Re: [-empyre-] otherness

I has not played Escape from Woomera or Waco, but played Underash a while, trying to take an open approach and to see the game with critical but constructive eyes.
I was grimly dissapointed. The differences between to blow an Sherman tank or a Israeli tank is only superficial, the interface was almost the same interface I see in every warsimulationgame. My question is, is it enough to change the names or the attributs of the enemy to make a game "alternative"?
Are we not preserving the status quo modelling young minds (or not so young minds :) in the concept violence and killing and mayhem are the only solution to conflicts between political fractions or countries with different rules?

Melinda Rackham wrote:

dear empyreans..
great to have our new guests this month following the all too brief
flirtation with the  topic of game mods and interventions in last months

I'm not a dedicated gamer, so  my interactions with theses works :
underAsh, escape form Woomera,  and  Waco resurrection are from playing them
installed in gallery spaces and hearing them being talked about at
conferences, ( and ive only read about Crosser) rather than just me alone at
home ..and context greatly modifies the experience i think.

..  what was really evident last month in our conversations is how this
genre, of modification and intervention allows fascination and
identification with the other..  which i instantly gravitate to wards - i
don't  know if that's is a particularly Australian thing seeing we are a
nation consisting in great part of survivors of genocide, deported convicts,
pacific island slaves,  and in the 20th century refugees from mostly Europe
and Asia.  so  almost by default  i  support the unfairly treated and seem
to be in opposition to the dominant political force.. and celebrate bringing
an other awareness, but i know that many people on seeing these works have
the opposite reaction to that .. and in fact you all as developers have had
hostile press and even been threatened
but what i see happening in these works is that they bravely present other
realities in easily accessible ways.. which of course was the early  promise
of the net , and all that hyped  "flui
dentity" stuff was that  supposedly
gave you the experience of being in another persons life/body/emotions,
which i know i played around with textually a lot a decade ago.. and i guess
games are the updated version of that. Its not that this political aspect is
new either as it also exists in many other forms, the classic digital
example being  Tamiko Thiel's  VRML piece Beyond Manzanar, about  the
Manzanar Internment Camp in Eastern California  which interned both Japanese
Americans and  Iranian Americans about which we've talked about before on
this list ..

but there's something more in the gameplay that gets me.... some almost
chemical thing that occurs  to totally immerse me even more within
otherness.. i know the rhythm hooks into my body rhythm somehow eg >>  in
Waco Resurrection i have an almost spiritual experience each time i am
re-born..(as  David koresh.). umm maybe it is the music! thats a scary

but  i am trying to decipher what it is exactly that makes these games as
"difference engines" so effective/affective ?


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