Class 3 Notes

Class 3 or something.


The question of whether the bali article is talking about the difference between physical sports / gambling and digital video games, or the similarity.

Oren and Kunal pretty much brought up how it described a particular culturally symbolic meaning to the relationship between the avatar and the person. Oren linked it to an RPG. Frank deepened the in context sociological significance of this by emphasizing the unmappable, deep origins of the emotional power of their avatars. Of course this brings up the question of what our relationships to our avatars are, in our culture(s).

Bob -> the idea of being MMORPG. That it was PUBLIC work, that this was social gaming, that this was a relationship between

“Are there any games that allow gambling over stat fights? ”
Skill based games have wagering – starcraft, street fighter, etc.

Unknown Name ! -> The significance in game design of understanding the way our cultures relate to games.

Unknown Name -> The reality of this vs. the virtual reality of … say WOW. The graphic depiction of the violence and the destruction of the chickens emphasizes “how real” the cock fight is to the bal..i..nese..
Frank disagrees and thinks that there was maybe no difference between these realities.
Tries to move it to the realm of Street fighter players.
I see what he’s driving it. The arcades in my youth were pretty much as real as the balinese cock fights, from what we read.
“So what’s this difference?”
People murmur that the difference is the reality of death, but no one says it.
They do talk about death as scarcity , or as property being destroyed.
The scarcity argument is dead when you choose a stat based rpg pvp fight in hardcore mode.
So the real difference finally boiled down the visceral violence, and blood.
“losing cock often torn limb from limb , … to eat, in social embarrassment mixed with cannibal joy…”
Frank is arguing that this difference in reality is an aesthetic difference, in the spectrum of responses that all games evoke.
So the idea is that the disturbing reality of this is just part of the game design. (of course, a necessary design, when there is no digital alternative)
Frank -> Wanting to get past games as appliances for fun, generalizes this and reminds us that games produce different flavors in their aeshetic world: social embarrassment, cannibal joy, …

Difficulty in games versus Difficulty in books.
But this is sort of just a coincidental homonym.
But then Bob makes the point that just as difficulty in books scopes an audience, the difficult in gameplay itself, nevermind unpacking symbolism or metaphors or meaning or whatever, scopes an audience too.
People make some cracks about the extremities of the difficulty in some games, like games that require cheating , or speedruns, etc.

Thomas is strangely talking about eggs. Unfortunately I missed the beginning of his sentence and can’t transcribe anything.

Balinese cockfight:”The social construction of identities in public.” and some stuff about the masculine symbolism of this identity.
How much of this is in computer and video games?
Are there any keys to understanding the reception of games in demographics here?
One idea is that masculinity is inherent in all competition and competitive games.
The antithesis someone brings up is in the fact that the woman, children, etc, played in the periphery of the betting rings in the cock fights , almost as if they were on the fringe of the society itself, and that’s why they were not included in the symbolism.

Computer Video games demographics: “more than half women.”
the public discourse is usually talking about big budget console games – mostly male.

Someone said something like male competition is about alpha male expression, and women competition is about play, and thus casual games more fits the second pattern, and might explain these tendencies.

Someone else says if games are about ordering things, people that like ordering things will like them, about violence, people that like violence will like them, regardless of gender.

I missed the big thing frank said. Here’s his e.g. This is a point he’s contrivedly suggesting so that we can attack. “”…Look at starcraft, 10 years old, played seriously today, in communities, like chess and table tennis and golf, games you can hang a life on. Deep enough to support a tournament community structure and last for years and years. A context for social interaction in communities for years. Other games are consumed and then gone. Perhaps these games are deep in expressing rage, and social status, and stuff, and that’s why this happens. And games that are about ordering things do not allow for social interaction””…

-you can’t forget solitaire.
-are you sure? Can you put solitaire next to balinese cock fighting and if you do, won’t you just have to say?
-No, its subjective.
-unfair comparison, tradition enhances balinese cock fighting!
– But tradition happened because the game is better and worth tradition.
-There is solitaire gambling!
– private games as SIMULATING social, competitive interaction.
solitaire/ snood/mgs3 (we got past gender with MGS3!) vs. Time, or Big Boss, or…
-It’s not a simulation of others. The algorithms don’t respond to your social interactions with them.
-SOTC : why am i fighting? Theme, etc.
vs. doom, where your competitive status is the most that can be at stake. in sotc , the game itself is at stake, the existence of it.

I think we lost the original point.

But Frank sees the roots of all computer and video games in gaming as a whole. “stylized social interaction.” -> kid sitting at home playing with a machine. Frank suggests its a continuum, at least an incremental move, not a break. It’s not just an accident that we call them both games. So is a story a form of stylized social interaction? I mean , sure, in the auteur context. But even as we developed auteurism to not need an auteur as a person, and just a sort of mass of life or the world.

But now Frank is saying that there’s a stylized social interaction in the story itself, in for example, the boy vs. the monsters and girls. That is true.

Bob ->The prewritten conversations in game as conversations in general, a social space.

Unknown-> the balinese cockfight speaks to a society, and SOTC speaks to a person’s personal choices.
Thomas-> It’s a distributed system rather than a centralized one, but otherwise they’re the same.
As in , the players playing the game play and then talk to each other.
I agree, the games speak to individual choices in both cases, and the individual choices are made in a social context.
But it is true that everyone has the same experience in an individual playing game. It no longer becomes if you win, but how you win. Now we’re finally back at the above thread where its the win that’s at stake, or the entire game at stake. So we all agreed that individual video games have become a sort of step forward, in that they can step outside of the match when the winning is for granted. I guess when you get past competition.


Speed runs have always been about the idea of the perfect hero.
Really? To me speedruns are about dismantling the fiction of the game. I’m going to turn this interactive story into purely a game.
(Frank really talks about stories vs. games.)
“My friend plays MGS3 speed run because he really wants to be the best in game character that he can be”


How do we recreate this sort of emotional intensity in our current culture?
Boxing is less interesting and important and beautiful as a game than basketball or –
What about martial arts competitions?
Ultimate Fighting Championship?


Frank ->Apparently, the desire to kill is not beautiful, but if you take it and beautify it , the alchemic abstraction — inverts it? refines it? makes it “form perfected”. He thinks we don’t get the beauty and the rage, we just get on or the other, usually.

“As stories they tell themselves about themselves.” I would like to believe that grand theft auto is not just a fantasy of young males, but a look AT the fantasy . Geez that’s the only way I ever thought of it. What else is a virtual world, or a painting…, or any representation?”

The majority of game players are women, but the majority of games that the majority of people are playing aren’t the ones we’re talking about.

Thomas got it -> It’s a replication of the dominant structures. The symbols in the balinese game and our games are made by and made to be consumed by our dominant voices . At least that’s one stance.

“Deep play”

Real time game tuning!
He says ” if it sknown before hand .. something.. advantage… then the game breaks, because i’m no longer making choices, as a player.” (but then again, isn’t this a lot like our single player games….) it doesn’t necessarily break of course, it just necessarily becomes about the how.

“The information content of a statement has to do with the uncertainty it removes.”
The closer the birds are…. The more uncertainty.. the more the statement says when one bird wins.
LIke escaping at the last minute in stories. Aw man, that doesn’t sound like deep play. what happens then in the balinese cockfight that makes this same kinda balance deep play?

The strange monetary redistribution?
Thomas and Unknown say no – the money situation doesn’t change because it changes all the time. Oren tried to say this before.
Bob says no – the game is in the wager?

Frank -> as opposed the daily grind of asserting status and domination, this game is in a way less about asserting status and domination, and more about the ritual of it. so back to Frank’s hope for GTA, so its a game reflecting its social structures but more celebratable and beautiful in a game form where subtly, less is at stake.
So like maybe if gangsters played GTA….
But Bob brought us around to the point that no, its a satire on the fantasy of being a gangster, not a satire on gangster life.
In which case it’s EXACTLY successful… the success of your ability to achieve your out of context gangster ego is actually less at stake in the video game than in real life.

SOTC…comment.. i missed it… unlike any other medium, your identity is play in game worlds. Performing actions makes an identity I suppose. So this is like the reading.


Thomas – he’s really mad. Me too! I threw this article away because it made me feel like I was reading things that were only going to damage my neuron relationships.
He thought it was projecting values on the people. The correlation in the balinese was made from people telling stories of the cock fight, and explicitly so. What’s different in this article? I think the problem is obvious, and frank’s iterating it – this article wasn’t academic. It wasn’t abstract. It wasn’t talking about journalism you can point at and analyze, so it was a problem of sources to cite.

“Both america and japan are really accepting of foreign ideas.”

Kunal! says there shouldn’t be any slack cut for this guy.

The ideas are that he is making some observations, but then projecting his own undeveloped explanations for them as even possible truths were problematic.

The interesting thing is that it does talk about local games. but I think frank want’s to ask what’s at stake in your culture.

I think we are all mad (and I think dangerous) because his argument was unresearched and weak, really. that’s all.

I’m going to filter notes now!!

Camera control and save points are an aesthetic point that could be relative to their cultures. That might be the point he successfully made that we can dig out.

(in the break : oren said the balinese article is known to be perhaps the best article written on how games influence cultures and cultures infuence games, to make the comparison between articles fair.)


->BOB:: i want my name on the cover and it makes me money.
-> I want it to be followed in the press and news
-> if you start playing when you’re 15, and you’re still playing when you’re 19, it grows and is a completely different game. because of social connections maintained (of course, this is exactly what mmorpg’s do.) unique not only social but GAME worths to the characters, so what, an obligation to give back to the system as the character who can.
->city of god is mentioned, am i supposed to filter response that didn’t answer? no. so he says stuff like, a game of survival in a hard world (SMASH TV!) . play pattern of a successful mmorpg. (after your loved ones go to sleep, for several hours after sleeping? get together once a week like poker?
->open application like an im client and or email client. (hmmmm communication tools eh!)
->i’m not making an mmo. slowly absorbing, for casual gamers too, catchy and intriguing at least at first, but rewarding to deeper players.. not gonna wanna put it down. later on it’s recommended to other people.
->game which will change given the daily life cycle of users. people usually play games during their free time I want to amke games that people play during their sleep or unconscious states. One way to do this is when everything you do is generating data. It’s totally my deal… Inspired by “O”-Game. He wakes up at 7 am t play a game and then sleeps again. Like a collaborative dream! The game changes the person’s life cycle ( AS DO MMORPGS…) it’s played by a patch before you sleep, and results are checked up on the internet, for example. do you feel like an experiment, or do you feel like I want to play this game! It seems like his idea is like being part of an experiment in unconsciousness. Lending your unconscious processing power like SETI@ HOME!!
->talked about mogi basically : light social games written on top of your existent interactions with the world, playing your as a game. like all the comics about making rules for himself for conversations.
-> plays with reality. one way mirrors. free-way association—recursion— my audience? i know i want them to be mind opening experiences. like psychadelics, or mystical. shadow of the collossus.
-> i want the game to be known as the game itself and the particular story that developed during its lifespan (which are built by the actions of the player, or something like that.) so basically like deus ex gameplay stories, or D&D stories. but not yet in a way that people or a culture refers to it as a story in itself. Frank says its a bit ambitious because these are real actions developing it, so can turn into the quality of non-fictional histories rather than stories. OF COURSE THAT”S OK.
->covert, pretty underground. made by people who make games and other “professionals”, or political radicals. it would give people information that they need, but in GAME. “is it propaganda?” that’s an awesome way to do it. “it’s interesting to be covert and underground. everything you do is designed to promote itself. it must be shiny and reproduce “(yeah right…)”its’ meant to reach some people and not other people” (a lot of things are.., but on different scale i guess.) “a video game version of mimiographed literature that you would get that was passed from hand to hand during the 60’s … about building bombs, dropping off the grid, etc… It wasn’t really a how-to book, but more literature, more about the fantasy of doing those things. ” a video game version of that?
-> a game with repetitive play but does not feel like work or routine. addiction without banality.
-> multiplayer online game not for the “gamer” market but especially for female users. uh, or that is played by everyone. Wii ! for mmo’s
what game is thomas now talking about ? or is it in general? the older the age slot , the more female the game players.
->”blue sky”? make a game that makes them change their mind about why they bought the game. like an rts in which you decide you don’t want to fight the other guy anymore.
Frank decided he wanted to try to communicate ” don’t shoot me” in the half life deathmatch game. NO ONO!! I”m playing a game in our game!! I”m playing my own game i wrote on top of half life deathmatch!! Hahaha .
MGS2 -> moment at the end , everything you were doing makes you not want to fight the final boss.

Frank -> think about where people got games, the box, the things they said about it, when they were done with it, etc.
He also says you better suggest readings or I’ll push these guys on it.

“Tim Rogers” is a recommended journalist by .. Sam ? No. I don’t know his name.