Thursday, July 28, 2005

Why my coworkers look at me strange...already.

While discussing the newest issue of Wired, I began talking with my coworkers about a new phenomenon one of them read about: that of online gamers paying eachother in real money to acquire game based weapons. Essentially game addict #1 pledges to give $10 in real money to gamer #2 who has, let's say the magical sword of geekdom. I flew into a rage at this concept. Everyone else thought it was weird, but in a passing sort of way.

But I think it violates the essential nature of a game. Games are by their very nature attempts to define the boundaries of life. There are rules and the totality of available options are either ennumerated or bound by the prescriptions of the game. It is a tautology.

Games are the closest version of the social contract, Hobbes style. You agree to these mutually limiting rules in the effort to better mitigate the chaos that would ensue otherwise. But you do so willingly. When you go outside the rules, outside the imaginary universe created by the rules you are violating the social contract. It's not the same thing as up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right control....etc, that's using an ill hidden code to achieve something that was part of the game. But to go outside is just wrong.

Games assume by definition that victory is not predetermined before the start, adn that game play determines winners through either luck or skill. Games operate on the assumption that you are self interested and that you work towards your own victory. Any efforts beyond that are another violation of the social contract....unless you can mathematically demonstrate that no series of moves available to you can produce victory. At this point the social contract has failed you and you are free to go rogue and basically fuck shit up to the extent permitted by the rules.

So, anyways I basically spit all of this out stream of consciousness out of the blue, while discussing some small article in Wired. This is why people at work are already starting to wonder about the sanity of "the new guy."

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