“You and I and everybody [in the] entertainment industry fly by the seat of our pants. We don't quite know what is going to happen.”1
-- William Shatner
What Are Daglow's Laws?
Are you a student of the inner workings of the entertainment, technology and games industries?
Over the course of my 34 years in the business I began writing Daglow's Laws to organize my thinking on four key topics:
1. The great, often unseen forces that drive the games industry, along with the platforms, genres and business models within it.
2. How the games business interacts with trends in culture, technology and entertainment.
3. How we can use this knowledge to guide our companies, projects and careers, critical in an era of entrepreneurial game development.
4. How we have to continually adapt and change the crafts of game design and game publishing to succeed in each new era.
Where They Come From
Daglow's Laws reflect my commitment to long-term strategy
and to hand-crafting fun games in a world too often driven by
short-term tactics and get-rich-quick ideas.
I invent new “Daglow’s Laws” for each of my keynotes and major conference presentations, a practice I started in 1992.
I'm now turning Daglow's Laws into a book. As I collect and organize each of these articles from 20 years of notes and presentations I'll post them here to gather feedback and comments, and to offer a glimpse of the vision for the work.
Serious or satirical, each Law is an attempt to look at the large-scale long-term picture as context for deciding what we're going to do tomorrow morning when we start our day.
How to Use These "Laws"
I don’t believe that any individual has the right to declare laws.
These "laws" are a collection of things I believe. Some may spark your thinking, some may even be inspiring. Others may make you angry enough to write me an email to set me straight -- and if you do I'd love to receive and read it.
If these Laws are useful, I'll be delighted.
And if the shoe doesn’t fit, just throw it away.
How I Got Here
In hindsight, it feels like creating games is what I was destined to do.
I designed my first board game when I was 10 years old. When I was 15 I re-designed the baseball board game that my friend Tony Salin and I played so fanatically.
So it's not surprising that when I first gained access to a mainframe computer at Pomona College in 1971 the first thing I programmed was a game.
Or that when the games industry began I got a one-in-a-million break and was one of the original five in-house game programmers at Intellivision.
Index of Daglow's Laws
Starting in September, 2014 I'll be adding two full-length chapters of laws per month as I complete the first draft of the book. Here are the first topics and chapters (which are active links), and the names of some that are coming up.
Daglow's Law of Entertainment Careers (1993)
Technology and Culture
Daglow's Law of Storytelling (1992)
Daglow's Law of Progress (2013)
Daglow's Law of Change (2008)
Daglow's Law of Internet Time (2009)
[Scroll down for my articles on recent events and upcoming conferences.]
Photo Credit: Kathryn, accessed 9/6/14.
1 Shatner interview on Larry King Live, February 21, 2002