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Inveterate philosopher, game designer and author

Biography

Chris Bateman is a philosopher, game designer and author, who has been funding his 'philosophy habit' by working in the digital games industry. He runs International Hobo, the leading creative consultancy in the field of market-oriented game design, narrative and player satisfaction services.

Chris has worked in game design and writing for fifteen years, originally with tabletop role-playing games and boardgames, and later in digital entertainment after completing a Masters degree in Artificial Intelligence/Cognitive Science. He was the lead game designer and writer for such games as Discworld Noir, Ghost Master, Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition and Play with Fire, as well as having two novels published, and working on more than forty other games for major publishers, as either game designer, writer or both.

Chris has been closely involved with the International Game Developers Association for many years, and helped found both the North West UK chapter and the IGDA Game Writers' Special Interest Group, for which he served on the Executive Panel for five years. He edited and contributed to the book Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames, written by members of the SIG, for Thompson Delmar Learning. In 2007, the IGDA honoured him with a prestigious MVP Award.

In 2004, International Hobo published its groundbreaking DGD1 player satisfaction model, which has garnered considerable acclaim and has been cited in numerous academic and government reports. A book about this research, 21st Century Game Design is available from Charles River Media. A new player satisfaction model entitled BrainHex went live in August 2009 and within has attracted more than 80,000 responses.

In 2009, Beyond Game Design: Nine Steps Towards Better Videogames was published by Cengage Learning. The book is edited by Chris, and includes chapters by some of the major voices in videogames including Nicole Lazzaro, Richard Bartle and Noah Falstein discussing the psychology, methodology and ethics of digital games.

Chris has travelled the world studying religious practices and beliefs, and has taken part in everything from Native American sweat lodges to Pagan solstice celebrations, as well as visiting Buddhist and Shinto shrines in Japan, and witnessing traditional tribal religions in Africa. Chris' philosophy covers a variety of topics including ethics, ontology, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, philosophy of science and philosophy of language. He broadly fits into the philosophical school of fictionalism.

He is currently working on the final part of a trilogy of books exploring the philosophy of imagination. The first of these, Imaginary Games asks if games can be art or whether all art is a kind of game. The second, The Mythology of Evolution, examines the role of metaphor in evolutionary research and asks whether it is possible to present the work of the sciences without distortion. The final book, Chaos Ethics, challenges the perception that order is necessarily good and asks if we might need to embrace moral chaos.

To contact Chris, please go to the contact page at ihobo.com and click the email link on that page. Chris will get back to you shortly.