nietzsche: he really is a lot of fun. hilarious. so forthright, so sure of himself. arguably dangerous too though; one can see how some nazi doctrine is just one logical step again along from some of his ideas. there is a lot of clear thinking though that one could take in any number of other, far more palatable directions; problems inherent in democracy, for instance, that he keenly saw.
Archive for November, 2007
i’m reading a lot of books about play and games at the moment. i’m interested in what alexander galloway has to say about what he calls ‘countergaming’ in his book ‘gaming - essays on algorhymthic culture‘. he has a look at many of the well-known examples of counter-gaming such as jodi, velvet strike and the work of cory arcangel and, whilst appreciative of their work, finds that their emphasis and the emphasis of the majority of those involved in countergaming is on hacking existing games software into aesthetic experiences as opposed to attempting to create games that redefine the unwritten rules of gaming itself.
he breaks down the principles of countergaming in its present incarnation to six basic criteria (conventional gaming expressed as the left-hand term, countergaming expressed as the right-hand one):
- transparency vs. foregrounding - hiding the game mechanics vs. showing them
- gameplay vs. aestheticism - narrative gameplay vs. visual experiments
- representational modeling vs. visual artifacts - removing visual glitches vs. showing them
- natural physics vs. invented physics - newtonian physics in cartesian space vs. pretty much anything else
- interactivity vs. noncorrespondence - logical user input vs. illogical and/or nonexistent user input
- gamic action vs. radical action - conventional gamic poetics vs. alternative gamic poetics
it is the sixth of these that he finds the most interesting and yet, broadly-speaking, lacking from countergaming at present. i guess that’s why it reads so abstractly in contrast to the preceding five. ‘alternative gaming poetics’ could almost mean anything.
that, for me, is what makes thinking about it so tantalising.