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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday's Pick: 'Visions of the Gamepocalypse'

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 8:57 AM

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"Visions of the Gamepocalypse"

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

7:30 p.m., $10

Recently we downloaded a much ballyhooed racing game for our iPhone, played for five minutes, and felt like we'd watched the first season of Mr. Belvedere. We felt stupid. Another time we spent a weekend with Nintendo Wii Sports Resort, and you have to be kidding us: That is all dumb. And we took the suggestion of New York Times videogame reviewer Seth Schiesel, figuring he must be on to something bringing gaming to the Times readership, and played Hey Baby, a Web-based shooter in which you kill men. No, we're not going to do any of that again. We think most gaming is as boring and soul-numbing as sitting in a suburban food court for a whole adolescence, is the point here. But we're trying. We see those Red Dead Redemption ads on the bus, for example, and wonder. Today, a big shot (not Schiesel) convinces us we're just playing the wrong games: At "Visions of the Gamepocalypse," Jesse Schell lectures on "the social, cognitive, and technological trends in computer game design and use," and maybe throws out some game recommendations. He should have some good ones: He's a professor of entertainment technology at Carnegie Mellon, the former creative director of the Disney Virtual Reality Studio, a CEO of his own videogame company, and a juggler.

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Michael Leaverton

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