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Integral Video Games

Last post 09-30-2006, 8:06 PM by Fangsz. 15 replies.
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  •  09-30-2006, 8:06 PM 9929 in reply to 8465

    Re: Integral Video Games

    randomturtle:
    Hey guys, I just rediscovered this thread and was happy to see all kinds of great thoughts since I'd posted earlier.  I don't really have much to add, except that I think you've all got some good ideas, and I think we are likely to see more integral games evolving in the near future. 

    I'd also suggest thinking about the idea of intent in designing a game.  Intent could be to convey a specific idea, or it could be to inspire the generation of new ideas, or it could be to teach a skill, or just lead people in a general direction in exploring the world (internal and/or external).  Traditional narratives usually do the first - convey a specific idea - while openended games can either teach a skill or encourage exploration, or maybe even inspire new ideas.  Structured games generally teach a skill, or maybe convey an idea.  Though any one technique could accomplish all intents, I imagine, if it was done well.  Multiple techniques, though, are more likely to be effective, I excpect.  And certainly appealing to people on a variety of sensory inputs is helpful for a more integral approach.  (I hate the tactile interface of most video games, for example.  While I love the visuals of Myst.)  Exercising body, mind, and spirit is probably a good thing to consider in designing a really excellent integral game!

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle


    Wow, excellent point.  I think the issue of intent pretty much hits the nail on the head.  What’s the intent behind creating an integral video game?  We could argue semantics all day, but intent is probably the main issue.  I would question, though, any simple categorization of the intent of art.  I’m of the opinion that the intent of truly great art cannot be explained in words.  Perhaps the intent of any artwork can be best described by Ken Wilber’s concept of Eros.  I can’t remember which one it was, but on an integral naked video Ken says that there’s certainly has to be a reason that existence went from dirt to Shakespeare, but beyond that we don’t really how to explain that phenomenon, which Ken calls Eros.  We know that there’s a reason it happened, but we can’t explain what that reason is, and I believe the same holds true for art.  I’ll use my current work as an example…

     

    About two years ago, I found myself intrigued by the subject of rebellion through history, and the ways in which attitudes have changed, or not changed, on the subject (keep in mind I was much more post-modern than integral at this point).  I started to imagine what the ultimate rebellion would look like, what kind of world it would take place in, and what kind of people would be involved.  I’m not sure exactly what happened at this point, but through this contemplation I somehow happened upon this world, somewhat like our own, but oddly distorted (or at least it appeared so through this world’s lens).  It was full of incredible people in all kinds of mortifying and liberating situations.  There was a rising underground rebellion and a mysterious, ancient conspiracy.  Above all, it was a world on the brink of something unparalleled.  And I knew when I perceived all this that I had an obligation to drop everything I was doing and tell this story.  I owed it to the people and the world I was constantly getting a deeper sense of.  What’s the intent behind this?  I can’t say exactly.  All I know is that there’s this incredible sense of purpose as I write this novel (I’m calling it The Rebellion), and I don’t feel like it all comes from me.

     

    Shortly after I began the novel, it started to dawn on me that, if these other worlds exist (and I can say with near certainty I’ve truly experienced them through my own work and through the work of others) then what we’re doing here in our day-to-day lives is an incredibly infinitesimal part of the picture.  All the rigid systems we have (not just mythic systems, but systems of a mundane conception of reality all down the line), prevent us from seeing greater truths that are right in front of us, and above all from living exciting lives.  We can live all the stories we love, and not just metaphorically, and it became evident to me that I had to somehow show that by tearing down certain conceptions of reality.  And that’s the concept behind the film I’m working on now, called The Resistance.  So is the intent to convey a specific idea, or inspire new ideas?  Maybe… but I don’t think that quite describes it.  From the perspective of rigid reality (and flatland reality is not the only type of rigid reality), that definition could be used to explain the intent, but to say it’s all about ideas misses the depth of reality that can arise from fiction.  Not everything can be accurately dismissed as something that arises from our current reality, even, I believe, if we look at the reality from the eyes of our original face.  And on that note, I started this thread…

     

    http://multiplex.integralinstitute.org/Public/cs/forums/thread/4149.aspx

     

    So I kind of went off on a tangent there… and I’m sorry if that’s a bit hard to follow, I’m not sure I adequately explained all that… it’ll make much more sense in the novel and in the movie.  There are some things can’t really be explained ideologically, which I guess is kind of my point… partially at least.  But that’s basically how I feel about the subject of intent… if it’s great art it can’t really be explained.  So if integral intent is what defines and integral video game, then I guess what the creation of an integral video game would entail would be tapping into other worlds (and Eros) through an integral framework. 

    Also, I realize some of my past posts on this thread have been a little negative, probably mostly because I was struggling to define what the word “video game” actually meant from my point of view.  And at this point in time, it clearly means very different things to different people, so clarification is vital in this type of conversation.  I’m going to be revising a few of the things I’ve said, as well as writing an example of what I think the beginning of an integral game might look like.

     

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