epic life

The historical stories told within the animus of Assassin’s Creed are about the clash of cultures. The Assassins and the Templars are represented in the game’s version of history by those same Assassins and Templars (Assassin’s Creed), the forces of enlightenment and repression in Renaissance Italy (Assassin’s Creed II), NativeContinue Reading

In a comment on my last post Rebecca demonstrated that the thought-experiment of narrative knitting is not at all ridiculous–there are several knitting practices that create emergent stories as they provide meaningful variations on the known patterns. Rebecca cited the symbolism of many of the traditional patterns, and the wonderfulContinue Reading

I ended up like this, last time: “the ruleset of knitting is not humanistic because its narrative varies so little.” In this post, I want briefly to explore some of the implications of that statement. Or, really, I want to try it on for size. First of all, the converseContinue Reading

Our immersion in rulesets creates metaphors for our selves that have the power to transform us. I’ve been talking in my last few posts about how that works–about how we identify not only with characters like Odysseus (in the Odyssey) and Quico (in Papo & Yo) but also with otherContinue Reading

In the posts in this series so far I’ve demonstrated that games condition humanities. The rulesets of the past, beginning (from the perspective of the traditional canon of Western literature) with the homeric epics, enable the performances of the present; those performances iterate the rulesets, inviting future performances in theContinue Reading

I promised to deal with one last problem in my “Games are Humanism” line of argument (now that the non-essentiality of the academic ruleset and the incipient humanism of even the least self-aware performance have been established): if we grant that playing BioShock can be doing humanities, where does thatContinue Reading

What separates someone who’s just playing HALO or BioShock to fill a few hours of his or her time from someone who’s “doing humanities” by performing within a ruleset that goes back to homeric epic or Platonic philosophy? On one extremely important level, nothing. As I’ve demonstrated in previous postsContinue Reading