Chris Baker in Slate:
Thousands of industry professionals have descended on Silicon Valley to ogle the latest physics engines and graphics cards, hear panel discussions like “C++ on Next-Gen Consoles: Effective Code for New Architectures,” and thrill at being in the same room with the guy who made Marble Madness. But the highlight of the annual Game Developers Conference is an epic battle known as the Game Design Challenge.
The challenge is the brainchild of Eric Zimmerman, the CEO of gameLab and the author of several scholarly books on video games. Each year, Zimmerman asks three pre-eminent designers to build a game around some ridiculously ambitious theme. This year, he tasked them with dreaming up something that could win the Nobel Peace Prize.