This list is WRONG (and it’s on the Internet)
…and here’s your chance to challenge it.
This was written in a frantic half-hour with 30-odd people with many different ideas and suggestions. My role was to shepherd the opinions towards a concrete list of 10. There *was* a specific agenda/aim I had in mind – but I didn’t tell people that up-front, I wanted to let them go in whatever direction they wanted.
Now it’s done, I’m reaching out to everyone who cares about this stuff, and saying:
Come up with your own rules for a top-10, define it clearly, and share your list.
Blog it, link it back here, and we’ll see what people come up with. I’m expecting a lot of variation on the inclusion-criteria for a top-10, and (hopefully) as much variation on the games people choose / reject.
Other people’s top-10’s
- Sulka Haro (Chief Creative Officer? @ Sulake [Habbo Hotel])
- Brian Green (Game Designer, resurrected Meridian 59)
- Richard Bartle (Co-creator of the first MUD [MUD1])
- Tom Chatfield (Author of Fun Inc)
- Ben Sizer
The original top-10
May 2011 – GameCamp 4
A few weeks ago, London was host to the fourth GameCamp – a 1-day unConference devoted to games, game-design, and game-playing.
I wanted to give a talk, because that’s half the fun of an UnConference. I wanted to do something fun, interesting, and above-all *new*. What’s the point of giving a talk you could have given at a “normal” conference?
I vaguely remembered that Darius had once run a session on “Indie games that haven’t had the attention they deserve” (or something like that), where he’d cherry-picked some great fun games that were relatively unknown in mainstream circles, and gave them a free boost of attention.
I didn’t feel confident to do that myself,but I knew there were plenty of people at GC4 who were much deeper into the fringe of games and game-design, and no doubt *they* knew what was out there, and had played it all.
So, one quick scribble later:
“10 Games you Should have played (but probably haven’t)”
I was afraid I’d get an audience turn up and expect me to do all the work, where I needed them brainstorming and providing the ideas themselves. I could see it easily being shaped by the (lack of) variety of the first few suggestions, so I set out to come up with a wide range to kick off.
With a full TEN MINUTES before the start, I roamed the hallways, looking for victims. I spotted a few familiar faces, game designers and writers I could corral, and asked them for a quick 3 “games people should have played”.
First response I got, courtesy of Adrian Hon: “Paintball”. Ah. Thanks, Adrian. You just exposed the flaw in my title. I never mentioned the words “video” or “computer”, although I’d assumed them.
Other interesting titles I was given in the hallway included: Civilization (the computer game, via Adrian), Journey to the End of the Night (via Holly Gramazio, I think), Tetris Attack (ditto)…some good variety to kick us off.
Those 10 games in full
We had a packed room, approx 20-30 people. I won’t detail the process, but in our 30 minute slot we managed a long list, with some brief explanation of the more obscure games, and then we voted on which ones should go to top-10. Fortunately, there were 10-12 games that were CLEARLY a lot more popular than the rest.
Here’s the full list (illegible with crossings-out)
And here’s the top-10, with their respective (approximate – I was counting fast!) votes:
- Tetris [*]
- Portal [*]
- SimCity [*]
- The Secret of Monkey Island (either/both) 
- Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (text adventure) 
- Mario Kart 
- Zelda (any/all) 
- Deus Ex 
- Day of the Tentacle 
- Populous 
[*] = so many I didn’t bother counting; more than 2/3 of the audience.