Re: [-empyre-] Politics, Reality,Violance and a video game

Hi Melinda,

Empyre is having digital dignity while showing the other face of the coin.
As you have said, "we are often subjected to living  in a global culture
that acts in ways we disagree". It is really important in spite of the
comments  that  I have sent to the list:: my difficulties of immersion and
the showbusiness societies.

Society and lists (for sure, they are a portion of society) are full of
disputes without any sense and it is always very important to look at the
two faces of the coin as you are doing this month. It is the fair way of
behaving, but it does not occurs very often. Look around you. That is it.

Best wishes,


>  digital dignity  is a great term.. is it the "will of the people" or the
> "third superpower" stretching and exerting itself .? Escape from Woomera
> gives dignity to the detainees struggle to get out of their unjust
> imprisonment in the desert,  Waco gives dignity to the Waco residents  who
> were murdered by the US government,  Crosser gives dignity to those who
> want to cross a  political boarder.  i know in the case of EFW the
> press coverage  the game caused debates which almost transcended the game
> itself, and achieved a political goal by bringing awareness amongst peopel
> who had never touched a computer, let alone palyed a game.
> The mere fact that that these works exist, get downloaded, played,
> discussed, and as you say Radwan in the case of underAsh are  purchased!
> (something pretty foreign to most art game mods) indicateds that
> is stirring.
> melinda
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "R.Kasmiya" <>
> To: "'soft_skinned_space'" <>
> Cc: <>
> Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2004 3:07 AM
> Subject: RE: [-empyre-] Politics, Reality,Violance and a video game
> 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
> 14.4Kbit modem.
> 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.
> Sincerely.
> Radwan Kasmiya
> C.E
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of Christian
> McCrea
> Sent: Monday, July 26, 2004 10:14 PM
> To: soft_skinned_space
> 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
> fantasy
> > to become stronger..?
> > isn't the low res pixelated game environment more conducive to
> immersion ,
> > 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
> sensorially.
> Just a few rambles.
> Christian McCrea
> ---------------------------
> University of Melbourne
> Game Studies Unit, Cinema Studies
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