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Product or Media? The Intersection of Games and Design

Kotaku writes: A director of design and an avowed "hardcore ludologist" ponders why the well constructed games he nominates do so poorly in design competitions, engaging a debate over whether games are a media or designed objects. But they're both, he says.

Matt Jones of the London-based design consultancy BERG, has unsuccessfuly nominated console games like Left 4 Dead and BioShock for three straight years in the Design Museum of London's Designs of the Year exhibition. Writing for Edge Online, he says that games subordination of "scenery and backstory" to physics and gameplay make them, for him anyway, a form of architecture, and thus eligible for consideration in design awards, alongside physical examples of design like laptops or office buildings.

But he reasons that they are also rightfully considered media to be experienced like a film, a book or an album. And that too is owed to a feat of superior design. It's just one not recognized, yet anyway, outside the games community.

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