractions, how they are great, how they are dangerous and how to mitigate the dangers.
Delivered at GameDevDays Graz 2019, will be available on YouTube in the future.

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The Abstraction Trap

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Editor's Notes

  • Welcome

    4th time at GDDG
    7 minutes, just one idea
    Inception
    Visual pun
  • Friend
    worked for local government in my birth city
    "forester" <- look it up
    One of his jobs
    Go places, decide whether there was a forest or not
    What is a forest?
    Everyone knows / "feels" a forest
    Legal definition
    A lot hangs on this legal definition

    The concept "forest" is a useful abstraction of a collection of trees
  • The closer one looks, the more details appear

    One may even argue that our understanding of reality is built exclusively on abstractions
  • To show how powerful this is…

    UK: that is the IQ of school children

    Heterosis: More genetic diversity, less inbreeding
  • Why am I talking about this?

    Game Designers and artists create rules and whole worlds
    Testers need to find patterns
    Programmers create interfaces and systems

    And the trend is going towards abstraction
    We rely on it more and more
  • But there are some downsides

    I.e. TCP/IP

    I.e. all Asians are good at math

    #1 Skill for game designers
  • #1 Be aware of the problem!

    Some hints only…

    Run thought experiments
  • Attributed to Einstein
    Most likely a paraphrased

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