Hello! I'm Tom. I designed a game called Gunpoint, about rewiring things and punching people, and now I'm working on a new one called Heat Signature, about sneaking aboard randomly generated spaceships. Here's some more info on all the games I've worked on, here's the podcast I do, here are the videos I make on YouTube, here are some of the articles I wrote for PC Gamer, and here are two short stories I wrote for the Machine of Death collections.
Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, First Class
Doing maths and philosophy at the same time made sense to me, but then in a Relativity module I found out that simultaneity depends on your inertial frame, so now I’m not even sure I did.
My dissertation was on the ethics of teleportation by replication: scan, clone, destroy the original. Like in that movie I can’t mention, because it’s a spoiler for that movie.
Games Media Award for Best Specialist Games Writer in Print
I was assembling skateboards in a warehouse when a staff writer job opened up at PC Gamer. I didn’t get it. But later I got a job doing their coverdiscs, and successfully got myself demoted to writer a year or two in.
Finalist, Independent Games Festival Award for Excellence in Design
I entered Gunpoint into the IGF mainly to get feedback from the judges. Becoming a finalist was an extremely expensive accident: I tragically had to fly to San Francisco to attend the swanky awards ceremony and related parties.
The winner of the Excellence in Design category was Spelunky, the game that spurred me to make games in the first place. Even I would have voted for it.
TychoCelchuuu: So, is teleportation ethical? Does the answer just come down to whatever theory of personal identity we accept?
MrAndyDufresne: Is there anyway you could publish this dissertation? I think your readership would eat it right up.
Shaun: Chelchuuu, it's got to be unethical because of the "destroy the original" part of the process. There's only wiggle room for ethicality if the originals are just stored in stasis until the heat death of the universe or the "teleported" clone happens to die. That's for one-way trips, though.
With two-way trips there's a much simpler solution: Put the original in stasis, create a clone where it needs to be, have the clone do whatever it needed to do there, then upload its new memories into the brain of the original and destroy the clone. Actually wait no I just saw the flaw in that.
So yeah guess I'll agree with Andy about publishing the dissertation because I need to read it now.
TychoCelchuuu: Some people don't agree that destroying the original is unethical (the writers of Star Trek, for instance). And if it were obviously unethical it wouldn't have made much of a dissertation topic, right?
Sly: I know this is fairly redundant, but here goes anyway:
I'm in my final year of engineering here and frankly this is the first time I've been excited about an alum from here (Aside from possibly Adrian Newey).
We really need to have you come down for a talk - after Gunpoint that is!
Gassalasca: This may sound weird, but to which primary and secondary school did you go to?
Jason L: A bit of previous discussion here: http://www.pentadact... ...-of-death/
TheDancingWalrus: I have thought about teleportation being essentially someone dying and another person being created, but -trying not to sound too philosophical- death is essentially just the severing of conciousness, isn't it? Every time you fall asleep or "lose conciousness" you die? No? You probably had considered that but I'm just wondering what your thought on it are?
Zekiel: Bloody hell Tom. Just came across this post while trawling through the archives of your excellent site. I did Maths & Philosophy at Southampton in the year above you. However I haven't yet made a wildly successful indie computer game sadly.
You didn't have Giampaolo as your tutor did you?
Your dissertation sounds fun. (Though I'm not sure any dissertations are fun while you're actually writing them)