Archive for October, 2009


Monday, October 12th, 2009

Ludolicrous !

I have never bought the notion of a direct link between violent entertainment and violent behavior until recently.  At very young ages (under 10), children should definitely NOT be playing Grand Theft Auto or other games that reward criminal behavior. Double for teenagers. If there is no “reward” system it will be found or supplanted, like water finding its lowest level. Especially if the “risks” are ephemeral or nonexistent.

Violence is part of the human condition , in Nature it’s everything.  Cheetahs aren’t laughing when chasing prey, but may after they catch and eat them.

Violent video is virtual, existing while your eyes remain glued to the screen. Visceral violence, personal and societal, leave lasting scars. Ask any kid who grew up in an abusive household. Ask a battered wife if she’s ever heard of the Stockholm Syndrome, or even the Stendhal Syndrome.

It is the context of violence that matters. Diseases rarely kill healthy organisms.

Cat Box

Malliet’s article mentions the author Kücklich (2002): “observing a game necessarily entails influencing it” and argues that a game can only be properly analyzed by means of interacting with its user interface.” A twist on the old Schroedinger’s Cat theory, which could be a game with no rules – or infinite rules. It’s also about one’s position within a game. Are you the cat, or the observer? Life is a box – the game is to escape it.

Role Models

In the same article Malliet refers to a clearer theory about 4 types of game players: Socializers, Killers, Achievers, and Explorers. Ultimately they all overlap (doesn’t everything?). That puts me squarely in the Explorer category. Yet I doubt Stanley & Livingstone considered their explorations a game: all risk with only a promise of reward. Their journey was literal, visceral.

Ultimately it’s all about our fears and foibles. That’s what makes us human. Hopefully I’ve demonstrated a few of my own while veering you through this mental map. You see, I live here.

Having a Momentary lapse of Reason

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Just because  I like it.

I still have High Hopes.

And above all we should keep talking.

Was it suicide?

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

The history of the 52 card deck is an endless source of fun, information and (if you play your cards right) profit. There are more than enough theories and speculations to go around. Most of the mysteries and intrigues revolve around the “Royalty” or face cards. Who were they? Genuine individuals or symbolic (economic) class representations?

Being no middle class during the cards’ evolution, the Royalty cards have only three classes, King, Queen and Jack. The first two are obvious. Jack could represent dukes, fiefdoms, heirs, possibly even merchants. Below Jack are the peons and villagers (I’d hate to be a Jack lording a village of 2′s and 3′s -  and I assume it’s a safe bet that he’s not related to this Jack or this Jack… We could play six degrees of Jack until…)

Of enduring curiosity is the King of Hearts, or “Suicide King”, who appears to have an axe or sword thrust into his head by his own hand.  More likely the King of Hearts was originally depicted holding the weapon above his head. Over time it was incorrectly redrawn with the top of the weapon missing. There are some excellent examples here.

Soldier’s game, Prisoner’s dilemma

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Visual twist on a conundrum: a  game with living pieces.