Dreamcast worlds: a design history

I’ve launched an indiegogo campaign to fund a book expanding on the 30,000-word thesis I wrote for my Master’s at the Royal College of Art.

I intend to write a historical book about Dreamcast games, with a unique approach – instead of following the life stories of heroic game designers, or recounting how and why the Dreamcast failed commercially as a games console, in this book I tell the story from right inside the games themselves. And I plan to do it with your help.

Travelling through the maps and screens of three Dreamcast games, I map out a network of players, developers and events that contributed to the Dreamcast phenomenon. It’s a spatial history of videogames, and it focuses on a time when 3D, open-world virtual play spaces first became possible.

I need funds to allow me to spend time working on this instead of taking on more Japanese-English translation work to keep myself afloat. That’s part of the reason why I’ve reached out to the book’s audience directly, offering pre-orders and favours in exchange for a sort of writer’s advance. If I hit the $5000 target, that will give me just under $3000 after fees, tax and the projected cost of printing the pre-ordered books once I’m finished – enough to let me work part-time on the book for 2-3 months (this figure is a very rough estimate and depends on which reward-level people choose to buy into).

Rewarding endeavours

In return for your donation, you’ll get a digital, paperback or hardback copy (or copies) of the book once it’s ready. The higher reward levels come with extra special perks, such as a named acknowledgement in the book, and a blog post about how wonderful you are (and by that I mean you, personally – I’ll do my research). If you feel inspired to donate particularly generously, I will write a detailed report on space design in a game you have made, applying innovative interpretive and historical techniques to your own work.

Join the conversation

This project isn’t just about raising money. I want to develop this book in direct conversation with readers – I’ll be sharing ideas and snippets with you along the way, and hosting regular debates on Google+ about the issues that come out of my research. No good work can be made without criticism, and you will be the first to hear what I’m working on and voice your opinion about it. I need your feedback as much as I need financial support.

To get involved, head over to the indiegogo page now!

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