Big as the movies

When I worked as a game designer and editor at Wizards of the Coast, the company’s vision statement was to “Make games as big as the movies.”

At the time, if you counted gambling, games were already bigger than movies dollar-wise.

But the vision was bigger than dollars. It was about making games be part of people’s lives, and creating a common cultural reference. Everyone knows “Rosebud.” Could everyone also know “Zagyg?”

Are we there yet? Well, mostly. Everyone does know “Mario.”

The crucial difference though is that Mario is thought to be for kids. Broad American public opinion remains that games are something you put away after childhood, or enjoyed furtively as adults.

But the attitude is changing generationally. Once half the office is playing Counter-Strike, how much longer can you be slightly sheepish about it?

We’re not there yet, but we are on the cusp. Now is a great time to be in games, and it’s a great time to be curious about games.

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