Re: [-empyre-] hi

Hello, I am one of the creators of Waco Res, and I have a history of work made around games and game culture -

Melinda, it's great to hear positive feedback on the actual experiece with some of these "reality" pieces. But I have to be honest, as someone who grew up spending a substantial amount of time buried in computer and role-playing game aesthetics and interactive structures, I rarely get excited by spending time "playing" any of these games. There seems to be misconception that shoving topical content into a poorly crafted game world with a lack interesting game flow is somehow useful. In the end we are left with a mix of poor art and poor engineering that reeks of so much 90's media art. I am guilty of this myself. At the same time, I was just on "political games" panel with Harvey Smith, one the creators of Deus Ex, and he is on the other end of the spectrum. He spoke passionately about embedding political metaphor into that popular mainstream game. In the end, even though those intentions are surrounded by virtuoso game design and solid graphics, it falls flat. Curious, does the craft of game play and design actually matter? Is it enough that these critical games just exist as alternatives?

Ana, I am familiar with you from your involvement with the Under Fire panel on representations of violence recently staged at the Witte de With in Rotterdam. By the way I was probably born when you were in prison, and I am literally the child of the bitter and drug addicted aftermath of the somewhat failed countercultural movement in the US during that period. It would be nice to bring some of the issues raised at the Witte into this discussion. Although I was skeptical at first, there seemed to be some actual work being done to understand in a comprehensive way the structure and processes that have created our current relationship with images of violent conflict in tele/film/games/news. Some of the conclusions might be useful here, It seems like most of the discussions around this specific topic end up as pointing to the surge in reality gaming, mixed with healthy fear of those games being produced by conservative agendas: Kuma War, AA, Op-F18, whatever. And going back to Melinda's point, I am curious what you, and especially Rafeal, see as the important results that come out of somewhat predicatable game scenarios made by a group "in opposition to the dominant political force". Again, not the most interesting questions, but as someone making these hopeless and pathetic gestures, I'm still curious if it is enough that these dissident forms of cultural production simply exist as an end in themselves? Are they actually effective/affective?


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