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Integral Video Games: Reloaded

Last post 07-17-2008, 8:52 AM by Fangsz. 40 replies.
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  •  10-10-2007, 4:58 PM 29780 in reply to 29778

    Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    funkglorious:

    Fangsz:
    I think that one problem most video games have to day is that they don't often have much of a "direction" as far as where the art is going.  A medium can be massivly collaborative and at the same time have a very small group of leading storytellers who decide where a specific work is going.

    Yeah games aren't the only collaborative medium, but believe me you, they are a beast compared to film and TV, especially in medium to large companies.  But you're on the right direction, especially if you approach your education with an AQAL model.. I expect big things from you!  As for me, I'm ready to move on from that industry, was good, but such a rollercoaster ride!

    Ah, yes, well it certainly makes sense that video games would be far more collaborative than even the most complex television shows, because I think as new artistic mediums evolve, they become increasingly more collaborative, which is all the more reason why a good, integral sense of direction is needed.

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  •  10-10-2007, 5:22 PM 29781 in reply to 29772

    • atman101 is not online. Last active: 12-01-2008, 5:56 AM atman101
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    Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    >>Fangsz, Im a little embarrased at myself. Didnt follow the links you posted and thus totally missed how much "brain muscles" you and others actually already have put into this subject Embarrassed [:$] . It was my first post to the forum - and its only a couple of days ago that I found these fora in the first place. Therefore I was superthrilled Paradise [ip] when your thread showed up - and it got me to jump out of my "integral-closet" and jumping straight into the discussion. Too much eagerness, sorry. (Bare also with me that english is not my native language Stick out tongue [:P] danish is my native tongue)

    Well, I got what I somehow asked for - a "reality check" in a broader fora. And I dived into reading 100's of threads on the Multiplex fora. And boy was I happy. Happy to find so many likeminded - happy to find that Im not alone with my "integral-wacky thoughts". It also got me to loosen up a bit and not being afraid to share - cuz Ive found a lot of people in different areas doing much of the same work and research that Im doing - and I was frankly afraid that if I said too much someone would "steal" my ideas.ARghg...goddamn... that little self (yeah I know this would be more suitable in the 7th circle forum Devil [6]) - cuz my deepest intention is actually that these ideas should be "stolen".

    So let me get back to the topic and be a little more precise and narrow in the area im mostly into atm. Ive been working as a therapist, coach, NLP trainer, salestrainer, management consultant the last 12 years. Instrumental in this work has been a broad range of psychometrics and human typologies methods. 20 years ago I started TM meditation and later in my work as an "educator" I put a lot of energy into convincing people about all the great benefits they would get from learning to meditate. I wasn't very succesful in this endearvor and then I came across neuro-biofeedback and found that it was much easier to get the "ball rolling".

    Basically im working/researching in these areas (rather UR'ish):

    Synthesising diverse psychometrics – Spiral Dynamics being the most important model im using.

    This will be a major part for the development of the AI. Quests, tasks, puzzles (game events) will be customize for every player based upon where on the spiral they are and needs to go. As a therapist, coach, trainer and management consultant I have had a lot of succes in using especially the Spiral Dynamic model to calibrate and navigate the complexsity of the landscape individuals, group or even an organization where at and design solutions/interventions to get the ball rolling again.

    This is perhaps the relatively easiest part of the work im doing – from my point of view at least.

    Now to the hardest part and the part that needs the most research. Advanced neuro/bio-feedback systems. It may sound strange but im also running a gaming-/internetcafe with 60 pc gaming seats. Beside from being a gaming venue, a entertainment center with a cafe/bistro, ith also serves as a research laboratory (yeah naughty me, making customers lab-rats Geeked [8-|]). Right now we're just collecting a lot of raw data. Monitoring EEG patterns in relation to specific gameplay events. So far a lot of interesting stuff have already showed up - that I know a lot of game developers would die to get their hands on. So far we've been playing around with simple applications and to give an example, we're ”modding” some shooter games and letting the ”aiming cursor” only be ”fixed” if you're in alpha state – if not the ”aiming cursor” will be all over the place. Kinda cool to play around with. Already raises a lot of new questions. Most customers come in to get a ”dopamin/adreanalin fix” but leaves relaxed and refreshed – talking about ”peaceful warriors” Angel [A].

    Right now im about to invest in more sophisticated equipment and are about to join a research collaboration with The Technical University of Denmark.

    Ive followed The Journey to the Wild Divine project – and I think its great in that respect that its one of the first out there – plotting a path. Ive been playing around with it and Ive found that exactly because it uses GSR (Galvanic skin response ) as the bio-feedback device, its just not sophisticated enough. I can actually solve the ”puzzles” without even trying to relax but just hyper-ventilate and I get the same results – both the graphics and music are nice and are actually the driver that gets you relaxed (although I think you need the ”greenish neurology” to be active to get any beneficial effects).


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  •  10-23-2007, 3:56 PM 30543 in reply to 29781

    Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    Sorry I haven't responded in so long, there's been a lot going on.

    First, I'd like to say, that alpha state shooter you're modding sounds brilliant.  When you first posted, I had no idea you were working on something so cool already.  The possible applications for an idea like that are endless, and for me, I'll be thinking about ways to work that kind of player input into an overall integral artistic statement for a video game.  I'll post again when I have more on that.  But the "peaceful warrior" metaphor is very fitting, especially considering the last Integal Naked dialogue with Dan Millman (odd that you thought of that reference the week before that dialogue was posted).  Sounds like you're teaching your patrons at the cafe to rest in paradox.

    I'd like to return to the subject of the game FlOw, which I beleive is actually doing some similarly profound things.  When I first encountered it, it interested me vaguely, but I kind of tossed it aside, not thinking much of it.  Then later I returned to it, and for whatever reason, this time I was truly willing to "play the game," so to speak, and it had a tremendous impact on my state of mind as I was playing.  For anyone willing to "play the game" I think this game really is a great UL transmission of a hightened state experience.  It's interesting how similar it is to the Big Mind process in that respect.  Pretty much anyone willing to "play the game" during a Big Mind seminar or video is most likely going to get a taste of that non-dual experience.  And then there's another parallel to Big Mind and Non-dual states that caught me be suprise quite recently.  The game's creators called it "FlOw" because it operates on the basis of the "flow state" theory, specifically, I think, that the perfect "flow state" is acheived when whatever a person is doing just barely escapes their current abbility level.  In a recent Integral Naked dialogue with Alex Grey, the one for the week during which much of this discussion has taken place, as a matter of fact, Ken says that usually when people refer to "flow states" they are talking about getting a breif taste of non-duality, which can happen in virtually any of the broad state classifications (gross-waking, subtle-dreaming, causal-deep sleep).  This made a lot of sense to me, because I was seeing that the game FlOw was largely a subtle phenomenon on the surface, but somehow there was a bit more to it.  But wow, if this game can give us a consistent taste of non-duality with just a computer screen and a mouse, think what could be accomplished when neuro/bio-feedback enters into the picture.

    I think FlOw accomplishes what it does by fundementally changing the mode of interaction between the player and the work of art.  Instead of presenting a series of explicit rules, it allows the player to fully feel into the experience.  I'm not entirely sure what that means, or what I mean when I say that, but I'll try to elaborate on that later, as well as explain an idea for a game that I've been constructing.  But till then, namaste.

    And here's the link to that game again if anyone's interested:

    http://intihuatani.usc.edu/cloud/flowing/

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  •  10-24-2007, 7:19 AM 30585 in reply to 30543

    • atman101 is not online. Last active: 12-01-2008, 5:56 AM atman101
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    Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    I was also intrigued when I saw Dan featured on IntegralNaked.com - but then again - the days following my first post - syncronosity seemed all around me moment to moment and day to day. People Ive been planning to contact - suddenly contacted me. Interesting new contacts and meetings just happend...wow...and the on the 15th of oktober I even found this article:  http://www.newscientist.com/blog/invention/2007/10/microsoft-mind-reading.html which just reminds me of the urgentcy of applying integral knowledge within video gaming.


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  •  10-25-2007, 1:59 PM 30669 in reply to 30585

    Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    That's article is very interesting... though I think it's characteristic Microsoft in that it just has this rather cold, straight-to-business vibe to it.  The idea in itself is creative, but it's a creative solution to a mechanical problem (how do we make a more effecient machine?) and it fails to ask the key questions (what essential persuit(s) does our technology represent with respect to the human condition?).  They may have an effective business model, but I think if Microsoft is going to survive in post-informational society they're really going to need to change the way they do things, including video games.

    I was speaking of FlOw earlier and I just remembered there's a new game, sort of a spritual successor to FlOw coming out from the same development studio (ThatGameCompany).  It's called Flower.  The first trailer for the game is available here:

    http://www.gametrailers.com/player/25232.html

    So... any thoughts on these games?  If find them endlessly fascinating.

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  •  12-17-2007, 3:58 PM 34148 in reply to 29778

    Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    Okay, so I think that last comment about Microsoft may have come across as a bit too negative.  I really do think the Xbox 360 is a great platform.  It’s clearly got a lot of great games and a very interesting mechanism of interaction.  Sometimes I just think, and maybe this is my shadow talking, that there’s something not quite right about asking people who haven’t bought into the platform to join the bright new revolution of video games while essentially assuring the people who have, “Don’t worry, we’re not going to change anything?”  Am I wrong there, because it seems like that’s there message.  But like I said, I don’t have a 360, so I don’t think I’m able to fully judge that.  Any Xboxers want to give their interpretation?

     

    On a more uplifting note, I did want to talk in this thread about Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, for the PS3.  Simply put, this game completely blew me away, and I think the territory it touches represents a new frontier for the medium.  For me it seems that there are a few moments in the history of art where you witness a work, and slowly realize that what you’ve just experienced is something profoundly new, that’s never really been attempted before.  The Matrix is one of these moments, and at this point I believe Uncharted is another.  Fittingly, Naughty Dog, the developers of the game, tend to do trilogies, so there may be two more Uncharted installments just as there were two Matrix sequels.  I guess we’ll see.  Until then, I’d like to write a full review of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune to help support what I believe is so spectacular about the game so that we can bring more of it into the world.  That’s going to take a little while, so in the meantime I’d like to highlight a few specific points.

     

    On the States side of the street…

     

    It feels like this game immediately just drops you into a Big Mind experience.  It’s like a kick to the gut.  It completely knocked the wind out of me.  And the interesting thing is… while Flow seems to use an overarching design mechanism created for specifically targeting this kind of state, and then adds simple, elegant, artistic content around it, Uncharted uses pure artistic content to evoke the state.  The combination of jaw-dropping visuals (through wide expanses of jungle and deep recessive of man-made caverns), edge-of-your seat narrative (with all the best of classic pulp-adventure style, secrets drawn out just enough to continuously lead you on and encourage you to play the game of perpetual anticipation), and an interaction mechanism that seems to reward you for simply relaxing and going with what simply flows out of you, even in the middle of a gunfight.  I suppose in the third aspect, it actually is a lot like Flow.  Another thing to note is that the complexity of the animations in this game (really unparalleled) provoke a much higher degree of human connection with the characters.  The characters are played by experienced actors from stage and film, the short but effective cutscenes acted out through motion capture.  And the music is absolutely brilliant, composed by Greg Edmonson who also did the music for the television show Firefly.

     

    As far as Levels or structures go, I’m really still trying to get a full grasp on its content.  I’m not sure specifically why, but I really think there’s a justification here for calling this game a Teal-centered artifact.  The way they created the game’s story may provide insight into that, as they essentially analyzed a whole bunch of pulp-adventure novels and films to put all the best elements they saw together (integrate!) to create the ultimate adventure story.  The result, I believe, is a story that anyone can get into.  It’s something that captures pretty much everyone who encounters it, but it’s also something that each person will see with varying degrees of depth.  I think this is one of the many important functions of integral art, a broad appeal that encourages further exploration into the Question that is What is.

     

    Here’s more on the writing process of behind the Uncharted:

     

    http://www.us.playstation.com/News/Editorials/75

     

    And here’s a brief review from Tycho over at Penny Arcade

     

    “Assuming you haven't already defeated the game, Uncharted will very likely charm the shit out of you. The writing and characterization are as good as you're likely to see in or out of this medium. They execute the pulp hero, deliver on the perfect sidekick, and knock the salty mentor into Goddamn orbit. Flawless. I played the game in large part to see these incredibly drawn characters interact with one another. My concerns with the game may be entirely my own: I had invented a game that I thought Uncharted was going to be, and when it deviated from this imaginary template I was displeased. From demo content I had played, I'd established the Prince of Persia/Gears of War motif fairly early on, and that's not really fair. For one, there's considerably more combat than that equation would suggest - to the extent that we're even retaining the Prince/Gears form, Gears should probably be first. And the platforming isn't even remotely like the Prince, which relies on increasingly complex chains of manual precision. Uncharted very rarely asks anything like that from the player. Most platforming sequences don't really involve puzzles, and timed responses (outside of the occasional instant-death quicktime event) aren't really part of its grammar. They're almost like interactive cutscenes, in a way: beautiful in their presentation, they connect combat arenas and evoke its deep pulp adventure roots.”

     

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/2007/12/12

     

     

    One question I’d like to pose, as well… if Uncharted does indeed consistently evoke a heightened state in the UL, and others might disagree with me over whether it does, then does the UR artifact of Uncharted as an object signify the corresponding exteriors of that heightened state experience?  Or maybe it’s more LL and LR, the experience of Uncharted represents a communication of a heightened state, and its physical form represents the corresponding systems that are exterior to that communication.  If we can see the physical form of such a heightened state so visibly in interactive art, or really in any artistic experience, wouldn’t it be beneficial to study those exteriors from a scientific perspective, for the benefit of both science and art?  Maybe that's something akin to what you're doing with the neurofeedback, Atman101.

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  •  06-11-2008, 1:13 PM 55110 in reply to 34148

    Whisper [:-*] Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    Hi Fangsz,

    I found This article in the net and I thought you might find it interesting. It's a big recent Harvard study about the effects of violent videogames on children. A very interesting read. They also have a section where they bust common myths about gaming and confront you with the facts. I checked out the media section too and it's well done imo. I will listen to the radio interviews later when I have more time. For what it's worth...

    witz

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  •  06-11-2008, 1:47 PM 55122 in reply to 29606

    Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    Fangsz:

    I definitely feel that AQAL application to video games is an enormously valuable topic.

    There are many developers who lament the ruttedness that game development has fallen into. They call for greater vision, more "perspectives", introduction of more facets of being human than simply running around, identifying enemies, and dispatching them.

    AQAL could very well unlock for the current game development status quo what Sims did before.

    My sense is that we could use a little more specificity about the topic at this point.

    1. Application of AQAL to understand the current focus of games?

    2. Application of AQAL to insert Integral theory in embedded form into the games and thereby into the minds of the players?

    3. Application of AQAL to permit us to "see" the current games through new perspectives?

    Or all of the above, or more?

    You may be aware of the Salen and Zimmerman book "Rules of Play." It seems to be regarded as one of the best textbooks that try to make theoretical sense of game design.

    http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=9802

    I have read it. It lacks any reference to individual self, sexual, spiritual, kinesthetic or value line development. It barely touches on development for that matter. It mainly does a very thorough job of discussing classical aesthetic and cognitive and moral (e.g. fair rules, etc.) perspectives from a zone #2 (3rd person assessment of 1st person interiority) but without recognizing that events on these lines are viewed differently in zone #1 from different altitudes!

    There are enormous gaps in our collective understanding of what games are, what they can be, and what we can be .... through games. If someone were to write a book like this but apply AQAL to game design (which happens to be a tsunami in our culture), it could be the equivalent of a revolution in the field.

    And if the topic includes brainstorming game development using AQAL, how about:

    * a game that involves the induction of non-dual awareness;

    * a game that centers around identification of v-meme levels of development;

    * a game like Sims that attempts to create and govern a world using AQAL principles;

    * a game like Wii that trains aesthetic awareness instead of kinesthetic response.

    Etc.

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  •  06-11-2008, 3:18 PM 55127 in reply to 55122

    Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    Fangsz:

    I hope to hear more on this topic.

    One thing I want to point out at the outset:

    reading the previous posts of later 2007, it kept occuring to me that the references to AQAL were possibly misunderstanding AQAL.

    It makes no sense to say something "is" an UR game or "is" a LR experience.

    We have to be clear - the quadrants are perspectives that we look through to see an event or occasion.

    It also makes no sense to talk about a game "causing" or "inducing" an experience in any quadrant. The act of seeing through a perspective requires the cooperation of a seer. Games are not one thing or another and they don't cause or induce one thing or another, though they may tend to elicit a seeing from a particular perspective.

    Just at the outset - where would you be interested in seeing game design move to? What potentialities are currently being ignored?

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  •  06-15-2008, 9:01 PM 55526 in reply to 55127

    Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    Whoa... old thread, Witz seems to have resurected it.  Good find by the way, with the Harvard study, though from my brief look at it, while it throws away some of the pre-conceived notions of the effect of violence on children, it seems to still make the standard assumption that all of these video games were intended for children.  The effects of increasingly advanced video games on multiple generations of kids could be an interesting topic, but for my part, I'm mostly interested in looking at video games as a medium for potential integral art, although I'm up for a discussion on other aspects of the topic.

    Speaking of the topic... to answer your question about the topic of the thread, Schalk, I'd say all of the above, it's been so long I can't even remember what I intended to start talking about with this thread.

    schalk:

    Fangsz:

    I hope to hear more on this topic.

    One thing I want to point out at the outset:

    reading the previous posts of later 2007, it kept occuring to me that the references to AQAL were possibly misunderstanding AQAL.

    It makes no sense to say something "is" an UR game or "is" a LR experience.

    We have to be clear - the quadrants are perspectives that we look through to see an event or occasion.

    It also makes no sense to talk about a game "causing" or "inducing" an experience in any quadrant. The act of seeing through a perspective requires the cooperation of a seer. Games are not one thing or another and they don't cause or induce one thing or another, though they may tend to elicit a seeing from a particular perspective.

    Just at the outset - where would you be interested in seeing game design move to? What potentialities are currently being ignored?

    I would tend to agree with you on most of that.  Much of what I've said previously in this thread was most likely based on a more clumsy understanding of integral theory, which I've since tweaked extensively.  Though I would question your second conclusion slightly... while I agree that a video game, or any work of art, is not one thing or another, I think we could potentially say it has a pattern of "inducing" a particular type of experience just as a chemical drug like a hallucinigen has a pattern of "inducing" a particulary type of experience, though "tending to elicit" a particular response may be a more accurate wording.  I do think I tend to fall into the trap of subconsciously assuming there is a Platonically universally-existing artifact when dealing with matters concerning art, which of course is an illusion, but it tends, for me at leat, to be a hard one to crack.  One could way I try to break that perception is by remembering that when you and I ("you" meaning everyone reading this) talk about "Halo" or "Uncharted" we are not necissarily talking about the same experience, but rather a way in which experiences are connected or tend to be similar, a current of actively evolving phenomena in which we are both participants.  With video games, unlike in other mediums, however, our participation is actually realized in a virtual "world" of expansively envisioned fiction.

    Returning to looking at video games through the perspectives of the quadrants in relation to the video game medium, I'll conclude with a specific observation I had recently.  I'm passingly familiar with the Halo series, even though I haven't actually played through the campaign of the second one or played the third one at all, and from what I've seen, it seems that while the artists involved with those games have a beautiful grasp of what is going on when we look through the exterior lenses, the interior aspects never seem to be quite so expansive.  For example, they spend a great deal of time on giving an extreme polish, smoothness, and artistry to how their simulated world appears to the player structurally (UR) and always have a great deal of success in sales (LR), but I don't think they're quite sure, or all really agree on, the experience they're trying to convey to the player beyond an elusive concept of "fun".  I recently played another first-person "shooter" game that just came out called "Haze.  What it was able to pull off from an interior perspective was astounding: it actually succeeded in making a war game that made you sympathize, and potentially empathize, with the other side, while proclaiming neither side, finally, as "right" but rather resting in the eternal paradox that the conception of "other" brings.  Very advanced from an interior perspective, but to be sure, it's exteriors lacked severely the extensive polish that's seen in something like a "Halo," and it missed a lot of opportunity there, because much of what was going on in its intention and communication could have manifested more richly in the physical aspects of the game's interaction.  Here's the thing that I found interesting though.  It seems to me that "Halo" and "Haze" show a pretty even split of focusing extensively on exterior and interior perspectives, respectively, with a similar degree of success in each (remember, though, that's just my conclusion).  "Halo 3" has a composite metacritic score of 94 out of 100.  "Haze" has a composite metactic score of 55 out of 100.  This, to me, says that video game critics are working with an extreme slant toward the Righ-hand quadrants in their observations.  It seems like if we want video games with richer interiors (which I know I do), we need a literature which will discuss those interiors more openly.

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  •  06-15-2008, 9:34 PM 55529 in reply to 55526

    Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    Imagine the synchronicity!

    Just after I wrote that... I read this from a blog post at Penny Arcade, possibly my favorite website about video games:

    "This is why I love the idea that what's actually needed is two scores. Two! Yes, when one has worked so well.  Even if you could measure games with numbers, a point I do not concede, there's no universal Goddamned basis for comparison - there is no "unit" of measurement. We measure things so we can compare them to other things.  The trouble is that everyone is performing a kind of mental arithmetic, cramming their own internal symbologies into this or that frame and stripping out wisdom in the process. Editorial voice is a fallacy. They're all conversions of interpretations of moments. And we lose crucial data at every step."

     http://www.penny-arcade.com/

    That hyperlink in the quote leads to another blog which seems to essentially suggest that video game critics use two different scorings systems for Right-quadrant and Left-quadrant observations, though it doesn't use those terms specifically:

    http://taipeigamer.blogspot.com/2008/06/reviewing-and-scoring-videogames.html

    Another way of interpreting those "two scores" are that they are refering two different lines of development.  Any thoughts on this?

     

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  •  06-15-2008, 11:23 PM 55533 in reply to 55529

    Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    Fangsz:

    Seems that the narrative and ludologist camps are two perspectives, a LL and a LR perspective. This seems more closely to represent the split issue than do lines.

    What are some of the strengths of video games?

    1. They are fun.

    2. The graphics can be inherently interesting.

    3. The journey can be filled with useful ideas, and one's progress can be accelerated or impeded based on facility in using the ideas.

    4. One can build repetition of teaching points on a frequency that would doom book-based teaching because ... the games are fun and the graphics are interesting.

    I honestly think that a video game can carry forward very effective teaching of just about anything.

    The status quo in video games right now seems to be this - adopt an amber, ethnocentric level, create the most elaborate graphics and sounds the money and time will permit, tap into needs and desires that come from a fairly low level of self and emotional line development, and then build it all into a fairly highly complex cognitive presentation.

    The content of most games reflects a very pathetic vision of life. They are exciting, stimulating, interesting, addicting, and ultimately pathetic.

    What awaits us is this:

    1. Games that show us what a given level of development looks like on a particular line (with examples of principles that govern), and then, that reward us in the game-playing as we begin to show recognition for what higher levels of development look like on a line.

    2. For example, you could design a game that has a team of people on a journey. Each represents one line of development. The entire team has to get to the goal or they all fail.

    3. Each person (line) has to help the other lines grow, but in doing this it has to use the mode of manifestation appropriate to its line only.

    4. And there are constant traps being laid - the traps being all of the bummers and illusions and negative, unconstructive, unhelpful phenomena that we all know from our lives. Each person/line has to deal with the traps in an effective way to earn development points.

    5. And of course, the whole point of the game is to teach the player to identify the facets of behavior that reflect development at particular lines and how to skillfully navigate to higher levels of development.

    6. At some point, the player would see themselves as the team. They would instinctively begin to view their own lives as being reflected in this complex game of development they are playing. They will pick up behaviors and responses that are tried and tested.

    7. The game would in essence be a richly transformative experience for a player.

    This is just one idea. 

    My son is 12 years old and is now a "General" in Call of Duty.  I can tell the promotions have given him a lot of confidence. He actually seems to be more assertive and more willing to be a leader. And you can appreciate this, but after he kills about 150 bad guys on line, I have no indication that it is making him any more violent or anti-social. If anything, it seems like a cathartic experience for him.

    So back to the game idea above. Populate the game with really compelling characters. For example, down at the red level, bring in all the evil spirits of the world's traditions (Kali etc.) and make it really edgy. And make the player earn the promotion to amber.

    Why can't we have a game that allows us to role-play Integral vision? One that is so powerful that we become "more" through playing the game?

     

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  •  06-19-2008, 2:14 PM 56157 in reply to 55529

    Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    Has anyone checked out the Spore Creature Creator yet? (Free trial, or $10 for the full download.) It's a game of evolution (though more along the "intelligent design" idea), in which you get to--you guessed it--create your own creatures. I will likely hold a "Spore Eco/Exo-system Challenge" on Holons, in which AQAL video game geeks like us can create entire alien ecosystems, with creatures that range from plant-based, to insectoid, to reptilian, to avialae, to lower-mammal, to higher-mammal, to human equivalent. Anyone interested?

    www.spore.com

    "Spore is a multi-genre "massively single-player online game" under development by Maxis and designed by Will Wright. It allows a player to control the evolution of a species from its beginnings as a unicellular organism, through development as an intelligent and social land-walking creature, to levels of interstellar exploration as a spacefaring culture. It has drawn wide attention for its massive scope, and its use of open-ended gameplay and procedural generation."

    The game allows the player to develop a species from a microscopic organism to its evolution into a complex animal, its emergence as a social, intelligent being, to its mastery of the planet and then finally to its ascension into space, whereupon it interacts with alien species across the galaxy. Throughout gameplay, the player's perspective and even species change dramatically. "The game is broken up into distinct yet consistent, dependent "phases". The outcome of one phase affects the initial conditions facing the player's species in the next. Each phase exhibits its own style of play, and has been described by the developers as ten times more complicated than its preceding phase. While players are able to spend as much time as they prefer in each, it is possible to accelerate or skip phases altogether. If all of the player's creations are completely destroyed at some point, then the game goes back to the beginning of that level, or the last viable point in species development."

    "The Spore Creature Creator utility was released in two different versions on June 17, 2008 in Europe and June 18, 2008 in North America for PC and Mac. There is a paid version (for $9.95/£4.99) and a demo that's downloadable from Spore.com and included in The SimCity Box. The demo version of the editor only contains 25% of the available creature parts that are found within the actual game, while the paid version contains all of the parts. The utility includes a test environment for players to see their creatures go through animations and allow the player to import other user-created creatures through the Sporepedia at Spore.com. Creatures created with this utility will help populate the Spore universe when the game is released.[39] The utility includes screen capture and video tools as well, including YouTube functionality. The Creature Creator also gives the user the ability to create animated avatars, and can output in RSS and embeddable HTML code to facilitate easy incorporation into such sites as MySpace and Facebook."



    Here are some of my own creations so far:


    Prokaryvore



    Pam Beezly



    Duodecad



    Ektomorph



    Dioxsius



    __________________________

    Corey W. deVos (dj rekluse)
    Brand Manager, Integral Naked
    Audio Manager, Integral Institute
    Managing Editor, KenWilber.com
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  •  07-06-2008, 10:59 AM 61444 in reply to 56157

    Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    Corey, Spore definitely looks fascinating, and it will be interesting to look at the game through an AQAL lens, but do you find in your own investigation that that Will Wright and Maxis seem to be using an integral methodology in the development of the game, or is the project's center of gravity closer to Orange or Green?

    Schalk, intriguing idea for a video game, and I agree with your assessment of most video games today, though I would add that some even tend more toward a Red structure than an Amber one (though the prevelance of "levels" with "missions" and "objectives" tend to put a bit of an Amber check on this), but on the other hand, many games, in their general intent, operate on Orange or even Green and occasionally (though rarely) Teal overarching goals, though following these through to their conclusions is often limited by the aformentioned trends in the video game industry as a whole, which affect the available structures for video game development.  I think your own video game idea would be very helpful as a teaching tool, but I would simply add that, as an artist, I would rather have various lines represented by organizations and institutions that the main characters can participate in or work for, rather than by characters themselves.  That is because, in a work of art, when I'm attempting to tell a story, I generally like to think of the characters involved as real people, even though that's not literally the case in our waking reality, because it fascilitates a perspective shift that is inherent in the process of taking on a fictional reality for the course of a given thought experiment or artfuly constructed narrative.  I think that process is what makes fiction so valuable.  So looking at a video game as a work of fiction, I'd like to propose my own video game idea:

    You play as "superhero" character who, due to the grace of evolution, is beggining to discover he or she has unique and fantastical abbilities.  This draws the attention of various groups, organizations, and individuals, who each represent aspects of the integral model, some represent various lines, some focus only on a single quadrant in their interpretation of reality, and they are all giving the main character some form of guidance or teaching, trying to tell the player what he or she should do with his or her power.  As an emerging superhero in a city which has never seen anything like this, you are tasked with the job of making the city and the world a better place, but how you do that, along with what version of "better" with which you choose to operate, is up to you.  Ultimately, I'd like to subtly direct the player into a general overarching narrative with a beggining, middle and end, allowing for as much choice as possible in between.  I like this model for a video game because I think it allows for the best of both worlds.  It allows for multiple people playing the game to talk about the same experience, the same major events, the same opening, the same conclusion, but each with their own unique take on that experience that has actually manifested within the experience itself.  One of the most important functions of art, I think, in additon to conveying a certain state experience, is to foster the development of structures by provoking conversation, and I think the best video games structure themselves around certain points of commonality, even amidst the variety of ways to play.  What this does, among other things, is essentially to provide talking points for a continuing conversation.  The variety of experience that is possible with a given work that is inherent within the video game medium can add to the richness of that conversation.

    In my own work, in whatever medium of art, one of the stories I am most interested in today is the "superhero" narrative.  As the new film Hancock suggests, beings which societies once called gods or angels are now looked on as "superhereos" in the modern and post-modern world, and I enjoy exploring this evolving narrative of the being of great power and potential which resides in every one of us.  An upcoming video game called Infamous by Sucker Punch who created the Sly Cooper games (about a cartoon Racoon and his animal friends going on heists against hardened cartoon criminals for the sake of their fellow cartoon creatures, each a different animal) looks to explore the superhero narrative by giving the player control of a character who is developing electricity-based superpowers amid a city that is falling into chaos and destruction.  The player must save the city, but can choose the means by which this is accomplished.  The player essentially decides whether the character will be known as a "superhero" or an "anti-hero".  Spider-man, or the Punisher?  I'm very excited about this game, and it looks to pave the way for future integral endeavors, and may even intuit some integral waves of being itself.

    That's all I can write at the moment, but in another post I'd like to talk about Matrix Online, a massively multiplayer online video game that seems to be demonstrating some integral awareness in its creators through the apparent structuring of its in-game organizations around various lines of development.

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  •  07-06-2008, 12:09 PM 61453 in reply to 61444

    Re: Integral Video Games: Reloaded

    Fangsz:

    That is a great vision you have for a game. I am thinking that to write the narrative lines for that game is to write an epic story. You think this can be done?

    Let me ask you: if I wanted to create a really simply game, with very simply graphics (but more than stick figures), what would be the easiest way to do it? My daughter has written a game, has drawn a ton of story boards, and we're not sure how to go about developing it from our kitchen table.

     

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