World of Crawford

Recently, the well-known game designer and theoretician Chris Crawford stared offering webinars about interactivity. We decided that this would be an excellent start for our students at Cologne Game Lab to dive into the theory and academic discourse of game design. We contacted Mr. Crawford and just yesterday, he delivered his webinar.

Crawford Webinar

I knew it! Star Wars is a science after all!

It was an overwhelming success! Mr. Crawford is well-known for his charming, spectacular and inspiring speeches. We have all seen his legendary Dragon Speech from GDC 1992. But experiencing him live, even though it was through a webcam, went even beyond that. He touched upon many points he already hinted at in his books but the webinar presented them as a compelling, condensed argument and established relevance to more modern developments in the games industry. There were plenty of opportunities to ask questions. Actually almost half of the time was spent on questions. We were floored by his ability to spontaneously deliver surprising and funny arguments on just about any topic.

Of course that doesn’t mean we all agree to everything he said. Crawford’s ideas represent just one point of view on videogames and it’s entirely possible to construct very different game design philosophies. However, understanding his approach is extremely useful to discover blind spots many game designers take for granted. Those blind spots have the potential to put them into a creative dead-end – a constantly increasing danger in the games industry. The webinar was the start of an epic discussion on the very same evening and it will continue to provide us with food for though for many more discussions to come.

Thank you Mr. Crawford! You are awesome. Please continue with your work. We need more people like you.

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.

2 responses to “World of Crawford”

  1. chuan_l

    Much respect to Chris Crawford.! He’s one of my heros, if just for the fact that he has the self-belief, intellect and cojones to design from first principles. Its a shame that amongst all developers and indie games of the last 20 years that his visions still burn brightest and I look forward to reading his new book on interactive story-telling ..

    Into the Night : Chris Crawford & Jason Roher

    – Chuan

    1. Krystian Majewski

      Yeah, I’ve seen that Arte documentary. It’s great. Thanks for posting it, I totally forgot. :D


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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