A modest proposal for viewing literary texts as rulesets, and for making game studies beneficial to the publick (rules of the text 1)

Feb 09, 12 A modest proposal for viewing literary texts as rulesets, and for making game studies beneficial to the publick (rules of the text 1)

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In this post, I want to try to open a new direction in my own thinking about play and art. As you may have gathered from previous posts here at Play the Past, I see games and other works of art as part of a continuum of μίμησις–or, in my own terminology, of practomime: that is, literally, the doing of playing pretend. I...

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The mask of Apollo and the ruleset of civilization, or what game-based learning can get you

Dec 01, 11 The mask of Apollo and the ruleset of civilization, or what game-based learning can get you

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The operatives of Team Agathoboulos in Operation KTHMA (aka Greek Historical Writings) are tasked with playing an aspiring tragedian. Tragedy, that arguably greatest of dramatic genres, held incredible cultural importance in the Athens of Herodotus and Thucydides; the tragic drama of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides–along...

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Breaking the chains of Duck Hunt, with an ARG as boltcutter

Nov 10, 11 Breaking the chains of Duck Hunt, with an ARG as boltcutter

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The prisoners in Plato’s Cave don’t want to get up. The chains are superfluous, as they would be if applied to a player on an BioShock binge, or even on a Duck Hunt one. The interactivity of the contests I talked about in my last post is the real chain, and Plato has his Socrates speak both of chains and of the prisoners’...

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Your practomimetic school: Duck Hunt or BioShock?

Oct 21, 11 Your practomimetic school: <i>Duck Hunt</i> or <i>BioShock</i>?

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The cave-culture game that Plato outlines as the most immersive part of what the prisoners do as they sit watching the shadow-puppet play is in fact from one perspective the first recorded game of Duck Hunt. Socrates: I said, “ . . . if they [that is, the prisoners of the cave] were in the habit of conferring honours among...

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Plato’s new console

Jul 28, 11 Plato’s new console

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Even as Plato condemns the cave-culture game, he expects the philosophical reader to understand that they (Plato and the reader together) are at that moment engaged in a culture-game of their own—the game called Republic. In this post we’ll come to recognize that Republic features a next-gen graphics-engine and truly emergent...

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