Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

Questions for Isbister’s ‘How Games Move Us’

Posted on | October 24, 2018 | No Comments

Hello Everyone,
Here are my questions for today’s upcoming class:
1. In the first chapter, Isbister states “Because players make their own choices and experience their consequences, game designers have unique powers to evoke emotions – such as guilt and pride – that typically cannot be accessed with other media” (69).  While pride is a perhaps a less contentious emotion to engage, one might argue that evoking guilt is perhaps more dangerous due to its negative qualities.  Should we be concerned about such interactions having an anesthetising effect through such experiences?

2.  In the first two chapters, Isbister discusses “meaningful choices,” but one is led to question what can concretely be defined as “meaningful choice”?  With the limited amount of choice and selection in even the most impressive of platforms, is truly meaningful choice actually possible?

3. Isbister concludes chapter three by stating:

“While these seem like new concerns, our society already confronts these questions every day, over more prosaic “technologies” such as makeup and clothing, as well as in the use of social media to manage social identity. Adding a layer of environmental responsiveness, and the dynamics of interpersonal interaction with and through augmentation technologies, will continue to challenge our ability to sort out all of these very human concerns” (86).

As someone who has engaged with makeup for work, performance, and various means of self-expression (often with social media), I found this connection rather interesting.  While I am sure some would consider this somewhat of a conceptual leap, others may perceive a natural evolution here.  Is this a relevant comparison to makeup, clothing, and social media?

4. In chapter four, Isbister states, ““Like the anthropologist returning home from a foreign culture, the voyager in virtuality can return to a real world better equipped to understand its artifices” (189).     While I find this statement encouraging, I am also inclined to have some reservations due to its generalization.  To return better equipped for the real world, are there certain concerns that must be engaged with throughout the transition from online to offline?

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