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Play with everything. Play with the ordinary, frightening materials of my life.

Started by droqen, October 13, 2021, 06:06:21 AM

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Strongly inspired by Ian Bogost's Play Anything

Sometimes it's quite intimidating to play with real materials, but I'd like to do it more rather than shy away due to fear and risk aversion. Here are some things I'd like to play with more, and not just in games, but other interactive and noninteractive media:

    (as opposed to playing with someone else's emotions; i'm not interested in that, but i am interested in inviting others to play with their own feelings in a way that mirrors my own play)

It's easy to look at wasteful expensive games, and wasteful long games, and come to the conclusion that the issue is that they dare to ask for large amounts of money, large amounts of time. But, the end result of that is fear which I suppose is the opposite of play.

QuoteWe still want to skip over the proverbial sidewalk.
We still want to fashion the playgrounds that would lead us to novel experience.
But we've convinced ourselves that we can't or shouldn't.

In Play Anything, Bogost discusses Irony as a concept tightly bound to Meta in a way that mirrors Lulie's discussion of Meta in HOW TO ARGUE (pdf handout, workshop video).

QuoteEventually, the ironic actor doesn't even know whether she is earnest or contemptuous. Irony becomes unstoppable, devouring everything it touches[..] Once ironized, things can safely disappear into the background[..] Irony has become ubiquitous party because it [..] spreads so rapidly, infecting everything.

QuoteHow meta drives arguments into black holes:
  • Meta is off-topic.
  • Meta breeds meta.
        • You can't contradict a meta statement without making another meta statement.
  • Meta engages emotions.
        • Popper wants our ideas to die in our place. Meta wants to substitute us for our ideas, and less us die instead of them.
        • Meta changes the focus from the substance of what's being argued to attributes of the speaker or the nature of the discussion.

When expressing a fear of a thing, outside of the bounds of play, the attitude spreads: it's hard to engage playfully with real fear of a real thing, because play is a tool for celebrating a lack of fear, not a tool for defeating it.

Play is a tool for celebrating a lack of fear.

Play is a tool for engaging with real things as they are.


Oikospiel Box Office plays with money.

Art plays with meaning and cultural capital, which is another real, ordinary, frightening material -- I say frightening because the impact of doing something wrong with these things has actual consequences. Money, time, and meaning have an actual place in people's lives.

They are no longer "just a game."


On Anger (Lulie), on the value of expressing anger -- again, I would characterize this as an activity of not fearing engaging with things as they really are, i.e. playing with a real thing. (I've added PLAY WITH OWN FEELINGS to the list of things to play with, rather than be afraid of.)

QuotePicture yourself having a go at someone- they begin meekly apologising to you- how does it make you feel?

Consider- if you 'stand your ground' then you've shown that she can *be* angry at you without you falling to pieces i.e. you're emotionally reliable

In a way, I would like to characterize expressing anger as play: You have feelings of anger, and expressing it is acknowledging those feelings as they are and reacting to them as feels more natural.

In response, does the person you're angry at join you in play, or do they go meta and ruin the playground?

- "Meekly apologising" is going meta, refusing to play.

- Being "emotionally reliable" means that when the person is angry at you at wishes to 'play with their own feelings' with you, you do not go meta, you do not become ironic: you play with them.


Sharing Playgrounds, Playthings

Quote from: Play Anything, Bogost, p.100 ... but it's just quoting Miguel Sicart, haha"When we play," the play scholar Miguel Sicart summarizes, we "appropriate the world, we make it ours, we express ourselves in it, we make it personal."

When a game is seen and designed as a playground, or a plaything, we can say that it invites play or enables play, but nothing can create play except the player.

The game presents materials, playground boundaries pre-inscribed, and says, "appropriate this space." The videogame often creates a large amount of the space, whereas the folk game is a tradition of simply pointing to materials that already exist, but in all cases the player is invited to perform the act themselves.

If someone is too afraid to play with the materials as invited, they cannot play. What else can be said or done about this? Perhaps that's not the responsibility of the game designer.