Febuary 8th 2003

I have a dream...

The video game industry has evolved tremendously over the last couple of decades. Twenty years ago, video game consoles had limited capabilities, but the advantage in that was that you could make a game in a couple of months, with a small team of developers. Today's consoles are infinitely more powerful, and the number of people involved in developing a single game can range from dozens to hundreds. The days of the lone programmer developing a game all by himself in his basement are long gone...

Or are they? I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all game creators are created equal."

I have a dream that one day in the jungles of Cyberspace the game-creating gurus and the young aspiring designers will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even Nintendo, a closed company, sweltering with the heat of creative ownership and licensing agreements, will be transformed into an oasis of imaginative openness and fair play.

I have a dream that my unborn children will one day live in a nation where their game-creating talents will not be judged by their lack of experience but by the energy behind their contributions.

I have a dream today...

Well, okay, it's a really puerile twist on Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous speech, but there is a good point behind it: Anyone with a little imagination can design a mini-game, and it seems to me like the dot-code technology used on e-Cards is perfect for supporting such mini-games. So what's to stop someone with a good mini-game idea from developing his game and distributing it on e-Cards?

Well, developing and manufacturing e-Cards is not exactly cheap (even if it is much cheaper than making game cartridges) and we all know Nintendo will never support this kind of open-minded initiative.

But what if they did?

In my wildest dreams, I can imagine Nintendo running contests where everyone could submit their mini-game ideas, and the winners would see their games printed on e-Cards and played by thousands upon thousands of GBA gamers.

If I were in charge of organizing such events, I would actually hold three different types of contests:
Yeah, I know, I know, I'm dreaming in Technicolor. But just imagine the excitement that could be generated by such contests, especially if they were open to people of all ages, and if they were held periodically, like once every 6 months or so!

I don't know about you, but I find this idea very stimulating, and that's what prompted me to start the NES Game Design Contest. It's nowhere near an official contest, but I hope people like you will participate, if only for the chance to win an e-Reader! :-)