Future Cinema

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

Links & 4 Questions about Isbister

Hi all! Some links following up on last week’s discussion of the algorithmically created artwork: a sort of generic article detailing how it sold WAY over initial prices of $7-10,000 – https://www.cnn.com/style/article/obvious-ai-art-christies-auction-smart-creativity/index.html ; as well, here is art critic Jerry Saltz’s response to the sale – http://www.vulture.com/2018/10/an-artificial-intelligence-artwork-just-sold-for-usd400-000.html#comments . I think his thoughts are interesting in the context of this course – he argues that digital files and algorithms are materials and/or tools (like a paintbrush or paint) which the artist uses. By extension, this painting is not art, or is a “bad” (maybe disingenuous) piece of art. Interesting!

As long as we’re talking money, one last link too: https://arvrjourney.com/report-vr-and-ar-device-market-to-hit-1-8-billion-in-2018-3c33b4e5dd5c

And now my four questions!

1. In what ways do you see elements of gaming fitting into the social networks we use on a day-to-day basis (3). I’m thinking in particular of reward structures, and Isbister’s later discussion of virtual “gifts” – is a like a gift? A reward? I’m interested too in discussing the extra-game content, like chatrooms, texting, Youtube playthroughs, that emerge on social media, and often enrich a game world (63) – how do you think designers can build in elements of gameplay that allow for that? What are the most important aspect of that dynamic?

2. Returning to our previous discussion of the phone ringing during the concert, and the expectations of an audience within a virtual world (i.e. how they should behave as a way of experiencing that world), what do you think is the more important document: the game itself, or the experience of playing the game? What differentiates those two things? Where does a designer’s “intentions” fall away in the experience of the game? In what ways might that be liberating?

3. Inline with my first question, what do you think is the role of meta-games, and trying to “break” games or test their limits are to the enjoyment of a game (39)? What does it mean to create a game within a designed game – playing “tag” in GTA for example, or joining a motorcycle gang? What might user-added modifications add to a game beyond the designer’s intentions? This might build on our discussion of glitches from last week. Consider too Machinima (like ones built in Second Life or Red VS Blue) – worlds created out of worlds…

4. Sherry Turkle’s very important works Life on the Screen (1995) and The Second Self (1984) are essential to understanding the earlier, and rich, gaming and online world histories that have formed contemporary experience (with The Second Self, not coincidently being released just a year before Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto”) – Turkle is referenced for the first time in Isbister text on page 54. While these two texts are marked by a positivity and sensitivity towards virtual worlds and their players that was, frankly, not common during those periods, why do you think her more recent takes on social media (https://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together?language=en) are more negative? What do you think are the key differences, potentially, between the gaming spaces she upholds, and the social media spaces she denigrates? I might link this to Isbister’s flagging of the contemporary notion of “ubiquitous connection (109).

Fri, October 26 2018 » Future Cinema, Web 2.0, art+science labs, articles of interest, augmented reality, community, emerging technologies, games, history, narrative, performance, remix/mashup, virtual reality

One Response

  1. Lia October 28 2018 @ 2:46 pm

    Sorry if I read your post wrong, but are you saying that the scholars’ optimism or hope for a beneficial utility or social impact from games increased over time? If so, is that in itself a remark on gaming technologies?