Holding the Bag: How I Gamed GDC’s Top Social Game Developers

When i circled the Social Game Developers Rant in my GDC schedule as a must-see session, i had no idea that i’d wind up improvising my own rant in front of the thousands of attendees. The story of how that happened is an interesting study in the attitudes of the game industry’s top iconic figures, and how their influence flavours the way the rest of us see the social games space.

Game Developers Rant

Image from last year’s rant unceremoniously ganked from Jason Della Rocca’s blog and used here without permission.

Respect is Earned

“No F@%$ucking Respect! Social Game Developers Rant Back” was held in one of the largest spaces at the Game Developers Conference: room 3014 in the West Hall, which seats roughly a billion people. The lunch time session promised informed, thought-provoking and entertaining rants from a line-up of the usual suspects:

  • Ian Bogost, wry academic and creator of the Cow Clicker parody of social games
  • Brenda Brathwaite, opinionated champion of (sometimes manipulatively) emotional games
  • Trip Hawkins, a cool and collective business maven who happened to found Electronic Arts
  • Chris Hecker, game graphics guru and indie advocate
  • Steve Meretsky, best known to me for his work in interactive fiction back in the day
  • Brian Reynolds, comparitively mild-mannered designer of some pioneering 4x games (and token Zynga panelist)
  • Scott Jon Siegel, a Playdom designer who was billed as the panel’s youngster, but who actually had more experience in social games than anyone else on the panel (a point he made abundantly clear in a loud, fast-paced, and HILARIOUS “bonus rant”, my favourite moment in the whole session)

Floating in the background was Jason Della Rocca, former IGDA chief who, i should point out, knows me. Moderating the panel was the equal-parts energetic and abrasive Eric Zimmerman.

Pay to Play

As i entered the room, a CA (volunteer “conference associate” who checks badges and collects session feedback forms) was handing everyone a plastic coin from an orange bag. i was intrigued, and rubbed the ersatz booty between my fingers while the first delegates slowly trickled in. A slide on the A/V screen explained the point of the coins: the person who collected the most coins from the other players in the room by the halfway point of the session would be invited to the front to do a “guest rant” on social games.

Yes

i didn’t really want to rant, dear readers … but i DID want to win the game. i looked around the room at the hundred-or-so delegates and quickly calculated the amount of glad-handing and baby-kissing i’d have to do to amass enough coins to win. i knew i was up against the likes of Jane McGonigal, who despite being featured in two or three other GDC panels and talks that week AND a recent Colbert Report episode was nonetheless salivating over the chance to grab the mic yet again. i knew i was no match for Jane’s celebrity, eagerness, and feminine wiles. What chance did a chubby nobody with lunch stuck in his teeth have against a Colbert alum?

Clearly, my only recourse was to use social engineering to win the social game.

The Game Was Afoot

i strode back to the entrance, to where the deliciously young and impressionable CA was handing out the coins. In an urgent voice, i said “Excuse me! Chris Hecker, one of the panelists, said he only really wants about half the room to get these coins. He sent me to get the bag and run it up to him at the front of the room.”

Then, with no skepticism or suspicion, the CA pleasantly purred “sure,” and handed me the bag.

Gasp

He HANDED me the bag. The bag with all the coins. i had all the coins.

My heart racing, i rushed back to my seat at the other end of the cavernous room. i have never shoplifted before. i’ve never possessed an illicit substance. i’m known to my small segment of the industry as being unfailingly honest, often to my detriment. And here, through the uncharacteristic use of cunning and deceit, i had snatched the entire bag of plastic coins that GDC’s social games industry powerhouses needed to run their social game. i tried to judge how best to cram the coins into my body cavity to hide them, and decided instead to furtively stuff the bag into my backpack before giddily awaiting the coming storm.

A Vote for Jane

Meanwhile, my impromptu nemesis Jane McGonigal had started campaigning for coins. At that time, she apparently didn’t have a rant idea either – she, like me, just wanted the coins. She came closer to my row, and appealed to the crowd to give her their coins. i, mad with secret power, tried to look casual as i turned to face her in my seat and said “you’re not gonna win.”

“Why not?” she said, annoyed. This was Jane McGonigal, after all. Why wouldn’t she win?

“Because i’m gonna win.” It was a bold claim from a guy casually kicking back in his seat, surrounded by delegates who still had their coins. Deciding not to waste any more time on my cryptic claims (which were just my misguided attempt at good-natured smacktalk), she spun around to bring her coin campaign to the delegates in other rows.

The Jig Was Up

Meanwhile, at the front of the room, i heard either Jason or Eric snap “what do you mean someone stole the bag??” Oh crap. The doe-eyed CA, realizing he’d been duped, started scanning the rows of seats for me, patrolling them like a prison warden. i kept my head low and stared at my backpack on the floor – the very backpack that burned with ill-gotten gold. Soon, my pretties … soon, it would all be mine.

Hiding

i exhaled heavily when the rants finally started. Only about an eighth of the attendees had actually received coins (thanks to me), but Eric never let on. He cheerily explained the rules a few more times, never letting on what had happened, and then the ranting began. Panelists after panelist took to the mic to plead their cases on the validity of social games. At the halfway point, Eric announced that it was time to learn the results of the game: who in the room had collected the most coins from the other players?

A few murmurs of “i have five coins” and “i’ve got a couple” kicked things off. Jane McGonigal jumped up and proudly presented her handful. Eric seemed pleased that the winner was someone he knew and could trust not to be an ass on the mic.

And then i stood up.

On the chair.

And, holding the orange plastic bag aloft like Perseus presenting the head of Medusa, defiantly proclaimed “I HAVE THE ENTIRE BAG.”

Perseus

It was exactly like this, except that i had pants on. …. and i have a much bigger cock.

The room erupted. Some people laughed. Some jeered. Some guffawed. i was beaming, incredibly pleased with myself, like a toddler who’s just learned to take off his own diaper. i fully expected Eric and the other panelists to smile along with me. Aha! We are social gamers, this was a social game, and somehow this delegate had managed to convince, through social contrivance, the impressionable CA to hand him the bag of coins.

It recalled the massive coup in the MMO Eve Online, in which social maneuvering led to a devastating take-over of one of the game’s most powerful cabals.

Taking Crayons, Going Home

Through my squinty smile, i scanned the faces of Jason, Eric, and the panelists. It was not a pretty sight. They were scowling. Actually scowling. “You took the whole bag?” they said, disgusted.

“Well … yeah!”

“That was against the rules, though.” This last came soberly. “It was against the RULES.” Zimmerman petulantly wagged a finger at the slide.

“No it wasn’t. It was a social game, and i gamed it socially. The CA handed me the bag.”

“B… but you have to get the coins from other players.”

A hurried debate broke out about whether or not the CA was a player, and whether or not i had taken the coins “legally”. My interpretation of the rules was that the player with the most coins wins, and i had the most coins. Someone else spoke up and said “We don’t even know he has any coins, though. He’s just holding a plastic bag. He might not have ANY coins.”

The weight of the coin bag pressed heavily against my palm. i was irked. Not only did the bag contain coins, but it contained nearly ALL the coins – enough for the hundreds in attendance and then some. And they were MY coins. Not only was i denied my hero’s welcome and a pomp-filled invite to the front of the room … now i was being accused of CHEATING, and worse … of not even having all the coins.

Someone in the audience shouted out “Who do you think you are – Zynga??” The crowd laughed.

“Show us,” said someone on the panel. “Show us the coins you supposedly collected.”

My fist tightened on the orange plastic bag. Through knitted eyebrows, i raised the bag over my head and showered myself in a cascade of gleaming, glittering plastic coins. It was like that scene from Flashdance, except with a chubby fully-dressed nerd instead of half-naked Jennifer Beals. When the torrent of winnings finally dripped dry, i casually tossed the empty bag on the coin-littered floor and held my hands out plaintively to appease the room.

Eric spun to address the panelists. “What do you think? Should we let this CHEATER do a guest rant?” To a man, every single one of the panelists gave me a thumbs down.

You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Til It’s McGonigal

i had been robbed. And Jane McGonigal, flaxen-haired upholder of the game creators’ true intent, was named the winner.

Stephen Colbert vs. Jane McGongical

McGOONNNNIGAAAAAALLL!!!!

Jason J Kee Twitter

During the session, a few Twitter friends rushed to my defense.

Two twists in this story came one after the other: Jane was invited up to speak, and brought two friends with her. i later learned that the organizers considered this a cheat as well. In another unexpected turn, Eric came up to me during the rants and mouthed “Do you still wanna say something?” i mouthed “Sure.” Then he mouthed “Okay, but keep it to ten words or less. TEN WORDS. Ten.” He held up ten fingers. “Ten.”

“Sure – okay.” i nodded. Had he actually said what i thought he’d said? He was going to let me do a rant? And he wanted me to keep it to ten words? What could i possibly say in ten words??

10 Things i Hate About You

In Ten Words

Eric stayed true to his promise. Just before the final ranter, Ian Bogost, took to the stage, Eric announced that “in the spirit of mischief”, he was going to let me do a SPECIAL MINI-RANT. The key word, of course, was “mini”. i jogged up to the front and grabbed the mic, then turned around to face the enormous crowd.

Woodstock crowd

i looked at Eric’s eager face, at his pleading eyes, and remembered his rule: ten words or less. i felt the metal of the microphone that had been burned up, spat in, and blessed by the panelists before me. And as Eric made the hand-over-hand “hurry up” motion frantically from the front of the room, i decided to break another rule. i gripped the mic and said to myself “from my cold dead hand, Zimmerman.” And then i proceeded to rant for as long as i damn well pleased.

Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison

Sing it, Jim.

Given the same opportunity, what would you say? What kind of rant could you improvise in front of a room stuffed with some of the most talented and well-known game developers in the business, and at GDC, the Mecca of your industry? The scheduled panelists had months to write and practice their rants. i had moments. Predictably, nothing i said was particularly Earth-shattering, but the point i tried to get across was this:

We like to brag about how the games industry brings in more money than the film industry, but as soon as someone like Zynga makes enough money to trigger our envy, we invent interpretations of the game rules to say it’s not okay. Zynga is standing on a chair in the middle of a crowded room showering itself with coins, and instead of applauding them for their ingenuity, we’re crying foul and pointing to the ways in which they’ve broken the “rules”.

Meanwhile, we are breaking the very same rules: the addictive qualities of Facebook social games can be found throughout all our games. i talked about how i had skipped three real-world Hallowe’en parties to stay home and collect the spooky furniture set in Animal Crossing, and how i had spent an ungodly number of hours chasing after the legendary dogs in Pokemon Silver. In both cases, i had to decide on my own that these games had become a chore rather than a source of fun and entertainment, and i stopped playing them.

Animal Crossing

In the amount of time i spent playing Animal Crossing, i could have MADE Animal Crossing.

But this is a case of the pot calling the kettle addictive. Zynga is no more culpable for introducing addictive hooks in games than any other developer. At GDC, years before Zynga’s triumph, the Casual Games Summit speakers all talked about how they needed to make their games more addictive. One of the most popular and profitable game portals for tweens, AddictingGames.com, makes absolutely no bones about it.

Jane McGonigal bent the rules to bring her buddies up to share her rant time, but her shenanigans were sanctioned by the industry guard. i, a relative newcomer, bent the rules by taking all the coins, was accused of cheating, and was barred entry into the club. Tellingly, for all the complaining we do about Zynga, their GDC session on developing games for 43-year-old women was standing room only.

For all the spectacle, for all the drama, and for making an enormous ass of myself, i don’t regret a single moment of it. If anything, bucking convention and winning the coin game reminded me that the greatest gains are made by subversion, disruption, and going against the grain.

In short: break the rules, get the coins.

85 thoughts on “Holding the Bag: How I Gamed GDC’s Top Social Game Developers

  1. Mary GIbson

    Thanks for another great read Ryan – my laughter was good to end the day with. Night night. :o)
    OH! and Keep up the shenanigans Ry Ry.

    Maro

    Reply
  2. MrT3D

    I about shit myself when I saw you had all the coins! You gamed social game and pissed off the old guard and a few hundred other people. Excellent Jedi mind control ;)

    Reply
    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      Okay – how much farther do i have to go to make you actually shit yourself? Because THAT would be worth a blog post.

      Reply
  3. Evan Miller

    I applaud you for this.

    Because you know what, the best gameplay often comes from players doing things you didn’t expect. It’s a CARDINAL SIN of game design to tell your players “You aren’t playing it right” and everyone on the panel should be ashamed* of themselves as game designers for doing exactly that.

    You ‘broke’ the game and as a result created a far more powerful, interesting, and entertaining result that people are actually going to remember and talk about. That is GREAT social game design.

    The frowns on the panel are also another example of how everyone is so busy yelling “SOCIAL SOCIAL SOCIAL” to actually bother to make entertaining products. Oh god, it didn’t go by the script and something original happened that we didn’t copy from someone else! OH SHIIIII-

    So again, I applaud you.

    *mildly ashamed in a harmless funny learning-experience way

    Reply
    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      i think Minecraft is a true testament to chilling out and letting the players turn the game into what they want it to be. It’s like the anti-Farmville.

      Reply
  4. Tami

    Excellent, excellent post, Ryan – on top of what else has already been said, is it not true that even designers who have written carefully scripted games, really doesn’t know what the gamer will do or how said gamer will play the game? Have new modes of gameplay not been found because gamers in GTA, Prototype and other open world games amazed the developers because THEY didn’t think of trying something the gamer does?

    I applaud you, and I really wish I’d been there to catch your fully-clothed shower show. ;)

    Reply
    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      Thanks Tami! Spring for a pass next year and we can get up to conference shenanigans in person.

      Reply
  5. GameBoar

    Great post Ryan.

    Discovering new emergent game play experiences from abusing the given rule set with social engineering is why I think social games have the potential to really bring something new to the game mechanics table in the future.

    This is exactly what you demonstrated by breaking their rules for the coin game.

    But rather than commend your social engineering skills and using this as a true example of social gaming, they decided to cry foul.

    I think that this is a sad reflection of the industry at the moment, currently very few people/companies really seems to “get” social games or where they have the potential to go.

    Bravo.

    Reply
    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      i was in SF the whole week while that #WINNING thing happened. Does it have something to do with punching hookers and snoring coke?

      Reply
  6. Ryan Rester

    I applaud you sir and not only because we have the same first name but because you are a rebel. You’re thinking outside the box. That’s the spirit that made the industry great in the early days. I’m sick of more of the same with better visuals and less substance. I’ll play whatever you’ve got. Send it my way. I’d love to see what you can do given the “Kobayashi Maru” you pulled on this one.

    Reply
    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      Thanks, Ryan! There’s something about the Irish in us (or in our name at least) that brings the piss n’ vinegar.

      Did you play Jinx 3? i think it’s pretty funny, but it gets pretty talky at some points.

      Also, get excited for Spellirium, which is like my opus. It’s gonna be crazy-good.

      Reply
  7. Spiggi

    Your “mini”-rant actually brought up an extremely valid point that applies not just to the game industry, but to pretty much EVERY creative or proffessional field. You are absolutely right in pointing out that these days people seem to comfortable with gamechangers and breakthroughs only if they are with a “framework” or set of rules. Which, of course, kind of takes the entire point of a breakthrough or gamechanger away.

    Reply
  8. Mark

    The reaction from the room is very telling. Very often in multiplayer games, not just “social” ones, exploits are equated to cheating, and the people who use them are often chastised heavily. However, great games which find longevity can often thrive off the players’ ingenuinity to create new modes of play – to bend the rules, if you will – and this adds an additionally layer of complexity to the experience.

    tl; dr: Rocket jumping!?! You’re not playing fair!

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Ryan Creighton pulls a Kobayashi Maru at GDC social gaming talk. at SatelliteHeadlines.com

  10. Blain Newport

    I read about this on PC Gamer who’s previous post featured a video of a player going 501 kills and 8 deaths in Call of Duty: Black Ops using similarly cheap tactics.

    Do we blame the players? No. We blame the designers. But because the people in the room respected the designer more than his design merited and because they were the victims of the exploit, they blamed the player.

    Many careers and companies in the game industry were built on time and resources stolen from other businesses, even other game developers (id Software, for example). Peter Molyneux talked at this very GDC about how he obtained his first dev machine under false pretenses.

    Did the audience boo him or call him a cheater? No. They overlooked it or lauded his cleverness. Even though your transgression was much milder, they weren’t so willing to let it slide because it was more recent and because the people in the room were the victims.

    I’m not saying what you did was right, and your tone and arguments don’t help your case. (Social engineering is okay in social games because they both have the word social in them? Seriously?) But only at a security conference would I be more disappointed by the response of the panelists and crowd than I am here.

    Reply
    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      Hahahaha … that’s exactly what i was thinking – “social game” and “social engineering” both have the word “social” in them, so they’ll fit together nicely. i’m a mental midget.

      Reply
  11. Joseph Cassano

    Oh. Wow.

    I saw I had an unread Untold Entertainment post in my RSS, so I tried to read it. Got a 503 error. Refreshed a few times and still nothing. Waited a day and tried again. Got the article, but it had no images. I thought “whatever” and read anyway.

    I was not expecting this. Not at all. No wonder you have a 503 error.

    This, sir, is absolutely fantastic. I tip my hat to you. I really hope someone filmed this. I would LOVE to see it.

    Though, were you praising game addictiveness, or just pointing it out? Because I don’t see addictiveness for addictiveness’s sake to necessarily be a good thing. I wasn’t sure if you were saying “hey, it’s ok to do it because it works and we all do it, even on the consoles” or “this is a problem we need to address”.

    Reply
    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      i have whoooole other rant about what some people are calling “shallow” gameplay in Zynga games. i’d argue that the MAJORITY of the video games i’ve played have featured shallow gameplay, with only a few sparkling gems like the Zelda series to pull it out of the fire … and even those games are becoming a bit trite.

      Sacrilicious! Look forward to that post. ;)

      Reply
  12. Daniel

    Isn’t this the cycle of humanity? Someone has an idea, finds success with that idea and it becomes “the establishment”. That success becomes the norm and people (being the pattern-based, copy-cat, formulaic beings we are) fall in to the rhythm of routine–accepting what that guy did because that guy did it “best”.

    It’s about protecting status. It’s human nature. I have something that makes me exclusive, if too many people have what I have, I am no longer exclusive but instead I become “everyone else”. We challenge these people because we want to break the establishment, to show that “rules” are a construct of the successful.

    I love, love, LOVE what you did here and I hope that if you find Zynga-level success that you remember the rules you’ve created via your success are as arbitrary as Zynga’s.

    Reply
  13. Porter

    This is by far the most entertaining read I’ve done in months, if not years. I laughed the whole way through, paraphrased the story to my girlfriend behind me, loving the story both times. I definitely agree with everything you said, especially on “forcing” players to play the game a certain way. Congrats on making a huge dent in the memories of GDC, keep being you.

    Reply
  14. John Dowdell

    Thanks, great story, and it ties in with other instances of people who see themselves as rulebreakers really not enjoying it when someone else doesn’t play as they expect….

    Reply
    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      It’s like when Wally Shawn poisons BOTH their glasses, but Wesley’s built up an immunity to iocaine powder. Impossible to conceive of!

      Reply
  15. Pingback: The Griefer With The Coin Bag | Elder Game

    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      Thanks! Heh … well, Eric Zimmerman gave me a big hug in front of the whole gigantic crowd … uh …. i got a massive erection … mmmm … i wrote about Eric all night in my diary …. and then i came home and posted this blog and it got featured by PCGamer, Kotaku, Hacker News, Gamasutra, Reddit, and Ars Technica.

      But Eric … we’ll always have San Francisco.

      Reply
  16. Kieu

    Wow. Don’t they know? It’s not cheating if it’s not in the rules. That was a failure on their part to write better rules. You legitimately won otherwise. Those guys and everyone in the room needed a reminder on how to design and write games apparently. =D

    Reply
  17. Random Developer

    This article was awesome! As shallow as social games like …Ville are, they do have the same right to make money as everyone else. I will say though, they really need to hold their own SocialGDC and leave the Mac/PC/Console developing to the ‘real’ game studios.

    Elitist much? Yes.

    Reply
    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      There’s a spate of conferences called “Casual Connect” that run every year in various international cities. i attend the one in Seattle. That’s where you’ll find the casual downloadable people (Big Fish Games, Real Networks), the “vile” social game devs (Zynga, Playdom, Playfish), and a couple of Flash people. This same crew carves out two summit days at the top of GDC every year. As the space is changing so quickly, so does their summit name. It’s been called “Online Worlds” (or something) and “Casual Games Summit” in the past. So they DO have their own SocialGDC, both within GDC and without.

      They’re coming to get you, Barbara.

      Reply
  18. Pingback: Coins in the machine « Shadow-war

  19. Jennifer Hardem

    Someone certainly likes to hear himself talk.

    (While I applaud the tactic at getting the coins and would have supported you getting the chance to rant..I find this tale to be far more interesting than the meaning through metaphor you attempted to convey.)

    Reply
    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      Welcome to the Untold Entertainment blog, Jennifer! i’m at 423 long-winded posts and counting, so yeah – i daresay i like to hear myself talk. :) If you like hearing me talk, stick around.

      Reply
  20. Tex Pine

    Oh, I would like to be there to applaud and defend you! Congrats! You rock.

    Don’t feel bad about the improvisation – what you said in few words is way more interesting than anything Jane McGonigal + 2 extra followers could.

    Reply
  21. Veneretio

    Beyond brilliant. I already know that this is the single most important article I’ll read this year on social gaming. You couldn’t make up a scenario more perfect.

    Reply
  22. A Former CA

    In all of the congratulations being given to Ryan about his supreme cleverness in disregarding the game rules, one minor thing is being forgotten:

    He really, really dicked over a CA who was just trying to help.

    That part isn’t a game. There is a real live person there, the kind you see at work every day and (hopefully) go home to every night, that he lied to — someone who trusted the conference attendees to be honorable people, and was deceived — in order to get the bag of coins. That’s someone who applied to become a CA, was selected from a vast number of people, paid his own way out there, paid all his expenses except admission, worked his butt off … and he won’t be coming back next year. There are ten times as many applicants as there are CA positions. Next year, they’ll pick one of the other nine. Maybe that’s the correct decision. Maybe they shouldn’t have someone around so naive, so unworldly, as not to expect a conference attendee to lie to him for egoboo and a bit of mic time. But while Ryan is smirking and preening, there’s a guy — quite possibly someone who’s working hard to get into the game industry — who’s crying. At best he’s the laughing stock of the CA Lounge, even if no one says anything; something like that, everyone knows, and you know they know. And he won’t be back next year. His dreams of learning more about the game industry, of making contacts he can use to become part of it, were shattered. Not because he was dishonest, but because he wasn’t sufficiently suspicious of someone else who was.

    So go ahead, Ryan. Pat yourself on the back. Tell everyone how clever you are. Congratulate yourself on a successful lie, a successful deception, and complain of how unfair they were because they didn’t praise you for breaking the rules. But take a moment to think about your victim there — the guy who might have been tomorrow’s designer, or artist, or coder. He’s a real person too. And you’re forgetting that.

    Reply
    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      It’s worse than that. When the CA returned home that week, he actually committed Seppuku for the shame and dishonour he brought upon his family. The CA training manual now includes a picture of him on a page with a caption reading “don’t be this guy”. i’ve even heard they’ll be erecting a monument to him outside the Moscone Centre, which will be egged an spat on as an effigy for many conferences to come.

      Actually, in truth, i chatted with the CA after the session, thanked him for his unwitting role, and apologized for any embarrassment i might have caused him. He took it in stride, saying in his own defense that he was handed the bag of coins very last-minute, and was unclear on what they were all about, which is most likely why my fake-out worked.

      For what it’s worth, 1. being a CA is not actually a prerequisite to work in the games industry, and 2. i know a number of CA’s who have been back to the conference repeatedly. Maybe they just didn’t invite you back?

      i do appreciate the Internatz’s post-modern approach of pursuing this story from all possible angles. Does anyone want to write an account from the point of view of the poor coin bag?

      Reply
      1. A Former CA

        Just to clear one thing up, I *am* one of those CA’s who was at the conference more than once. Unfortunately, eventually other commitments prevented me from returning. But there was no reason I couldn’t have if I’d been able to commit the time.

        Reply
  23. Daniel Klein

    I think the real lesson here is that if you write a game for game developers, you better check for exploits, cause they will find them.

    Reply
  24. Ryon Levitt

    Ryan,

    Great meeting you at the IGDA social, and I’m even happier, now, to read the full story behind your shirt instead of just getting a summary. And really, you didn’t cheat. You found an exploit! That’s totally different! I just means that the game was badly designed. And considering the people who designed the game, that’s just a complete shame. Obviously they should have spent more time in development and pushed back the release. ;)

    Reply
  25. Sean Barrett

    Here’s what you should’ve ranted:

    “I didn’t really want to socialize, I just wanted to win.”

    (11 words, but that was the first summation off the top of my head, and it casts interesting shadows in the light of social game developers and social game players.)

    Reply
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  28. Mushyrulez

    Did anybody take a video of it? You could hang it as a personal trophy on your… defy society personal trophy case!

    (Also, it’d be fun to post onto YouTube).

    Reply
    1. Ryan Henson Creighton

      There’s a blurry picture of me standing on the chair. GDC keeps videos of all the talks in “the Vault”, but the camera is stationary. My stunt, and subsequent rant, took place out of the frame, so the most that was captured was audio (and spottily, at that – i wasn’t mic’d in the fist instance).

      Oh “darn” … i guess my legendary account must stand in lieu of concrete evidence ;)

      Reply
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