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Season 2010 Episode 20100302

Eric Zimmerman

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Eric Zimmerman
AIRED:
Eric Zimmerman can’t stop making games. An accomplished game designer, artist, and academic of play, he’s been exploring innovative video game design since the heady 90s. He first hit the internet big time with the surprise success SiSSYFiGHT 2000, an online game in which asexual cartoon girls tease, taunt and scratch each other. Drawing inspiration from the work of outsider artist Henry Darger, illustrator Edward Gorey, Japanese anime, and early, 8-bit video games of the 1980s, the game was a pioneer of online multiplayer games, with a focus on community-building through chat and message boards. That success and subsequent ones landed him in the pages of magazines and earned him a “VIP Award” by the International Game Developers Association. In the decade since, he’s run Gamelab, a game development company based in New York City that has racked up awards and spun off other companies, including Gamestar Mechanic, a site that lets kids create games. One of his latest projects, the Institute of Play, is a nonprofit exploring the intersection of games and learning and preparing to launch a school in New York City based on play as the model for learning.moreless
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