thread: 2013-10-28 : A Question about Objects

On 2013-10-30, Josh W wrote:


There's something interesting about assuming going in that something's not going to end up the same, that you will fail to avoid the obstacles to some extent, that there will be a tension pushing back and forwards and going half way.

It's like a tug of war game where everyone really likes that bit where they are straining on a rope and trying to keep grip and concentration. You don't want to "go easy" in order to prolong it, but you'd like it if it went on for just long enough.

The specific example reminds me of playing "chinese whispers" as a child. If you have good hearing, and you play in a quiet space, it's just too easy to hear what other people said. You can just communicate, and although you could intentionally misunderstand people, it spoils the point of the game. The problem is that there is no autobalancing of audability to get it to the appropriate surreal place.

So how about changing the rules a bit; it happens in a circle, and if ever anyone thinks they hear what someone whispered, they can say it, and if they are right, then play restarts from them, and there is a pseudo-win-condition of getting your phrase all the way around the group.

Anyway, it occurs to me that there is an extent to which games are like rollercoasters, we create a strange enviornment and series of constraints and challenges that pushes us into an alternative state of mind. A rollercoaster isn't hard, but you have to process it, and it's designed to be hard to process, to get your adrenaline going. In a different way, games also push us into an alternative state of mind, by exposing us to something else in force like the ambiguities of assonance, or the partial appearance of systems we need to deduce.

There are some games that force you, by locking into the basic dynamics of conversation and behaviour more heavily, or there are games that invite you in but otherwise stand politely to the side of the social space, (riddles are a classic example), but I think most games I find engaging make you a different person, by how they attach you to a different set of concerns.


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