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The Gate

Started by droqen, April 19, 2022, 08:45:02 PM

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The Lusory attitude involves "the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles".

An attitude towards game design can take an immaculate stance, which overlaps with certain philosophical stances -- that a game and its players should not overstep certain bounds (see, for example, the negativity inherent to the terms pay to win and unbalanced), and that a person should aim to have no [negative] impact on the world around them.

I'm not there yet, but playing around with real-world art forms -- fashion in this case? cooking? etc -- has been slowly opening the gate. Is it still a game if we play with things that are important? Is it still play? I think the most important lusory attitude is to play with whatever material comprises our lives, and I think the life well-lived is comprised of only things that matter, that are real.


Videogames do not have to be sterile sanctuaries, but I have practiced the lusory attitude as if their magic circle is a pristine space unsullied by reality. As I think about and study the art form further, and experience other elements of life at the same time, I think that this attitude has at its core a fundamental conflict: life always goes on.

For a time, I dreamt of MMORPGs which afforded all players equal access, as opposed to demanding devotion (whether expressed financially or in time played). I explored games without win-states (Playables) in order to escape this idea that a game might gate access depending on its players' devotion.

But all games are pay to win; the only difference is what currency they value.


All art is pay to win.
The only difference is the exchange rate.


A pay-to-win game rewards money spent.
A good book rewards time spent, as well as reading comprehension.
A masocore videogame rewards time spent struggling through failure, rewards learning strange new skills.
A sewing machine enables people to sew things faster and with greater precision than they could have previously; this is a reward given for time spent learning proficiency with this machine.
A deep fighting game.
A co-operative board game.
A language.
A relationship.