[-empyre-] PLAY Tlönic

Margarete Jahrmann margarete.jahrmann at zhdk.ch
Mon Mar 10 10:13:14 EST 2008

Dear Melinda,
Dear Empyre,

thank You very much for the invitation to join this already flourishing
discourse on games - and not to forget PLAY - which the latest list
submission did bring up - merci beaucoup, John!
Especially for the logics of arts, applied in the field of games, this
conceptual disjunction is a very crucial one.
I still love that graphics on borderline cases of games by Jesper Juul,
from "The Game, the Player, the World" in 2003. All seemed so clear and
easy, but what happened to Rock n' Roll? now its smeary and greasy....
the empire of alternate reality games strikes back. The multitude of
pervasive games answers.

Frasca further discussed the borders of games (sorry, Huizinga was not
published 58 ;)... but it is widely ignored, that Huizinga did introduce
the magic circle differently in the 30ties. Why we shall accept that the
political circumstances of the time when this reflection on play and
culture were without any affection on the theory developed? Is the
systematics expressing far more a cultural mirror of societies changing
towards totalitarian systems? Is the actual rush towards real gaming
mirroring a frustration in real life?

However, for the arts the transgression of both borders, those of the
actual methodologies circle of games and the mythic circle  of Huizinga,
is interesting. For me the alternate reality game is the interesting
question - what if the game dissolves the borders. What happens if the
situation of play is similar to the imaginary land introduces by Jorge
Luis Borges under the triple name "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius", when the
OBJECTS of fictional worlds break into the realm of a paradox "reality".
Our mind has the power to accept paradox - so the game in play can
function in "Frozen Indigo Angel", a "mixed media" game launched by the
BBC in 07.
my question is - what are these shape shifter objects nowadays?
what are their objectives, when they start to have their own life,
described merely in Tlönic?

addendum:. Beside the methodological approach towards the "Magic circle"
of play - Huizinga mentioned this images of games in a different way
than it is often used in contemporary game studies. He was not so much
interested in the distinction to Reality, but in the activity, often the
mythic activity, which this circle allows.
Sure, if one critiques actual game studies in this concern, a
juxtaposition must be suggested. And  yes, as we malpractice theory as
artists, I would love to stress Homo Ludens Ludens. Daphne did mention
this title as part of her concept of showing game arts, which is capable
to speak about itself - out of a practice. The second Ludens is a very
clever manoeuvre: it is the second order of game, like the observer of
the observer, it is now the gamer on games. ... probably dissolved in play?

But, is all that relevant for the arts in games- or lets say
(analogous to the German media theory strain  which did find an
emergency exit to its "crisis" in the suffix "durch" - through: Kunst
durch Medien, H.U., Reck).

please forgive my germlish,
but let's keep the palaver fire lit
- and play

melinda R schrieb:
> Games: Insufferable Philosophy
> -------------------------------------------------
> "Video games are the first stage in a plan for machines to help the
> human race, the only plan that offers a future for intelligence. For
> the moment, the insufferable philosophy of our time is contained in
> the Pac-Man. I didn't know, when I was sacrificing all my coins to
> him, that he was going to conquer the world. Perhaps because he is the
> most graphic metaphor of Man's Fate. He puts into true perspective the
> balance of power between the individual and the environment, and he
> tells us soberly that though there may be honor in carrying out the
> greatest number of victorious attacks, it always comes a cropper."
>  - Chris Marker, 'Sunless'
> Truncated, repetitive, coin-operated nihilism. To a point. The
> 'insufferable philosophy of our time' is not a single object or
> symbol, but the array of signs and symbols placed at odds with each
> other,made to wage a type of war we aren't told how to engage with. We

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