Re: [-empyre-] hi

I am a gamer, most I am a gambler, but in Huizingas terms in Homo Ludens. I mean, I don't want to wait, I want to live fast and invest huge amounts of time, passion and energy in what I am doing. The games are for me a platform, well crafted enough to carry on same "narrative". The narrative I am interested on its about hegemony, subalternity and borders. We speak Gender (I do) but we should also speak class, struggles, confrontation, conficts. Games are poweful tools, I want use them for fun and for learning. To try to support another agenda than the most games show today. I am tired of shot ups, cover agents recovering hostages and being blasted by guys at towers, I am tired to decide if I want to be a Green Beret today or a Freedom fighter.
I think its the paradox, we are always reproducing the hegemonic models but not creating new models of behaviour and relations.

brody condon wrote:

I'm less interested in talking the big B's theories, and more how they have manifested themselves in concrete ways among my generation and those younger than me, especially in what is already a "culture based in cooperation, shareware and networking", the online game modification communities. One example, after the school shootings in Colorado, I was sitting with a friend, looking over the list of victims, laughing about who we would have shot or let go had we been in the killer's position. It's part of reason my friends can snicker and awe at the current output of beheading truama porn videos, or my students can make a game mod about people falling from the twin towers. I found it's exactly my internalized and irresponsible shift between signifying systems and reality, or seperation of media images from their original context and meaning, that scares me, but also drives interesting work in my opinion. I am not convinced yet the medium in its current state is built for a direct relationship with contrived critical or political content as with say, traditional documentary. I have to be honest, In terms of creating interesting cultural products, I feel like Kuma War is kicking all of our asses, and it's because one, they actually understand the craft of game development, (btw, Flash and Shockwave did not evolve along the same lines as the history of "gaming", net based interactive design has a very different geneology, community, and set of references) and they dont limit themselves at any point to being culturally or artistically responsible, or politically correct. Unfortunely at the same time, all of this mixed with political apathy and a lack of engagement with world history in the states is obviously one factor in what makes something like the situation in Iraq possible. But while watching the "Under Fire" panel I could not help thinking, as intelligent and well-intentioned as it may have been, that many of us are cultural war profiteers, no different than Kuma War, we just get paid more indirectly and push a polar-opposite agenda. What also triggered this idea was the fact that we (WacoRes) were just in the "Bang the Machine" game/art show in San Francisco, which also included a huge America's Army installation. No protest by the "critical" artists whatsoever. This is the unholy state of things.

Ana Valdés wrote:

Hi Brody, cool to "meet old faces" in different forums. I was invited to participate in Witte de Witt discussion "Under Fire" by Catherine David, one of the most intelligent and well informed curator in our days. I think Catherines work with "Arabic Representations in the Modern World" is an example of how to use critical thinking and a radical view to Art and to representation.
We live in a world dominated by "representation" in Baudrillard terms and my question and the aim of my activism today is not to create "reactions" to, or "actions against", but "creation" per se, it means, the possibility to create not a counter culture but a culture based in cooperation, shareware and networking.
I think Gonzalo Frascas games,, show pretty well how to deal with political and activist issues withing a game interface.

brody condon wrote:

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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