Archive for August, 2006

Towards Collective Culture
August 12, 2006

I’m posting something that’s not directly related to games, but in my beliefs needs to get spread all over the world so we can understand how our culture is changing and we’re becoming witnesses of a silent revolution.

This is a conference from Lawrence Lessig (Creative Commons evangelist) on how we’re rediscovering culture as a collective work where anyone can have its place to express himself. And in many ways, it’s a talk on how we must fight for our freedom. It’s 45 minutes long, but it’s worth every single minute. Oh, and has spanish subtitles for the hispanic readers of the blog.

Games are clearly the most genuine form of expression of the “remix culture”. The interactive nature of our medium opens its doors to mods, machinima and lots of genres that allow the player become a creator. Talks like these can offer light on the huge future that arises on the horizont for games and digital art.

The Beauty of Play
August 4, 2006

We have one game (Dance Dance Revolution) and two kinds of players. The one that believes in the beauty of play, and the other one who believes in the beauty of winning.


It’s fascinating to discover how a simple game can express the classical dicotomy between culture and business, between heart and mind. One seeks the pure joy and pleasure of play. The other one seeks the joy of achieving an unconquerable result.

But fuck results is what I say. Winning is quite a capitalist metaphor where you never care on the “how to” of things and in consequence you start being governed by results and turn to be a shallow void person. Pure play, instead, is something beautiful to see. In life everything is uncertain, you never know what comes next, but if at least you enjoy the beauty of just playing: then you own a rich soul.

About Cultural Monopolies…
August 1, 2006

Just like in the beginnings of any major art form related to the advances of technology, monopolistic companies are pulling the strings of the game industry. And these monopolies often go for the money rather than the artistic expression, you know, it’s a natural thing for big fishes.

 

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Lets go back in history when Guttenberg’s invention started changing mankind’s vision of the world. In those days, the owners of the big Theater companies of Europe put pressure on their drama writers so they would not give their manuscripts to printers. They wanted to keep their writings being made by hand so no other Theatre house could interpret those plays. Sounds familiar, right? MP3 anyone?

Same thing with movies. The studio system of the 1920’s enabled the 5 biggest hollywood companies to have control of the 76% of available movie theatres in all america. If you wanted to make an independent movie, you wouldn’t get any big exhibition possibilities. These went on going until in 1948, the Supreme Court decided that no studio should own a movie theatre because that went against freedom of speech, and against movies as a cultural expression.

Makes you wonder.. How only 3 companies in the whole world own the entire console market for videogames. Fortunately there seems to be an opening space for indie games within consoles… but still, as long as videogames are not seen as culture, we might need to start worrying on who’s deciding what goes and what doesn’t.