So every so often I get into some and such thinker. Yesterday and this morning its been Miguel Sicart. Its been a blast listening to him talk about games as being boring. That’s how I’ve been feeling these days. He studies play. And play is, like, my middle name!
This is the video that sparked my gluttonous grok-fest
There is a lot of truth in his point about play and how necessary it is. Why do I blog? There is an element of play in it. I play with words, with pictures, with concepts and with a
potential audience. I like to do things in my everyday life, just to see what happens.What happens if I say this? Do this? Its a compulsion that is always at the forefront of my consciousness. What are my limits? What are the boundaries in this situation? Can I make a joke and it be accepted in this moment? Or will dick jokes be rejected as uncouth or improper in this moment? How do I get this person to play with me? How do I get this group to play with me? How to show a playful group the dangers of play, through play?
To play is to be alive, not to be rule-bound. I agree with Sicart, games can be anti-play. Sometimes I want to go left, but I can’t. Fuck that shit, right? And then, there are those people who meet with me and immediately they know ‘my type’ and if they have the social authority to do so, they try to dominate my every move with ever increasing specificity of rules. They gamify our relationship. Yes, we are playing the game of domination (and rebelliousness). Its a boring game though, a deep and dangerous game. Its an age-old game and for many people it is the only game.
Every social moment, why not see it as a kind of opportunity to play? Not a game necessarily, but try to engage people in the activity of play, of role play, word play, creativity in behavior. No we aren’t on tracks, we can do things that are out of the ordinary for us! While reading a blog, suddenly decide to send them some free money! “Oh it is exhausting!” those around might lament, but don’t force it, just put it out there, go fishing, seduce them into play.
Hey ladies, …this is a kangaroo
Whatever we do, let’s have an element of play it in, alright? Let’s have some fun reimagining reality together. Let’s get our brain goo, our thought-plasmas, all mixed up and fussy.
The game Ennuigi (click here to play the game), pictured way way above, is a painfully good example of the spirit of play in game design. The designer plays on the conventions and previous game knowledge you have acquired to create an experience that has you look at things in a new way. Its a game, its art, its interactive, its funny, its unconventional. Its its its!!!