Re: [-empyre-] Politics, Reality,Violance and a video game
I deeply agree with you. In fact whem I asked about a possibilty of
immersion in a work as a video game, I was thinking that if one does not
feel the problem in her / his own skin the problem is transformed in a kind
of toy, a not real thing, a virtual stuff. So that humanity is completed
anesthetized, the wars, the tragedy become videogame which we watch as we
watch a soap opera on TV or play a game. I am speaking about the
Showbusiness Society , about this, there is an Installation by Antoni
Muntadas (Spain), 1999, which shows strongly the problem:
A deconstruction of the showbusiness society and of the so-called "state
terrorism". It is an installation comprised by three DVD screens: the
central screen displays TV images of (political or non-political)
atrocities. On the side screens, a crowd applauds each time a key image is
exhibited or removed from the main screen.
However it is only my feelings and I can be wrong. I have not studied this
subject. Perhaps one of you who studies games deeply can send me a good
----- Original Message -----
From: "R.Kasmiya" <email@example.com>
To: "'soft_skinned_space'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2004 2:07 PM
Subject: RE: [-empyre-] Politics, Reality,Violance and a video game
Well...it took me a lot of thinking to add my comments , I was carefully
monitoring all replies and trying to figure what I have put myself in, I
didn’t expect this amount of distinguished thoughts, theories and more.
For being the creator of UnderAsh sequels I was little confused about
how the discussion was moving to, why? I will try to explain:
- I am from Middle-East, were every children that plays video games
lives in a huge irony, from one side he senses the anger of adults about
being the victim of politics, mental and physical violence, the other
side, he sits alone to his pc and transforms into a special force US
soldier shooting digital models that shouts hysterically in Arabic,
Islamic phrases, some times similar to what he often repeat on his
prayers as a symbol of inner peace .
The problem here is not about violence , politics or reality, it is
about seeding potential extremists, whom will be watered every day by
what is happening on the bloody reality, it is about growing a
generations that look in a shy face to its heritage of civilization and
decide to bury it and adopt the other’s, clearly they will clash with
other generations that looks to west civilization as root of poverty,
hypocrite and arrogance.
In the other side, the American teenage that plays this type of games is
more likely to accept being a warrior for freedom all over the world
((as stated in press résumé on American Army website)), most educated
people laugh when they hear about using videogames as recruitment tool,
but well, PENTAGON believe it and we take this seriously since we all
saw how American soldiers treat POWs on Abu Gareeb prison.
When I worked on UnderAsh, I was not trying to counter AA or Delta
Force, I was trying to make something much mature, making another game
with different models and languages is not my target, all what I was
after is planting equality in the minds of Arabic children so they would
feel digital dignity…seems weird,
OK…to explain this I will tell you a some facts, we have sold 50.000
units (which is a hit in middle-east markets since 90% of games are
illegal copies) but more than 250.000 downloads of the game was a
strong emotional message to me, because I already know how hard it is to
download 50Megabytes of poorly crafted game from the internet via a
I think that digital dignity is what makes these fans support us and pay
8US$ to buy UnderAsh ,while they can just jump to the nearest shop and
grab a bundle of 10CDs full of the latest games with 2US$.
Please forgive my bad English.
[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Christian
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2004 10:14 PM
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Re: gaps and shifts
> aren't the gaps and intervals of net communication what makes it
> emotionally powerful.. the stripped down sensory input that allows
> to become stronger..?
> isn't the low res pixelated game environment more conducive to
> rather than the other way around..?
> when everything is spelled out what room does that leave..?
> isn't the gap our portal into difference?
I happen to think so. Games, especially games of abstracted
relationships - say, classically, roleplaying games - rely on not only
on what we've come to term the imagination, but the continuing
relationship of a discrete system of relationships between objects
(the _RPG system_ underlying the game) and the analogue systems of
relationships (manifold experiences of play).
So if what is at stake is "realism", the construction of the real is
far more keyed into the ability of the two system-realms (rules and
experiences) to co-opt each other and generate significant meanings of
play rather than pixel shaders and sound mixing.
The more direct a game experience, we imagine the more opportunity
there is to put yourself in that space. So FPS games are considered
the closest to our senses. Maybe that's true. But perhaps other types
of games are closer to being that "portal into difference" (great
phrase) - ones that insist we develop a deep relationship with a
multitude of systems of meaning - in which we learn as much about the
computer's systems as it does about ours.
To imagine movement across the geographical boundary of the real -
displacement into a game - I've always required a stronger sense of
being-in-the-world than a first-person perspective. I'm not
in-the-world. Squall in Final Fantasy 8 is in-the-world, so my
relationship to a fixed position over 80 hours that should be alien to
mine is far closer that a direct, more real-time, first-person
experience. I do not only mean experientially or imaginatively, but
Just a few rambles.
University of Melbourne
Game Studies Unit, Cinema Studies
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