A Peoples History of the  First Person Shooter         Robert Yang              @radiatoryang     Parsons the New School f...
Some storylines:   - FPS as institution - console FPS market- the death of modding  - eclectic indie scene
“... a game that weaves togetherimage, sound and narrative intoa new form of experience.”
“... a game that weaves togetherimage, sound and narrative intoa new form of experience.”– “A New Art Form May Arise From ...
CD-ROM ~6 million    sold(1993-2003)
ART   TECHNOLOGY
1993   1993
DISRUPTIVETECHNOLOGYDISRUPTIVEINNOVATION
1972   2010
FIRST PERSON   FIRST PERSON
HARD-CODED   MODULAR
CD-ROM   The “Internet” (?)
INNOVATIVE   INNOVATIVER
DEAD   ALIVE
DEAD   ALIVE
Some storylines:   - FPS as institution - console FPS market- the death of modding  - eclectic indie scene
Mods!    (modifications)“UGC” (user-generated content)
Total Conversion (“the moddiest”)
Total Conversion (“the moddiest”)
Graphics “upgrade”
Map pack / map
Maps are mods.
Maps are mods.
Trends / waves
Trends / waves
Trends / waves
Trends / waves
Trends / waves
Mods were...  - new rules / content     - free, nonprofit- existing assets, engine  - required retail copy
Mods were...  - new rules / content     - free, nonprofit- existing assets, engine  - required retail copy
Mods meant - a way to “break in”    - a commentary- a “default audience”
MODSTOTAL CONVERSIONS   NON PROFIT      DEAD
MODS    MODS DEAD   ALIVE
Garrys Mod
2009   2010
Some storylines:   - FPS as institution - console FPS market- the death of modding  - eclectic indie scene
THE INDIE FPS
MADE INDIE FIRST PERSON GAMES BEFORE IT WAS COOL
“At A Distance”Sense of embodiment
“Fotonica”Sense of embodiment
“Hockey”Sense of embodiment
“Valentinel Hopes”Sense of embodiment
“MirrorMoon”Vision / camera
“I Cant Find My Glasses”Vision / camera
“Unmanned”Vision / camera
“Perspective”Vision / camera
“Cities of Day and Night”Perspective / understanding
“TRAUMA”Perspective / understanding
“TRIP”Perspective / understanding
“Kairo”Perspective / understanding
“Proteus”Soundscapes
“FRACT OSC”Soundscapes
“Dirac”Digital mediation
“Memories of a Broken Dimension”    Digital mediation
“Theres sort of              this zeitgeist            of people saying           the first-personperspective is reallyint...
MADE INDIE FIRST PERSON GAMES BEFORE IT WAS COOL
Some storylines:   - FPS as institution - console FPS market- the death of modding  - eclectic indie scene
TAKEAWAYS
a takeaway:the revenge  of Myst
a takeaway: the mod scene was a   proto-indie scenefragmented by engine- tech fundamentalism
a takeaway:    the “mod” “died”     because enginelicensing and modes of  distribution changed
a takeaway:   the indie fpsscene is HUGE and   ADVANCED.
THE takeaway:    “Amateur” game developers have been deeply involved in thefirst person genre since      it first began.
NO
Game dev history...     ●       Tech / engine? ●   Distribution model?●  Geographic location?
WHO WILLWRITE OURWIKIPEDIA  PAGE?
Thanks.Robert Yang@radiatoryang
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS
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No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS

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In his book “A People’s History of the United States,” Howard Zinn argues for an alternate (but just as valid) historical narrative that put common people at the core of its story rather than the powerful political / economic figures that “inevitably” wielded control in a historical trajectory. The truth, however, is that their power and legitimacy was disputed at every step. Much like US history, the history of game development is largely dominated by the powerful — large international publishers and industry developers dominate the conventional narrative and are its heroes. This talk will not argue whether the industry is good or evil, but the truth is always more complicated than that.
The history of the first person game genre, then, can be read as a narrative arc with three eras: a “Doom” era with lots of modder / industry symbiosis, a “console” era that forced these modders to consolidate with indies, and now an “indie FPS” era that seems poised to takeover popular discourse of the genre. Today, “modding” as we understood it 10 years ago, is now dead.
In this talk, attendees will hear about the rise and fall of the many modding city-states, several general critiques of the console military manshooter market, and a critical survey of over a dozen experimental indie FPS games you’ve probably never heard of.

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No Show 2012 - Robert Yang - A People's History of the FPS

  1. 1. A Peoples History of the First Person Shooter Robert Yang @radiatoryang Parsons the New School for Design
  2. 2. Some storylines: - FPS as institution - console FPS market- the death of modding - eclectic indie scene
  3. 3. “... a game that weaves togetherimage, sound and narrative intoa new form of experience.”
  4. 4. “... a game that weaves togetherimage, sound and narrative intoa new form of experience.”– “A New Art Form May Arise From the Myst”, 12/4/1994
  5. 5. CD-ROM ~6 million sold(1993-2003)
  6. 6. ART TECHNOLOGY
  7. 7. 1993 1993
  8. 8. DISRUPTIVETECHNOLOGYDISRUPTIVEINNOVATION
  9. 9. 1972 2010
  10. 10. FIRST PERSON FIRST PERSON
  11. 11. HARD-CODED MODULAR
  12. 12. CD-ROM The “Internet” (?)
  13. 13. INNOVATIVE INNOVATIVER
  14. 14. DEAD ALIVE
  15. 15. DEAD ALIVE
  16. 16. Some storylines: - FPS as institution - console FPS market- the death of modding - eclectic indie scene
  17. 17. Mods! (modifications)“UGC” (user-generated content)
  18. 18. Total Conversion (“the moddiest”)
  19. 19. Total Conversion (“the moddiest”)
  20. 20. Graphics “upgrade”
  21. 21. Map pack / map
  22. 22. Maps are mods.
  23. 23. Maps are mods.
  24. 24. Trends / waves
  25. 25. Trends / waves
  26. 26. Trends / waves
  27. 27. Trends / waves
  28. 28. Trends / waves
  29. 29. Mods were... - new rules / content - free, nonprofit- existing assets, engine - required retail copy
  30. 30. Mods were... - new rules / content - free, nonprofit- existing assets, engine - required retail copy
  31. 31. Mods meant - a way to “break in” - a commentary- a “default audience”
  32. 32. MODSTOTAL CONVERSIONS NON PROFIT DEAD
  33. 33. MODS MODS DEAD ALIVE
  34. 34. Garrys Mod
  35. 35. 2009 2010
  36. 36. Some storylines: - FPS as institution - console FPS market- the death of modding - eclectic indie scene
  37. 37. THE INDIE FPS
  38. 38. MADE INDIE FIRST PERSON GAMES BEFORE IT WAS COOL
  39. 39. “At A Distance”Sense of embodiment
  40. 40. “Fotonica”Sense of embodiment
  41. 41. “Hockey”Sense of embodiment
  42. 42. “Valentinel Hopes”Sense of embodiment
  43. 43. “MirrorMoon”Vision / camera
  44. 44. “I Cant Find My Glasses”Vision / camera
  45. 45. “Unmanned”Vision / camera
  46. 46. “Perspective”Vision / camera
  47. 47. “Cities of Day and Night”Perspective / understanding
  48. 48. “TRAUMA”Perspective / understanding
  49. 49. “TRIP”Perspective / understanding
  50. 50. “Kairo”Perspective / understanding
  51. 51. “Proteus”Soundscapes
  52. 52. “FRACT OSC”Soundscapes
  53. 53. “Dirac”Digital mediation
  54. 54. “Memories of a Broken Dimension” Digital mediation
  55. 55. “Theres sort of this zeitgeist of people saying the first-personperspective is reallyinteresting. What happens ifyou take out shooting?”
  56. 56. MADE INDIE FIRST PERSON GAMES BEFORE IT WAS COOL
  57. 57. Some storylines: - FPS as institution - console FPS market- the death of modding - eclectic indie scene
  58. 58. TAKEAWAYS
  59. 59. a takeaway:the revenge of Myst
  60. 60. a takeaway: the mod scene was a proto-indie scenefragmented by engine- tech fundamentalism
  61. 61. a takeaway: the “mod” “died” because enginelicensing and modes of distribution changed
  62. 62. a takeaway: the indie fpsscene is HUGE and ADVANCED.
  63. 63. THE takeaway: “Amateur” game developers have been deeply involved in thefirst person genre since it first began.
  64. 64. NO
  65. 65. Game dev history... ● Tech / engine? ● Distribution model?● Geographic location?
  66. 66. WHO WILLWRITE OURWIKIPEDIA PAGE?
  67. 67. Thanks.Robert Yang@radiatoryang

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