July 27, 2011

Jason Rohrer And The Game Of Life

There was a moment on the plane yesterday where the kids had all the iPads, and I was left to read Hemispheres Inflight Magazine. Which had a nice but kind of bewildering profile of awesome independent video game developer Jason Rohrer.

Rohrer makes hi-impact, lo-fi games, such as his 2008 title Gravitation, where you are a dad trying to figure out the optimum combination of getting gold coins and playing catch with a kid.

The profile's fine, and I was glad to find it in an inflight magazine which, well, when your only competition is the SkyMall catalogue, your editorial worldview might become slightly distorted, nome sane? But the photos?
rohrer_gravitation_scr.jpg

jason-rohrer_hemispheres.jpg

I understand that Rohrer works at a card table in a cinder block cube in his raw New Mexico backyard. But is the only way to make this story work photographically really to use three full pages of pictures of Rohrer posing with his router and his bedhead, and only a tiny, credit card-sized collage of his game images?

Anyway, not the point. The point is, the Rohrer clan take the life-as-8-bit-video-game metaphor quite seriously in their own way, paring down the extraneous aspects of life to their own self-determined mininum. Which may or may not be part of the reason they give each of their kids one rather awesome, character-like name--Mez, Ayza and Novy--and no last name.

Hope that doesn't get them booted from Google+.

Playing God [hemispheresmagazine]
Jason Rohrer: Currently parenting and making video games in Las Cruces, New Mexico [sourceforge.net]
Previously: Gravitation, the work-family video game by Jason Rohrer

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