Crédits photo : Yann

Time to fix that puzzle

A short presentation of the project

Hello, my name is Hadrien. I’m freelance journalist. I work on many multimedia projects, mainly for radio shows in France. I’m actually working on NDDL Newsgame. It is a newsgame talking about a contested airport project in Nantes. I also create in 48 hours SMS Leaks with Pierre Chabiland and Pierre Corbinais. It is a humorous newsgame about migrant crisis in Europe. It was developed essentially for mobile devices.

In my free time, I run Ludologies, a French podcast about games (video games, board games and role play) with my ex-roommate Manuel Bedouet. Two times by month, we produce a show with some experts, game creators and critics about fundamental questions. What is a game, why we play or the link between games and our body… We did nineteen shows when I wrote those lines.

Crédit photo : David Antunes for 3 Hit Combo

And when I’m not tired, I am also volunteer in 3 Hit Combo, a video game association. We make some workshop where we use the video game as a popular education tool. For example, recently I went in a school to make a newsgame with horticulture students. We also run workshops with kids or in prison where we use Minecraft to learn some things or just escape from the every day life.

For ten years, 3 Hit Combo organizes the Stunfest. From a little versus fighting games tournament, it begins to be an international video games culture festival. In the Stunfest, you can see conferences, try games from local independent developers or just try to kick some ass in the Street Fighter Tournament. Even if it is hard, we try to be more independent.

Every day, I spend hours to read, think and work about games. I see board games, role-play and video games have similar problematic. Those questions are important. If we think a game is a plan of rules or a system, but it could be an excellent society’s laboratory. But in French or in English, I don’t find articles about that. I am stuck on the Internet looking for something that I won’t find.

So why I create Stuck on the puzzle ?

And last night, I talked with friends about the balancing in role-play game called “Oltré !”. The balancing is a big question in games. It shows where the game maker would go, what his ideology is. If I’m a beginner in a role-play games, I understand this problematic because It is the same in board or video games. That’s why me and Manuel Bedouet make Ludologies.

Those friends talking about “Oltré !” draw their opinion from many sources. Forums, articles, books, sometimes in French, sometimes in English. Actually, if French speakers can’t read a news in an English website, you can be sure some French magazines will translate. It’s shame because we lose some facts and shades. But more and more people begin to speak English. So it’s probably best to speak to the greatest number of people, isn’t it ?

On the other side, I read many cool papers in French that only French speaker could understand. Two times by month, Ludologies produce two hours of good content. But in French. What a shame again. We have very interesting thinker and critics in France. Roger Caillois, Jacques Henriot, Mathieu Triclot, etc. Also, it is interesting to see the difference between words and concepts in English and in French. And me, I am in the middle of that, trying to correlate in my head those experiences. And I though about that song from the movie Submarine relating a boy in doubt . As the main character with girls and teenage angst, I am stuck on a puzzle.

Game is like a big puzzle, shattered in billion forms. What is a game, what does it mean, why it could be so intense ? Sometimes in digital, sometimes in a good old book or in some pieces of plastic on a board. So I decided to make that : try to fix the puzzle with the greatest number of people.