Q&A with Scott Steinberg, Host of Game Theory

4:16 PM, Aug 3, 2010   |    comments
Scott Steinberg
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A brand new web-only show taking a critical look into the video game industry launches today.  The show, called 'Game Theory with Scott Steinberg' looks at the good and the bad and takes its information right from industry insiders and many of the "suits" of the industry themselves.

The Game Guys were given the chance for an exclusive question-and-answer session with Steinberg:

News10:  Why did you decide to do this kind of a program?

Scott Steinberg:  It's high time that the video game industry had a public venue that allowed it to speak directly to fans and address today's top headlines in a more intelligent and informed fashion. Case in point: All too often, we hear sensationalistic reports that are quick to proclaim the business' supposed death in the wake of plummeting retail sales, the way in which gaming promotes bad habits amongst children and adults or how new technologies are going to transform the interactive entertainment landscape. Here, we offer leading academics, designers, executives, journalists and insiders the chance to discuss and debate these topics while weighing in on their validity and providing a more exhaustive overview and deeper understanding of the fundamental underlying issues.

N10:  What do you hope to accomplish and what do you hope your viewers will get out of it?

SS:  Our hope is that both the show and magazine will help to cut through much of the hype and offer readers and viewers a more informed perspective on the field in a language that all can understand - and to shine the light on those who deserve it most: Those in the trenches helping shape and define the field every day. We also aim to get fans thinking more than the average program, and therefore attempt not to offer definitive answers, but rather simply point out the questions everyone should actually be asking themselves. A major mandate is also to treat not only featured topics, but also readers and viewers with respect - ironically, today's game playing audience is 35 years old on average, 40% female and composed of more adult women than teenage boys, and yet many outlets remain content to treat enthusiasts as if they're still the stereotypical nerdy 17 year-old males of old.

N10:  Just how bad are things in the industry?

SS:  That depends who you ask. It's murder at retail outside of blockbuster releases with sizable followings, as cost-conscious shoppers are leery to take chances on unknown titles, and rising development costs and increasing competition are leading to more predictable sequels, spin-offs and an overall dearth of innovation by publishers in an effort to offset risk. But outside of your local GameStop, the field's actually experiencing a thriving renaissance, as social network games, digital downloads, free-to-play outings that run in your Web browser, online offerings, indie games and smartphone apps are exploding in popularity. To put it in perspective: Massive innovation is happening at the high and low ends of the spectrum, but there's no longer room for average or nondescript products, as everything in the middle is getting crushed.

N10:  How does the online magazine differ from the show as far as content?

SS:  Because it's updated daily, the online magazine allows us to address a wider range of issues and in a broader range of voices from today's top executives to leading designers, scholars and reporters, as well as offer additional or tangential commentary beyond what's touched on in videos. The website also acts as an open forum for outspoken members of the gaming field to tackle the topics they feel are most relevant, whether it be the need for game journalism to grow up, developers to treat women with greater respect or players to take political action in the wake of the upcoming Supreme Court case which threatens government regulation of the sale of violent games to minors. Game Theory's online site allows us to give more people from passionate fansite owners to visionary developers and indie entrepreneurs a chance to step up and wield the microphone, and keep readers abreast with the topics and trends shaping an industry that moves at the speed of light.

N10:  What comes next for you and your program?

SS:  More tough questions, more voices speaking up and more in-depth analysis and insight into one of the entertainment industry's most fascinating fields, which evolves at a blistering pace, ensuring there's never a dearth of topics to explore. We'll also be producing a number of special features and documentaries, e.g. explorations into the future of digital distribution and cloud computing, as well as touching base with some of the biggest names in the business from yesterday and today in an effort to dig deeper into the field's most pressing issues. The industry never stops moving - we won't either, in an effort to provide a more intelligent and engaging look at its growth and evolution.

Scott Steinberg's program can be seen on the website GameTheoryOnline.com.

- Game Guy Barry White bcwhite@news10.net


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