The GDC 2019 schedule contains the most Video Games collection of words imaginable. 

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Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

What the hell is that metaphor? “Video games as Punk Rock”. Bwuh?

Video games have almost NEVER been punk. There are a few brief moments in time where the medium was being propelled primarily by forces outside of the mainstream culture, but these are the rare exceptions.

The earliest video games were arguably pretty punk, because they were made by oldschool computer nerds working on mainframe computers, but once Pong exploded onto the scene in 1972, everyone and their mom was playing the damn thing, and video arcades became a major cultural landmark. Total anti-punk.

Video games were a mainstream force for a solid decade following the release of Pong. Then there was the Crash of ‘82, when many people assumed that the “fad” had finally died, and video games would disappear. (In the US, anyway.)

For a few years there, video games returned to a sort of punk “frontier” industry, with most new major developments happening in the home computer industry and being carried out by dedicated garage enthusiasts.

But then Nintendo released the NES in 1985 and revived the American video game craze, and it went straight back to being a mainstream corporate mass-media phenomenon, which hasn’t stopped since.

There are few things LESS punk than video games.