The part where Frank Lantz hooked me during his talk at IndieCade 2010 was actually during a technical difficulty. The slides of his presentation weren’t loading and he got out from behind the desk and talked about how football is digital. Lantz describes how the playtime on the gridiron gets broken up into discrete packets of information, which are connected through a flow of action.
It’s another, fascinating way of looking at the world, one that rises to prevalence as video games do. Lantz does more than just lecture, though. He’s a developer himself and heads up Areacode, the Manhattan-based dev studio that made Drop7, one of the best iOS games ever.
Lantz’s time on stage is a brainy, inspiring 60 minutes or so but he manages to keep the ideas accessible. He’s a great explainer and is at turns funny and emotionally evocative. Another of the great ideas Lantz offers is that, for developers and gamers, “interactivity is our steam.” Like steam power during the Industrial Revolution, interactivity is both the thing that powers and defines games, in a way that has far-reaching consequences. Taking in the whole talk is a big time investment, but anyone who cares about games should watch it.