[iDC] game culture (?) (!) (%#@)

matteo bittanti mbittanti at gmail.com
Fri Jun 22 01:38:41 EDT 2007

*Don't know much about history
Don't know much biology
Don't know much about a science book
Don't know much about physics
But I do know that I love playing games*

Games, like every other media, construct their own reality. They are based
on conventions and expectations, innovation and familiarity, genre building
and genre subversion, remediation and intermediation.

No surprises here. Reality is a convention. And games are simply another
form of reality, thus, another convention. They are ontologically as
consistent/relevant/useless as other "actual", "tangible" situations,
perhaps more.

I'm performing a role, I'm playing a part, I have many identities. In real
life, in simulated lifes. Digital symbolic interactionism.

Some of these fictions are incompatible with each other - hence the
occasional frictions -, but in the age of hyper-tasking and second, third,
and fourth lives anything goes. Ah give or take a night or two.

Games that provide "a real intellectual challenge": the *SimCity* series,
the *Civilization* series, the *Europa Universalis* series. I have learnt a
lot about space by playing *Super Mario *and* Zelda*. Doug Wilson has more
coherent and useful thoughts on the

Raph Koster <http://www.theoryoffun.com/> argues that the key factor of
games is their ability to teach the player new stuff - a game becomes boring
(=not fun) when we have learnt everything about it [see chapter 3 and
4 of *Theory
of Fun*]. And according to James Paul
games are really teaching devices, tools that teach us how to think.
Learning is fun. This is living. Jump in.



Matteo Bittanti


Eadem mutata resurgo
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