Are you someone who used to play videogames, but stopped b/c you lost interest for some reason? I'd like to talk to you. For a thing. Plz RT— David Wolinsky (@davidwolinsky) December 10, 2014
What is this?
don't die started because I found the conversation around videogames online to be stifling. It's repetitive, dehumanizing, and typically fixated on consumer goods -- videogames as products, not the creative products of individuals.
So in January 2015 I set about talking to people who make videogames and people who used to play them, focusing on certain problems and misperceptions within the industry. Nine months and more than 100 interviews later, it is abundantly clear don't die is growing beyond the perspectives these two groups can provide. The questions are getting bigger.
Part of what keeps videogames narrow as a medium is hearing from the same sorts of people about the same sorts of things over and over again. This doesn’t shed new light on much, and keeps people beyond the gates -- people with insightful and interesting things to say. They too should be able to ask simple questions or offer opinions about the medium or the space’s ecosystem. Without a greater range of perspectives, you can’t draw parallels or conclusions about videogames -- or where the cultures they intersect with are heading.
This has to change.
And so, don't die is changing, too. It is growing to become an oral history of those who make, play, write about, and care about videogames -- or other creative mediums. Conversations for the project will remain, as always, fascinated by the conflicts, evolutions, triumphs, past, and future of games, and what people think of them. It will, as always, seek to unravel and make sense of how an industry and a culture handles success, failure, and total upheaval. It will continue to ponder how videogames insist they’re an industry bigger than Hollywood (based on sales figures that include sales of hardware and software, not actual cultural impact) and yet one so fraught with insecurity it’s still in denial it’s afraid of its own audience.
The audience they created.
Videogames don’t exist in a vacuum. They are an emerging, still young medium finding its voice. They are struggling. They are polarizing. They are Anna Gunn, Zelda Williams, Curt Schilling, and Donald Trump. They are many things. They are not just for kids anymore, but they are stuck figuring out what they want to be instead.
And if the same people are asked to talk about the same things over and over again, we’ll never hear anything new.
Why can’t I comment on any of the posts here?
You can, just not on the site directly. don’t die is a place for listening, understanding, and exploring conversations about videogames. It’s meant a living document or an information dump for anyone curious about why the current landscape of videogames is how it is, how we got here, and where we might go.
I want to be interviewed for this site! Will you talk to me?
Definitely. I am trying to talk to everyone and anyone who wants to talk to me, time permitting. Generally there’s a bit of back and forth necessary first to understand one another. Be patient with me.
I just want to chat!
Cool, drop me a line below. If you're writing to request or pitch an interview idea with you for Don't Die, use the link above. Please note that Don't Die isn't interested in promotional interviews about your new game or studio unless there's an especially compelling or typically unexplored angle you have in mind. Again, please be patient with me.
This isn’t a question from you, but a request from me to you.
This site is supported by Patreon, which means keeping the lights on and being able to do this, period, is made possible with monthly investments by its readers. If you like it, please tell other people about it. Your donations also help, if you can afford it. Thank you.
And thanks to everyone making the time to talk to me and to read this.