Huff, I didn’t want to enter this debate, but since everyone seems to agree with her, I’ll have to disagree:
Why do I ask? Mostly because I know a lot of talented game designers in the industry that most people have never heard of in their life. They don’t read blogs, they don’t read design theory novels, they don’t analyze the psychological reasons why people interact how they do. They simply know how to make good games, and don’t use theories behind it.
This sounds as realistic as someone playing wonderfully an instrument without having ever studied music.
Made worse by the fact that game design isn’t art, it is science. Sure, there are artistic aspects, but I quite believe that the practical ones are more relevant. If things work there’s a reason. Maybe some designer can have an innate talent and get things right from the start, or without knowing exactly the motivations. But those motivations exist and if you want to succeed more than once it’s a good practice to start looking at the causes. I believe that an analytical mind is more useful than a creative one, in this field.
The circulation of ideas, from my point of view, helps immensely as long you know what to do with it. Or we would be stuck remaking pac-man (that for many actual designers isn’t far from truth).
But *real* game designers? They’ll hardly write or read anything. They are too scared that out there everyone knows better then them. Being deaf and blind is the only way they have to stay sane. As long they don’t lose their job.