Do Hackers Limit Creativity in Game Design?

Lisa Laughy has a problem with game design education. But it’s not so much the education, so much as the game industry’s influence on the way game design is taught.

In “Game Design School Dropout,” from, Laughy looks at the problems of game design education. Supposedly, these programs are designed to weed people out, and to keep the ones who are really serious. But according to Laughy, there are problems with that philosophy.

Laughy admits from the beginning that she only had a few weeks in school, but maintains that it was enough time to for her to realize she had issue with the system. She flunked out because she refused to give up eating and sleeping. She says that this idea of “crunch-time” is a “remnant of the hacker ethic from the earliest years of game creation.”

“From the very beginning, back when making a game meant one or maybe two guys writing code for several days straight without sleeping, the standard measure for prowess has always been an ability to overcome the physical demands of sleep and stress to get things done.”

Perhaps the biggest issue she raises is that this system is a turn-off for many people, and thereby limiting creative thinking and the emergence of new ideas.

What do you think?

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