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Games Without Frontiers

To the Editor:

I enjoyed your article “Game On, Video-Game Visionaries” [Dec. 8]. It’s great to read some positive press related to the positive potential of games. However, I would like to make a couple of corrections related to the quotes and positions that were attributed to me in that article. While reporters always paraphrase to some extent, in this case the statements are far enough from the truth that they warrant a clarification.

First, the article seems to state that I “inherently disagreed” with my former company’s approach of produ cing “bloody epics.” In reality Vicarious Visions does not have a strategy of producing bloody epics. Anyone visiting their Web site at can see that their focus is entertaining kids’ games based on comic heroes, movie properties, and skateboarding. The occasional non-kid-focused titles, such as Doom 3 for XBox, were projects that I supported. In contrast, there are game developers who focus specifically on making controversial games that push the limits of social acceptability, and it is those whose approach I disagree with.

Second, seeing as World of Warcraft has been out for just over a year, my kids have not exactly grown up with it, and they assure me they know it’s not real. The context of that discussion was that when they play that game and have an adventure with friends in the virtual world, it is no less real of an adventure than one they might have had while playing outdoors. The immersiveness of today’s games, and the restrictions placed on kids in today’s society, means games now provide a positive outlet for today’s kids who can no longer find the same freedoms of exploration and socialization outside their front door. Imagine the potential if we bring that same level of immersiveness to education.

Thank you again for featuring the local game development initiatives. Game development is an exciting blend of cutting-edge technology and the arts, and it’s inspiring to see the enthusiasm and vision of those in the local region that are helping to define the future of this medium.

Tobi Saulnier

CEO, 1st Playable



In “Game On, Video-Game Vision aries”(Dec. 8), FEED, a multimedia exhibit shown at RPI in November, was mistakenly attributed to Friedrich Kirschner. It is actually the work of Kurt Hentschläger.

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