Dan Pinchbeck researches, teaches and builds games, specifically first-person games. He holds a Doctorate in first-person gaming, story and gameplay, and is particularly interested in experimental gameplay devices, content and player behaviour. He leads the development team thechineseroom who have released four mods over the last two years. The most famous of these is the cult Half Life 2 mod Dear Esther. This has been downloaded over 30,000 times, was exhibited at Ars Electronica 2008 and selected as a finalist for the 2009 IndieCade Independent Games Festival. It has been described by PCZone as a “wildly innovative piece of storytelling”.
As a researcher, Pinchbeck has published internationally and in January 2010 will take up a place on the Executive Board of DiGRA, the pre-eminent international games research body. Recent publications include chapters in Perron’s Horror Video Games (MacFarland 2009) and the forthcoming Machinima Reader (MIT Press 2010).
As an artist, he regularly collaborates with the sound artist Jessica Curry. Their most recent work, The Second Death of Caspar Helendale, will be performed as part of the Royal Opera House’s Firsts09 season in November 2009.
Pinchbeck also works in game preservation, as part of the International Game Developers Association game preservation SIG, and a member of the KEEP consortium, an EU-funded project creating a new emulation architecture to ensure the effective archiving of games into the future.
He is an avid gamer and passionately believes that games represent the most vital and important medium to emerge in the late 20th Century. Currently getting heavy rotation on his playlist are Mass Effect, Dark Athena, Mirror’s Edge and Silent Hill: Origins.
"Just when Kant's formulation that 'the public exercise of reason should be free' had begun to seem so remote and exhausted, the Battle should reinforce one's faith in the enduring worth of dissent and of the free traffic in ideas"
Swapan Chakravorty, professor of english, Jadavpur University