Curran Affairs: Global Game Jam Keynote

Ste is totally channeling his early-00s TOO DEAD FOR ME!!!! Atari Teenage Riot fantasies here.

Here’s Ste Curran’s keynote for the current Global Game Jam. Ste was the main face behind classic Edge columnist Redeye’s mask, one third of One Life Left and creative director of console-toy supremos Zoe-Mode. He has things to say. He’s worth listening to.

Good luck to anyone doing a Game Jam this weekend too. Be strong, like coding Ox.


  1. Paul says:

    Huh. Never realized the bloke from One Life Left was Red Eye. God, that feels so long ago…

  2. l1ddl3monkey says:

    He does. He is. Very.

  3. duel says:

    Sometimes I work with the Games Development students here at my uni and I like to believe that they are as inspired by making games as much as this video is inspirational. But sometimes all I think they like to do is play video games…

    • fearian says:

      I know from experience that with at least 50% of them you are completely right :/

    • Riesenmaulhai says:

      My ex-girlfriend was one of those gamedesign students. I was full of envy for them, since they could afford themselves what I never could, but really couldn’t. But when talking to them it became clear all they wanted to do was another bigger and shinier and faster Crysis. I doubt they were all that way, but a lot of them were. But to be honest: That’s not a problem at all. Actually it’s good. These people will be working on videogames which might show some young people their way to these brilliant worlds. Young people who perhaps will one day be full of envy for those who can afford to study gamedesign. And that would be a good aspect for me personally.
      A lot of people enjoy games and I enjoy a lot of games which aren’t necessarily full of brilliant ideas. Not everybody who is working on games needs to be a genius, you know.

  4. fearian says:

    I am satisfied, Kieron!

  5. dsafasfsda says:

    So… Is it bad that I think that video games are just a fun past time?
    I mean, JUST a fun past time, and not this crazy artistic medium that makes crazies like this guy practically jizz themselves…

    I don’t understand, any of you crazy like this guy?

    • fearian says:

      Yes Its fine to just enjoy games, but It helps to be this kind of crazy passionate if you want to *make* games. It helps alot. And yeah, loads.

    • Tom Camfield says:

      @ dsafasfsda

      To be philosophical, yes, video games are an artistic medium, just as, for example, football is. I mean, pretty much anything can be a medium for artistic expression, and for games it’s two fold, the maker and the player can both engage in artistry, and anyone can enjoy that extra dimension if they want to.

    • dadioflex says:

      The guy that invented Ludo or Snakes and Ladders was probably as passionate about board games.

      Me, I just play games.

  6. tom says:

    I doubt Martin Scorsese thinks films are just a fun past time. My nan does though..

  7. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    Can’t they be both? I mean, it seems pretty blinkered/absolute to just paint them as one or the other. I could understand if you were talking about a specific game, but the medium is easily broad enough to support both the fun and the intellectual/artistic, no?

    And something like GGJ is around to spur on new talent and provide the forced environment that produces something that is fresh and new, and it’s far easier to make a statement with little time than it is to make something ‘fun’.

    Anyway, I ramble. Carry on.

    • Tom Camfield says:

      @ The Poisoned Sponge

      There’s nothing antithetical about art and fun; it can be fun to make and engage in art.

      However, some people would rather the emphasis was on art, others on fun, and so they shout loudly about it so the best developers hear them. It’s a healthy tug of war.

    • joseph says:

      Yeah… you don’t have to make a statement for it to be art imo. What about “the art of making fun games”?

  8. WilPal says:

    He looks like he wants to stab me. :(

  9. jaap says:

    i was at the game jam here in bremen, germany and it was really good. our game needs still a lot of work to be released finally, but it was well received.
    check out nightdiver on the ggj page ;)

  10. Sagan says:

    I regretted not going last year, and now I regret not going this year. I had good reasons, but in hindsight I probably had a couple of hours on Friday where I could have tried whether breakout is a better game if you can directly control where the ball flies to. (as in Peggle)

    Well maybe next year I will finally participate in a game jam.

  11. Sinnerman says:

    He cleverly didn’t mention which 1% of games showed us that games are not a waste of time so now we don’t have to knife fight to the death arguing about the future direction of the medium. We just have to feel energised and empowered or something.

    (He was probably talking about Farmville, The Endless Forest and Second Life.)

  12. Mike says:

    That was thoroughly enjoyable.

  13. Sinnerman says:

    I wish that the Fable 2 people would have followed the no time wasting rule more closely, to be honest. I played the free first chapter on the old red ringomatic and felt that most of it was a waste of my time. It’s all down to how you interpret the rule, I guess.

  14. DrGonzo says:

    Yay! I met Ste at Gamecity last year. Was incredibly pissed on cider mind you and I think I embarrassed myself.

  15. El Stevo says:

    I could hear Redeye in that video, particularly at the start. Redeye was good.

  16. army of none says:

    “Be strong, like coding Ox”

    Ox as in the sentient computer-god in Frank Herbert’s Destination Void novel? Surely there must be some other reference I’m missing.

  17. DMcCool says:

    That was lovely. Maybe its hard to see quite how lovely if you are not one of the people he’s talking to. That video is basically the equivilient of a mate sitting you down, putting an arm around you and telling you its going to be alright.

  18. Larington says:

    Umm, I preferred the previous keynote by Kyle Gabler, which is a hard one to live up to so it’s understandable really.

  19. ste says:

    Kyle’s was lovely for SURE.

    Anyway, thank you all for saying nice things. The Vonnegut thing is interesting — as I mention in the video, he says that great writers break all of the rules except for the first, which is don’t waste time. I was never a great writer but that’s the main thing I took from them. The others are good guidelines which, as someone who wanted to get better at writing, I relied upon rather more than perhaps I should have done. Asinine, maybe, but again: I wasn’t a great writer.

    I think they’re super fascinating though.

    FYI: he also declares the semicolon as impotent and I use them all the time; maybe that means I am amazing!

  20. FunkyB says:


  21. negativedge says:

    how obnoxious

  22. Hybrid says:

    A great keynote! Really enjoyed watching it.

  23. EaterOfCheese says:

    I liked that.

  24. ctankep says:


    Such rules are not meant to be taken as guidelines. You’re just going to cripple yourself. Dovlatov had a rule where no two words in one sentence could start with the same letters. He used that trick as a handicap, to make the writing process more fun.

    Guess Vonnegut was always, essentially a humanist an’ really loved reading Breakfast of Champions when I was a wee teenangster. Dovlatov sounds intriguing though an’ am always fascinated by these kind of formal logical restrictions cut across th’ semiotics of writing. Georges Perec an’ th’ French Oulipo group / movement are also very interesting featuring the likes of Calvino. From th’ 60s onwards they created formal rules for constrain’d writing + games [ design ] in th’ form of lipograms which would be played on their Saturday afternoon radio shows.

    Most impressively, Perec wrote La Disparition which was a novel about a missing person that contained no “e”s whatsoever. Even more staggeringly, th’ entire novel was translated from French into English some years later without breaking this rule as well. “Life: A User’s Manual” is also worth checking out / kind of like a linear version of GTA4 compacted into an apartment building. Really interesting bleeding of a linear literary form into areas of game theory + design ..

    — Chuan

  25. Dan says:

    I took part in the game jam here in London. Lots of fun, though coding pretty much non-stop for almost 30 hours is a bit crazy. I’ll definitely take part again next year. Going into the weekend not knowing what your concept will be, who you’ll be working with, what tools you’ll be using, and ending it with new acquaintances and a fully working game is brilliant.