Re: Sixty

Chris Crawford turned 60. Happy birthday, Mr. Crawford!

On his website, he wrote a fascinating article about how he feels being sixty. He visualized the time he spent and the time he has left using huge jars filled with colored beads.

Crawford's Beads

Wait, what happens when you just eat them?

Each bead represents a day and each layer of color represents a decade. The big jar contains the days Mr. Craword has lived. The small jar contains the days he has left until he becomes 80 – a date where he reckons he will stop working. It’s a very potent and effective Memento Mori. It makes the passing of each day tangible. It reminds that we ought to cherish the time we have left as a valuable resource.

Mr. Crawford uses this opportunity to summarize his work so far. It seems like he feels he hasn’t achieved much. His goal was to develop Interactive Storytelling. However, even the most recent project, Storytron has been put on hold.

I would respond to that in a similar way that Tale of Tales did. Don’t worry Mr. Crawford. You have already succeeded. You have successfully planted ideas into the heads of game designers all around the world and they slowly begin to erode the established fallacies we have built the industry upon. As we speak the console cycle is breaking down while game developers are escaping the sinking ship of AAA game development into small indie and downloadable projects. They begin to embrace the the creative freedom afforded by small, agile teams. Meanwhile, the avant-garde is exploring the uncharted areas beyond the traditional notion of games. All this may not have been caused by you alone. But the insights you have been sharing with the community have accompanied the process all those years and will prove to be invaluable now, that the fertile ground has been laid bare.

On that note, I would consider myself a happy man being at your age and being able to look back at a body of work similar to yours. Also, you have still plenty of time left to continue exploring Interactive Storytelling. I’m looking forward to Le Morte D’Arthu and the next 20 years. Sto lat i na zdrowie!

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

One response to “Re: Sixty”

  1. Alex Vostrov

    The more I think about this, the more I feel that our success and happiness is not defined by the outside worlds, but by ourselves.

    Chris seems to be the type of person who is driven in part by the dissatisfaction with the status quo. That, at least, has been my perception from a distance. It’s not a bad mindset to adopt, as long as once in a while you glance back and assure yourself tat things aren’t as bad as you think they are.


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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