Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A whole new world of jargon

As part of the Writing for Interactive module at my MA Screenwriting course, I'm learning a shelf-load of new jargon. Here's two things I know now that I didn't know a week ago:

Instancing - apparently this happen in online gaming to alleviate the problems that would arise by having players around the world all attempting the same task at the same time. When a player enters a certain environment [say, a building] for a specific mission, they are effectively teleported into a virtual pocket universe where they play out the game that occurs within that environment. Once they're done, they leave the environment and return to the shared online game environment.

MMORPG - this stands for Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, where thousands of players can interact in a huge, online world. Big business in Korea, apparently.

To call that the tip of the iceberg is understating the case a tad.

But here's a strange thing: there are more people employed creating computer games in Britain than there are people working in the British film and television industries com bined. Yet how many of those people in computer games are writers? How many agencies are there for computer game scribes? What courses are there specifically aimed at finding and nurturing future games scribes?

The answer to all of those questions seems to be - bugger all. The lack of a good agency that specialises in writers for computer games seems like a huge hole in the marketplace.

If anybody knows of any such agencies, post a reply in the comments section, ideally with an URL for the relevant website. Let's share some information, people!

1 comment:

Clemmo said...

I know of a *bad* agency, but no good ones.

I'm not surprised that the computer games industry employs more than TV and film here. There are some writers around in it. I think I've worked on around a dozen games in the last five years. The money can be very good, but there's an incredible amount of wastage -- almost as many stalled projects as in the film business.

Also a great variant in producer expectations. I've worked for producers who pay Writers Guild scale, and for others who have a barely contained horror of the concept that this is a job that Jeff the Tea Boy couldn't do for them for a fraction of the price.