The No Show Conference is a weekend-long event about "how we make games and why we make them". It's one of a growing number of conferences about videogames where the less-than-usual suspects offer thoughtful, sideways perspectives on videogame design and culture. Last year's inaugural event offered plenty to mull over, and the videos of this year's talks are now all online.
I've pulled out my favourite so far below.
There are slides and a description on this talk's page.
Thinking videogames through other media can reframe our expectations of what games can do, challenge our design habits, and reconfigure our critical vocabularies. Videogames have long aspired to match cinema, so what if we set aside that lens for a moment and instead think about videogames as dance, fashion, or architecture? We might ask: What does choreographic play look like? What does it mean to dwell in a videogame space? Is there such a thing as videogame couture or prêt-à-jouer—‘off the rack’ games, ready-to-play? What if we forgo our misguided search for the Citizen Kane of videogames and instead aim to find the foxtrot, the Chanel, or the Sistine Chapel of videogames? Or better still, make them.
Whether you like and are interested in fashion or not, this is a funny talk, and Nathan Altice uses his knowledge of both fashion and videogames to offer plenty of insight.
Personally, I've watched 14 seasons of America's Next Top Model, so I am au fait with the subject matter. Fierce.