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Playthings (Miguel Sicart)

Started by droqen, October 13, 2021, 05:34:25 AM

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droqen

QuotePlaything is a way of describing what happens to things when we play with them.

Similar to Bogost's stance on playgrounds, which are the result of defining boundaries & playing them.

droqen

QuoteThe paper is dense and academic

RIP. I tried reading it but it really was dense and academic. (It's linked, but costs $$$. I forget how I got access.)

Anyway, let's see Sicart's casual summary. I think I'm mostly here because of the word Plaything.

QuoteFor example, when Dear Esther was released, there was a massive discussion online regarding whether it was a "game" or not. That discussion has nothing to do with the nature of "games", but with what we want to culturally, socially, and economically accept as a "game".

QuoteThe tl;dr of this tl;dr is: use playthings to name the things we play with, and know that using "games" or "toys" implies using cultural, economic, and social concepts, tied to a specific culture and moment in time.

This is interesting. Basically we have the proposal to abandon 'game' as a technical term because it is a social one -- co-opted by the masses, it can never be defined because it has too much cultural capital. This seems like a slippery slope, but I suppose all language is.

All words are cultural, social, but it depends who cares about them most. Is the goal to set up a walled garden and put Playthings in the middle, Only For Use By Designers? What if players start to seek out playthings and the term starts to become culturally relevant?