tsuomela + games   144

Play Anything | Ian Bogost
"How filling life with play—whether soccer or lawn mowing, counting sheep or tossing Angry Birds—forges a new path for creativity and joy in our impatient age. Life is no game. It’s demanding, boring, and rarely fun. But what if we’ve got games wrong? Playing anything—whether an instrument, a sport, or a video game—takes hard work and makes absurd demands. Where’s the fun in that? In Play Anything, acclaimed philosopher and award-winning game designer Ian Bogost reveals that play isn’t a mindless escape from boring reality. Instead, play is what happens when we accept limitations, narrow our focus, and—consequently—have fun. Which is also how to live a good life. Manipulating cards to make a poker hand is no different than treating chores and obligations as tools by which we can discover new happiness. Ranging from Internet culture to moral philosophy, from ancient poetics to modern consumerism, Play Anything reveals how today’s chaotic world can only be tamed—and enjoyed—when we first impose boundaries on ourselves."
book  play  games  philosophy 
may 2018 by tsuomela
Why Are Video Games so Sexist? | New Republic
"READY PLAYER TWO: WOMEN GAMERS AND DESIGNED IDENTITY By Shira ChessUniversity of Minnesota Press, 240 pp., $27.00"
book  review  games  gaming  gender  culture  design 
november 2017 by tsuomela
Welcome to the World of Playing Cards - The World of Playing Cards
"Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first became a part of popular culture, perhaps seen as a miniature model of the universe. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. Their popularity is undoubtedy due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed."
playing-cards  history  gambling  games  collecting 
march 2017 by tsuomela
The paradox of procedurally generated video games.
"Algorithmically designed video game worlds are more personal because they lack personality."
games  game-studies  algorithms  design  freedom  exploration 
october 2016 by tsuomela
"PLAY ANYTHING The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games By Ian Bogost 266 pp. Basic Books. $26.99. THE TETRIS EFFECT The Game That Hypnotized the World By Dan Ackerman 264 pp. PublicAffairs. $25.99. DEATH BY VIDEO GAME Danger, Pleasure, and Obsession on the Virtual Frontline By Simon Parkin 254 pp. Melville House. $25.95."
books  reviews  games  game-studies  gaming  psychology  culture  design  history 
september 2016 by tsuomela
The Aesthetic of Play | The MIT Press
"The impulse toward play is very ancient, not only pre-cultural but pre-human; zoologists have identified play behaviors in turtles and in chimpanzees. Games have existed since antiquity; 5,000-year-old board games have been recovered from Egyptian tombs. And yet we still lack a critical language for thinking about play. Game designers are better at answering small questions (“Why is this battle boring?”) than big ones (“What does this game mean?”). In this book, the game designer Brian Upton analyzes the experience of play—how playful activities unfold from moment to moment and how the rules we adopt constrain that unfolding. Drawing on games that range from Monopoly to Dungeons & Dragons to Guitar Hero, Upton develops a framework for understanding play, introducing a set of critical tools that can help us analyze games and game designs and identify ways in which they succeed or fail. Upton also examines the broader epistemological implications of such a framework, exploring the role of play in the construction of meaning and what the existence of play says about the relationship between our thoughts and external reality. He considers the making of meaning in play and in every aspect of human culture, and he draws on findings in pragmatic epistemology, neuroscience, and semiotics to describe how meaning emerges from playful engagement. Upton argues that play can also explain particular aspects of narrative; a play-based interpretive stance, he proposes, can help us understand the structure of books, of music, of theater, of art, and even of the process of critical engagement itself."
book  publisher  play  games  game-studies  philosophy  epistemology 
march 2015 by tsuomela
​We're All Tired Of Gamergate
"I'm worried, frankly, that all the anger and hyper-tweeting and Internet fury involving Gamergate is unhealthy. I'm worried, as I said to Wu, that this will become status quo, that this is how we'll be talking about games and gamers and games media from now on— this with-us-or-against-us stance, this assumption of perpetual corruption and complaint, the suspicion that any harassment is a given for the unlucky people, mostly women, who reach a certain level of prominence in the gaming scene."
games  online  culture  controversy 
october 2014 by tsuomela
The Future Of The Culture Wars Is Here, And It's Gamergate
"What we have in Gamergate is a glimpse of how these skirmishes will unfold in the future—all the rhetorical weaponry and siegecraft of an internet comment section brought to bear on our culture, not just at the fringes but at the center. What we're seeing now is a rehearsal, where the mechanisms of a toxic and inhumane politics are being tested and improved. Tomorrow's Lee Atwater will work through sock puppets on IRC. Tomorrow's Sister Souljah will get shouted down with rape threats. Tomorrow's Tipper Gore will make an inexplicably popular YouTube video. Tomorrow's Willie Horton ad will be an image macro, tomorrow's Borking a doxing, tomorrow's Moral Majority a loose coalition of DoSers and robo-petitioners and scat-GIF trolls—all of them working feverishly in service of the old idea that nothing should ever really change."
games  online  culture  culture-war  journalism  media  business  controversy  trolling 
october 2014 by tsuomela
Rage Against the Machines | Ian Bogost | The Baffler
"Like free digital services more broadly, the real purpose of the videogame business—and, indeed, of American business writ large—is not to provide search or social or entertainment features, but to create rapidly accelerating value as quickly as possible so as to convert that aggregated value into wealth. Bingo!"
online  gaming  games  design  business  finance  gambling  addiction  business-model  capitalism 
march 2014 by tsuomela
[1402.5034] Using the Crowd to Generate Content for Scenario-Based Serious-Games
"In the last decade, scenario-based serious-games have become a main tool for learning new skills and capabilities. An important factor in the development of such systems is the overhead in time, cost and human resources to manually create the content for these scenarios. We focus on how to create content for scenarios in medical, military, commerce and gaming applications where maintaining the integrity and coherence of the content is integral for the system's success. To do so, we present an automatic method for generating content about everyday activities through combining computer science techniques with the crowd. We use the crowd in three basic ways: to capture a database of scenarios of everyday activities, to generate a database of likely replacements for specific events within that scenario, and to evaluate the resulting scenarios. We found that the generated scenarios were rated as reliable and consistent by the crowd when compared to the scenarios that were originally captured. We also compared the generated scenarios to those created by traditional planning techniques. We found that both methods were equally effective in generated reliable and consistent scenarios, yet the main advantages of our approach is that the content we generate is more varied and much easier to create. We have begun integrating this approach within a scenario-based training application for novice investigators within the law enforcement departments to improve their questioning skills."
games  serious-games  crowdsourcing  mechanical-turk  scenario  training  learning 
february 2014 by tsuomela
Keeping Score: How To Understand Baseball : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR
"Keeping score, in baseball, or in life, is a knowledge-making activity. It is, we might say, a form of research. We can get by just fine reading-along on ESPN gamecast, or taking the evening newscast at face value. For most of us, most of the time, that's the best we can manage. But there is another option: we can keep score, that is, we can write the events that matter to us; we can make knowledge and history. How you keep score — using an app, or writing it out by hand — strikes me as entirely irrelevant. But that we keep score, or that, at the very least, we recognize that the score needs keeping — that we can't, however much we might like, abdicate our authority to make sense of what is going on — is crucial."
philosophy  games  play  knowledge  making  baseball  sports 
august 2013 by tsuomela
People Are Sickening: The Bug’s Eye View of Pandemic Games | PopMatters
"In pushing the logic of so many video games—with their insistent focus on death and domination—to its absurdist conclusion, then, the pandemic sim creates a marvelous kind of satire with ecological undertones. It makes us think twice about the kinds of games we play, and about the surprisingly asocial nature of the intelligence required to win even—or especially—the most innocuous of them. It turns the perspectiveless nature of modern gameplay in newly productive directions, asking us to experience the world as the so-called villains do. But in the end it’s still a primitive kind of game, one in which someone needs to win and someone needs to lose. By maintaining this simplistic division of the world into heroes and villains, the pandemic simulator remains tied to the misrepresentations of life that drive so much of gaming, and so much of the worldview that games represent and promote. It cannot think beyond winning as domination, and that domination—in a networked, ecological world—still looks like a lot like loss. Then again, if the developers of Plague, Inc. cannot come up with a convincing way of winning with the worldview we have created, perhaps that, too, is only appropriate."
games  simulation  criticism  pandemic  ecology 
march 2013 by tsuomela
My Life as a Night Elf Priest | Savage Minds
"Well, it’s not too complicated: My Life As A Night Elf Priest by Bonnie Nardi is the best ethnography of World of Warcraft out there. And that’s not likely to change soon." Annotated link http://www.diigo.com/bookmark/http://savageminds.org/2012/07/19/my-life-as-a-night-elf-priest/
book  review  ethnography  anthropology  virtual  world  games  online  information-science  from delicious
july 2012 by tsuomela
The Future of Gamification | Pew Research Center's Internet
"Tech stakeholders and analysts generally believe the use of game mechanics, feedback loops, and rewards will become more embedded in daily life by 2020, but they are split about how widely the trend will extend. Some say the move to implement more game elements in networked communications will be mostly positive, aiding education, health, business, and training. Some warn it can take the form of invisible, insidious behavioral manipulation."
internet  games  gamification  survey  research  gaming  from delicious
may 2012 by tsuomela
Contrary Brin: People Who Don't "Get" Transparency or Positive Sum Games
"The Enlightenment's core discovery was the positive-sum game... ways that democracy, markets and science can "float all boats," so that even those who aren't top-winners can still see things get better, overall, year after year -- leading to the diamond-shaped social structure we discussed in an earlier post (last week), with a vibrant and creative middle class outnumbering the poor."
technology  computer  security  programming  intellectual-property  law  enlightenment  positive  games  from delicious
october 2011 by tsuomela
Ian Bogost - Gamification is Bullshit
Gamification is bullshit.

I'm not being flip or glib or provocative. I'm speaking philosophically.

More specifically, gamification is marketing bullshit, invented by consultants as a means to capture the wild, coveted beast that is videogames and to domesticate it for use in the grey, hopeless wasteland of big business, where bullshit already reigns anyway.
gamification  games  marketing  business 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Gamification: Ditching reality for a game isn't as fun as it sounds. - By Heather Chaplin - Slate Magazine
"In a gamified world, corporations don't have to reward us for our business by offering better service or lower prices. Rather, they can just set up a game structure that makes us feel as if we're being rewarded. McGonigal goes even further. She talks about an "engagement economy … that works by motivating and rewarding participants with intrinsic rewards, and not more lucrative compensation." This economy doesn't rely on cash—rather, it pays participants with points, peer recognition, and their names on leader boards. It's hard to tell if this is fairy-tale thinking or an evil plot."
games  gaming  serious-games  social  behavior  marketing  advertising 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Peter Suber, Nomic
"Nomic is a game I invented in 1982. It's a game in which changing the rules is a move. The Initial Set of rules does little more than regulate the rule-changing process. While most of its initial rules are procedural in this sense, it does have one substantive rule (on how to earn points toward winning)
games  philosophy  change  emergence 
march 2011 by tsuomela
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