Adios, Water Cooler Games

It’s a sad day when one of the web’s most intelligent game-oriented sites rides off into the sunset.

And so it is with Water Cooler Games, operated since 2003 by Georgia Tech prof Ian Bogost and researcher Gonzalo Frasca. Both academics are also accomplished designers of provocative, issue-oriented games.

We note the following in the site’s RSS feed this morning:

Water Cooler Games is now closed. Thanks for reading all these years. The site has been archived in full (with comments)… For my take on "videogames with an agenda," you might want to read Persuasive Games. I am now blogging at…

—Ian Bogost, August 2009

Because the issue-oriented focus of Water Cooler Games often intersected with that of GamePolitics, WCG was frequently cited here on GP. We will miss it, but it’s good to know that it will live on in an archived version.

UPDATE: Ian Bogost has posted a lengthy commentary on the WCG closure:

From my perspective, the Water Cooler Games project was very much a success. The fact that so many venues now exist for discussing of what we coyly called "videogames with an agenda" speaks at least in part to the influence we exerted.

More so, the site had been immensely useful in helping me conduct research. My 2007 book Persuasive Games drew many examples from titles we covered on Water Cooler Games… 


Closing WCG opens up new opportunities for my writing, on this site and elsewhere… The truth is that I’ve said most of what I want to say about [political games, advertising and games, and other topics covered on WCG]…

GP: We wish Ian continued success and the best of luck going forward…

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  1. 0
    ibogost says:

    Thanks Dennis, for the kind words. 

    Just to be clear, although I do run a game studio that makes games of the ilk we covered, WCG was never a company. It was a research blog Gonzalo Frasca and I ran.

    Also, I’ve hardly gotten out of the business of covering these games, as the post linked above indicates. If anything, I’ve been digging into more specific applications, such as journalism. 

  2. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Well, my best wishes to Ian Bogost, whatever he decides to do next, can’t say I was a massive player of WCG stuff, but it was still interesting to see a company look at that aspect of the gaming.

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