34

The Amazon Got Me… Thinking

I just signed up for Amazon.com‘s AmazonConnect, a service that gives authors some space on the Amazon site in which to plug themselves and their wares. This means I now have a page there, plus a plog (a promotional weblog).

I also received a kind letter from Tyler Hill, the AmazonConnect project manager, telling me how happy it made him to see a game designer joining the fold. He’s a gamer himself, and he’d love to have more designers signing up. (That’s an elbow in the ribs to you designers lurking out there.)

Notes like that (and one in recent comments from Tim Kelly) make my day. There’s a large contingent of gamers out there, but we blend into the rest of the world so well it’s impossible to pick each other out unless someone speaks up.

Mike Stackpole has often advocated a logo/symbol/rune/sigil of some sort that gamers could use to identify themselves. Think of the “diver down” stickers you see on the cars of SCUBA fans. The trick is coming up with something that we’d all instantly recognize and be proud to slap on our prized possessions for the public to see.

Mike suggested a chess knight on a hex, but it never seemed to catch fire. Perhaps a d20 would do it, but that leaves out lots of other types of games. It’s hard to collect such a diverse group of hobbies under a single symbol that works intuitively. If anyone out there has a great idea, though, I’d love to hear it.

Comments 34

  1. Post
    Author
  2. I was looking at your Wishlist and have a recommendation for you. You really ought to read Conversations with My Agent by Rob Long. It is funny, short, and cheap because it is out of print and it is a good insight into the world of a screenwriter and what it is like.

    I am still awaiting my copy of his most recent book “Set Up, Joke, Set up Joke,” but since it is only available in England it will take some time.

  3. I was looking at your Wishlist and have a recommendation for you. You really ought to read Conversations with My Agent by Rob Long. It is funny, short, and cheap because it is out of print and it is a good insight into the world of a screenwriter and what it is like.

    I am still awaiting my copy of his most recent book “Set Up, Joke, Set up Joke,” but since it is only available in England it will take some time.

  4. I just realized that might make it sound like Rob is British. He isn’t. He is a former Producer on Cheers and is currently living the struggling life of a Los Angeles television writer.

    That is to say…he spends a lot of time staring at his Mac and golfing. He would play video games, but he is a Mac user after all.

  5. I just realized that might make it sound like Rob is British. He isn’t. He is a former Producer on Cheers and is currently living the struggling life of a Los Angeles television writer.

    That is to say…he spends a lot of time staring at his Mac and golfing. He would play video games, but he is a Mac user after all.

  6. Yeah, it’s strange having that wishlist up there. I usually just shove books people recommend into it, without ever thinking somone else might see it. 🙂

    Thanks for the tip, though. I should add that to my list!

  7. Post
    Author

    Yeah, it’s strange having that wishlist up there. I usually just shove books people recommend into it, without ever thinking somone else might see it. 🙂

    Thanks for the tip, though. I should add that to my list!

  8. I’d go with a hexagon with an open book in the middle, although the “Go Play” symbol does seem to be catching on somewhat…

  9. I’d go with a hexagon with an open book in the middle, although the “Go Play” symbol does seem to be catching on somewhat…

  10. That’s not a bad idea either, Mike. I think something like “Go Play” has the benefit of abstraction though. Maybe a sword sticking out of a die, like Excalibur from the Stone, would say “Fantastic Games” better. Hm…

  11. Post
    Author

    That’s not a bad idea either, Mike. I think something like “Go Play” has the benefit of abstraction though. Maybe a sword sticking out of a die, like Excalibur from the Stone, would say “Fantastic Games” better. Hm…

  12. Post
    Author
  13. Yeah, it’s hard to find a unifying symbol that is common to every facet of the gaming experience. That’s why I went with the iconic “rulebook” sign.

    Wait! How about a hexagon with a slice of pizza and a Mountain Dew in it? 🙂

    Mike

  14. Yeah, it’s hard to find a unifying symbol that is common to every facet of the gaming experience. That’s why I went with the iconic “rulebook” sign.

    Wait! How about a hexagon with a slice of pizza and a Mountain Dew in it? 🙂

    Mike

  15. I just saw some discussion of that topic on someone’s blog a few days ago: http://jhkimrpg.livejournal.com/39123.html

    The whole “go play” icon seems a bit subtle to me, but I guess the diver symbol is pretty abstract and people get it anyway. If any particular symbol caught on, I’d probably put one on my car.

  16. I just saw some discussion of that topic on someone’s blog a few days ago: http://jhkimrpg.livejournal.com/39123.html

    The whole “go play” icon seems a bit subtle to me, but I guess the diver symbol is pretty abstract and people get it anyway. If any particular symbol caught on, I’d probably put one on my car.

  17. Thanks, guys! Paul, that link opened my eyes. The sign officially rocks. It’s simple, it says what it means (green=go, play sign=play), and it has a great meaning that captures the fun of games: “Go Play!”

    In short, I’m all for this. I’m thrilled someone else figured this out while it’s been stewing in the back of my brain.

    Honestly, I think we could get GAMA and National Games Week to adopt this in a heartbeat. I have some e-mails to write, I think. 🙂

  18. Post
    Author

    Thanks, guys! Paul, that link opened my eyes. The sign officially rocks. It’s simple, it says what it means (green=go, play sign=play), and it has a great meaning that captures the fun of games: “Go Play!”

    In short, I’m all for this. I’m thrilled someone else figured this out while it’s been stewing in the back of my brain.

    Honestly, I think we could get GAMA and National Games Week to adopt this in a heartbeat. I have some e-mails to write, I think. 🙂

  19. I don’t dig the chess piece or the play button. Geeky and music. How about a 20 sided dice, or zombie lookign eyes that come from endless hours of gaming and no sleep.

  20. I don’t dig the chess piece or the play button. Geeky and music. How about a 20 sided dice, or zombie lookign eyes that come from endless hours of gaming and no sleep.

  21. I think those would be fun, William, but the symbol has to be abstract enough to encompass all sorts of gaming. That’s large umbrella,so the more abstract the better. One of the cool things about the Go-Play symbol is that you can alter it, if you like, and you can still recognize it for what it is. Check out this post on the Go-Play site for loads of examples.

  22. Post
    Author

    I think those would be fun, William, but the symbol has to be abstract enough to encompass all sorts of gaming. That’s large umbrella,so the more abstract the better. One of the cool things about the Go-Play symbol is that you can alter it, if you like, and you can still recognize it for what it is. Check out this post on the Go-Play site for loads of examples.

  23. the diver down, it is hoped, would be recognized by all divers, a d20 would also be recognized by 90%+ gamers, so although it might be limiting to some, the point is something that would ID gamers and the like.

    or maybe different types of gamers would have different dice…..

  24. the diver down, it is hoped, would be recognized by all divers, a d20 would also be recognized by 90%+ gamers, so although it might be limiting to some, the point is something that would ID gamers and the like.

    or maybe different types of gamers would have different dice…..

  25. Hi Barak!

    People pondering this (like Mike Stackpole) have considered the d20 before. Outside of RPGs, few gamers use d20s. Think in terms of how many CCG and CMG players there are, not to mention board gamers, etc., that never pick up a d20 and certainly wouldn’t identify themselves with it. Even among RPG fans, the d20 pretty much says d20 System these days, only, although many games use it.

    The idea is that the logo would work for anyone playing any kinds of tabletop games. Of course, the Go-Play logo is abstract enough to stretch beyond that too, to just about any kind of game. I’m all for that, as I’d like to see it be able to encompass a field that changes as much as the gaming industry traditionally has.

  26. Post
    Author

    Hi Barak!

    People pondering this (like Mike Stackpole) have considered the d20 before. Outside of RPGs, few gamers use d20s. Think in terms of how many CCG and CMG players there are, not to mention board gamers, etc., that never pick up a d20 and certainly wouldn’t identify themselves with it. Even among RPG fans, the d20 pretty much says d20 System these days, only, although many games use it.

    The idea is that the logo would work for anyone playing any kinds of tabletop games. Of course, the Go-Play logo is abstract enough to stretch beyond that too, to just about any kind of game. I’m all for that, as I’d like to see it be able to encompass a field that changes as much as the gaming industry traditionally has.

Leave a Reply