[-empyre-] PLAY Tlönic

Margarete Jahrmann margarete.jahrmann at zhdk.ch
Tue Mar 18 04:44:17 EST 2008

Dear Sean,

just briefly let me say thank you to this interpretation of Orbis
Tertius, because the term Third World was here originally applied
without any of the actual connotations. But in contrast to that,
actually, as Chinese gold farmers play and real geographies intervene
into the game circle - I just can support Your apell for awareness of
about what we are doing with a quest for game authors made prominent!

An excessive exceed of introduced theories and conceptions of game and
play, by contemporary interpretation, is demonstrated by your statement.
I agree, that the role of the "game mod" author re- introduces a
westernised concept of arts and originality, albeit it is absurd, if we
consider how many authors the game engine has. The content mod as slight
shifter at the end.. also must credit - ambivalently - the game industries.

In fact this stands arbitrary to the idea of "con-dividualities", as i
call it, who serve as political figures like general Ludd, Luther
Blisseth or El Sub. To generate artefacts as game figures and proxy
person, even if this person is just symbolically taken, entails an art
play on the role of the game art author!
(In DADA the role of alter egos, like Duchamps Rose Sélavy was made
public.. I would even go further back and focus on Rokoko and Baroque!
Austrian cultural theorist Ernst Strouhal did write an article on that.
If anybody of you has other - may be English speaking references on
mascaraed and political dimensions of play, please post it!)


Sean Cubitt schrieb:
> Another Tlönic thought
> Orbis tertius translates as Third World - and I often think of Borges' story
> in this light (a long forgotten essay in third text) - which also raises the
> question of a media art geography
> Eastern Europe as raised by great posts. But also Tom Apperley's
> ethnographic research on Venezuelan internet café gamers here at UniMelb and
> no doubt others Game culture, I suppose: lest we fetishise the production
> industry or the author (including the mod author) so much we re-westernise,
> a constant temptation in media histories generally.  That said, the wafaa
> Bilal tale should also point to the absurdities of a geopolitics that now
> has a third world in the midst of every first
> S
> On 13/3/08 4:21 PM, "Christian McCrea" <saccharinmetric at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I just want to play with some ideas from this post by Margarete
>> Jahrmann before other threads become too long to weave back.. some fun
>> to be had here:
>>>  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?
>> This is really telling; from my understanding of Huizinga, there was
>> an almost urgent pressing towards play not as a model for something
>> else but the something else itself.
>>>  For me the alternate reality game is the interesting
>>>  question - what if the game dissolves the borders.
>> Well I think thats why (if you'll excuse me saying so) that the work
>> of the Ludic
>> Society in its different forms has been so light-bringing (or
>> foghorn-sounding) and challenging to the orthodoxy of games
>> thinking/knowledge/theory/etc, which I would propose has been
>> occuring; play first, play first, play first - its not a trick that is
>> easily turned into a method, or a new rule, which is what people are
>> used to in a way.
>>> 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".
>> Well several of the usual art suspects come to mind, but in reading
>> Borges there is always that respect for craft so I am keen to bring up
>> one of the persona geek gratis of games culture - the productive
>> crafts. I'm referring to the vast network of productive game geek
>> stores and shop-sellers; earrings, belts, handbags, clothes, hats,
>> t-shirts, teapots - game themed handcrafts cannot be seen as a
>> byproduct, or the realm of the capitalist, or literally unthinkable. I
>> have had to argue for their 'researchability' before which is
>> ludicrious. Of course they are the byproducts of a tension; the
>> machines are digital but our relationships seems unfinished. Pac-man
>> is free from his maze, come to be printed on my t-shirt. It can't be
>> corporate-made (like the grotesque Street Fighter 2 shirts being sold
>> at Levi's stores ATM - mixing up the artwork from SF2 Turbo and Super
>> SF2 Turbo - unforgivable!) It has to be hand-made, within the
>> community, even if it not communal or subcultural.
>> The culture of ingenuity, of the productive injoke, visible in places
>> like the Boing-Boing associated Make magazine, in the dozens and
>> dozens of podcasts, illustrative art websites, all percolates really
>> into the game art scene in a very very visible way. So yes lets take
>> account of the history of media art first, but while we have out the
>> microscope, lets look at the history of fun with skills! There is
>> something intrinsically nostalgic or historical about how games uses
>> the weave of the loom (looms and screens being long linked, of
>> course).
>> Sometimes this feels like a big secret to discuss... but Micheal
>> Dieter's link to the hidden world of game characters stirred this
>> thought.
>>>  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.
>> Game studies has been brutally careless about its approach to many
>> things (and I indict myself in sometimes following rote formula to
>> appease a sense of struggle that the field wants to thrive on) but
>> above all, the magic circle might be the most strangely overwritten
>> but undertheorised concept. (a conference next month in Finland on the
>> topic could make some interesting papers -
>> http://breakingmagiccircle.wordpress.com/)
>> Thanks for provoking some long-lost thoughts,
>> -Christian McCrea
>> _______________________________________________
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> Prof Sean Cubitt
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