First off, to the by now non-existent readership of mine, I realise my blog has been a little barren lately, but that’s because I’ve got many posts floating around incomplete in the dashboard waiting for some curation and closure, this is not entirely due to negligence. heh. My apologies.
Its been bugging me all week just thinking over again what was discussed in the unlecture 8.0, and how the idea of hypertextual games unanimously being regarded as mostly unfeasible. Being an avid player of video games this got me thinking quite a bit as to just what a game is exactly. Adrian mentioned being a part of the first discussion that covered this and mentioned that games do not require a story and are not narrative based. He also mentioned that games are governed by a notion of winning.
“You can’t win stories”
So what is a game then? Is a game supposed to be fun, or is it supposed to be competitive? Are games supposed to have narratives at all or does that turn them into something else?
How can a game be competitive and fun if there is always a loser? [For arguments sake] If losing isn’t fun, should competitive games be called games at all since there is always a loser (doesn’t that mean its always not fun for someone playing it), and wouldn’t that mean its just a competition and not a game? What about games that are narrative driven which rely on character development and have multiple endings or none at all (like Dungeons & Dragons or Skyrim maybe?) [my thinking is that the narrativeIS the game and the platform is inconsequential] You play [maybe with friends] to navigate a fictional world which is being moderated or controlled by the game master(D&D) or game engine (Skyrim). Who are you competing against here – the game master? the fictional world? Is losing insubstantial when/because there is no human opponent? What constitutes as winning the game? -the closure you get from the ending narrative which could potentially change at any point (is that what makes these games fun? Closure). Doesn’t that mean you can win stories? Or does that mean that these aren’t games at all.
Isn’t that what interactive narratives give us – The ability to create, direct or choose our own paths and conclusions by concluding or “winning ” the stories we explore the way we want to? Maybe not so much in Skyrim – as it does has a specific ending, but the way you get there and what happens in between is entirely up to you within the confines of the world you’re in and where although the provided content is limited by technology, is still massive enough and explores so many avenues, that most people will never get to see or explore even half the content – but its getting there. Would that mean that interactive narratives are actually games we play?
I think games are meant to be fun and non-competitive but challenging. We hoomans find that the more we do something the better we get at it, and games are an avenue for exploring potentiality which could be why they’re fun because of the interactivity and discovery that it comes with.
Then again.. isn’t that what art is? blerhg..
Time to go on an adventure!!
Since hypertext fiction does not have the fixed, tangible beginnings and endings of print stories and books, readers decide when their experience of the text ends. – Douglas, J. Yellowlees
Today we went over video games as hypertextual and touched on game theory but didn’t really get into it. I’d like to go deeper into this, what makes a game a game? Adrian said – A game has no story or narrative and is goverened by a notion of winning.You can’t “win” a story. American idol isn’t a reality tv show its a game show. There a lot of shows are out there like this. And sometimes that thought makes me feel very sad. No.. it always make me sad.
When we play games with animals i.e. a dog it plays back which is a form of inter-species communication. what does this mean?! that living things can interact with each other!
On Systems (OS)
Hypertext is emergent, a structure forms as you create in it, it isn’t something you plan beforehand like a construction. We touched on how history is formed by many truths and not just one, and a linear history is unrealistic/unreliable.. It sounds like a hypertext system has no real beginning and no foreseeable end – a black hole?
I may have misheard but this was said “Learning as the ontological encounter of the weird.” I like that haha.
So I found myself digging through some of my old blogs, and I landed on this post which, I have to admit, was a pretty accurate representation of my outlook on life. I’ll say that while I still espouse to a fair amount of what I said and felt in this post, the biggest difference I realise is that I was very angry because I felt like there was nothing I could do to change the way the world is, because I’m just one person with nothing to show, no knowledge or skill, nothing at all worth contributing -Just another brick in the wall –I think this is something that’s particularly affecting the children of the middle class, who have enough that they feel like they can’t complain about life (otherwise they get persecuted) and they end up not having aspirations because they already have ‘enough’, and yet don’t have so much that they can do anything they please. What you get is a generation of kids who feel like they can’t make actual contributions to the world, and just end up becoming tools for the industry, which is not what being human is about (unless you enjoy being a tool). We have to find our own places in life, but the way the system works now, most people go through their entire lives under the illusion of happiness and define themselves through the products they can buy and the facade they can put on rather than come to terms with the fact that their lives are fucking shit and they’re not doing anything about it -as being a tool is easier anyway – because that means you don’t have to think *catch breath*.sigh. Being the middle man can really suck. However today, over [a long period of] time I came to learn that the human capacity is a force to be reckoned with, and that we all, each an every single one of us, have it in us to achieve great things, as well as experience awesome-ness, but its up to us to make a conscious decision to do something about it as individuals and as citizens of the world, and to help guide people to self actualize. We are the blank sheets of paper, and the artists, and the pencils.
There is something very wrong with the world today, and people seem to be growing more content about it
Without further ado, welcome to my 18 year old mind. (un-edited for authenticitaaay)
If you don’t like pessimism, don’t read this. Nov. 24th, 2008 at 1:17 AM
The meaning of life is a difficult question to answer because we were left with no clues as to what it could be, or we have been given all the information we need but are too blind or daft to find it, and thusfar no one has come up with a reasonable explanation and believe me, God is highly debateable, so we’ll just put almighty power out of the question. So until we come up with that explanation we have to assume that life has no meaning. Everything you do is pointless because inevitably you’re going to be dead anyway and we just work and play and feel just to pass the time. With that in mind, the human race, the self proclaimed most intelligent being on the planet has failed to live in peace without utter chaos/destruction/death/etc.. being its main reason for coming to be. Instead, using our “highly superior minds” we create all sorts of wonderful things, which in turn create new problems. I reckon ownership has a very big part to play in our downfall, because with ownership comes a lot of the problems we see today,mainly money and how people without it, are doomed to a life without things to distract them from death. Had there been no money, if people only had what they needed to survive instead of wanting more and more, war wouldn’t be something taken as lightly as it is nowdays. Ownership creates greed, and that is a trait you’d find in most people, even those who don’t seem the type, probably have something they hunger for, let it be material or related to feelings. Over time from living in small comunities to large cities people have become less dependent on each other and more dependent on the things that are directly related to them and begin to stop caring about other people who have nothing to do with them. An example of this kind of behavior, easily seen when people find out about a tragedy involving a large number of casualties( bear in mind this IS a generalisation ), unless DIRECTLY related to anything involving that tragedy closely, people couldn’t care less about the statistic, unable to fathom the gravity of something like that, it is simply forgotten over time. If you sit at your home, all comfortable, and say you feel bad for those people then you are probably amongst the biggest heretic on the earth, because you’re not sorry at all. You just think you should be sorry, that’s just your brain trying to imitate a conscience it never had so you can convince yourself that you’re still human. That you can still care about things that aren’t about you so you can face yourself every time you look in the mirror. Or you are some twisted freak who just wants people to look up to you if you show compassion openly.
This part is about religion so don’t read if you’re sensitive.
I don’t see how religion has managed to hang around till now though, seeing as it was created ages ago by people who had no clue of what was going on around them without the help of basic science. They probably questioned the meaning of life and in failing to find one, they decided to look to the one thing they knew nothing about..the sky, because no one knew what was really there, however now only used as symbolism, I really can imagine a bunch of scared people pointing at the sky during a storm saying ridiculous things about a greater being living up there making all these magical things happen. After speaking with several people who are religiously bent, when talking about things that science hasn’t been able to explain yet, I only got highly unsatisfactory response. One guy asked me if science has found out how/why the big bang happened, and i said no. He replied” That is because God did it, God made the big bang happen to create life” with the most certainty i have ever heard anyone talk about anything. Now who is to say that god did it, just because the scientists haven’t figured it out yet. Like everything else they figured out it takes time. The creation of our entire multiverse might just take a little longer as it IS a pretty big thing to cover. God was peoples way of explaining the unexplainable. Although I do agree that science is essentially the search for God but through logic which involves facts and not faith in something people tell you exists. If there really was a God, and people were to meet him I doubt they would be able to comprehend its/his/her existence and would probably go insane, either way until there is definitive proof of such an existing being exists, I will remain a skeptic on the subject.
Its unfortunate, that when we feel a storm
We can roll ourselves over, when we’re uncomfortable.
A friend introduced me to this video which discusses a lot of Freudian idealologies ideologies and how they’ve come to shape our world. What I could draw from it was that in fear of a second Hitler type ordeal, governments scared themselves so shitless of the animalistic nature of human beings, that they resorted to developing methods of controlling or steering the minds of the people by manufacturing a desire within people to want things that they may not have actually wanted (turns out its easier to do than you’d imagine).
I found it pretty ironic ‘they’ reacted precisely in the manner of that which they attempted to control.
Worth a watch.
But be warned, its 4 one hour documentaries, so pace yourself.
So apparently that video has been taken down, but NOT TO WORRY I should’ve written it down here in the first place. The thing you wanna look for is Adam Curtis’s Century of Self documentary. You can still find it on Vimeo but I think it’s in 4 parts now. Links soon =D
Link to Part 1 Happiness Machines – Vimeo
Link to Part 2 The Engineering of Consent Vimeo –
Link to Part 3 There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed Vimeo
Link to Part 4 Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering Vimeo
It was confusing to be here.
I couldn’t tell the difference between the shadows and the flames, its like they were one in the same
Which seemed impossible, yet there it was
And the longer I stared the more it felt like I was looking into oblivion,
Yet it was so peaceful.
If you can read this, you are too close.