lecture17 - Lecture 17 Joystick Culture Games Informal and...

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Lecture 17. Joystick Culture: Games Informal and unedited notes, not for distribution. (c) Z. Stachniak, 2011-2012. Note: in cases I were unable to find the primary source of an image or determine whether or not an image is copyrighted, I have specified the source as ”unknown”. I will provide full information about images and/or obtain reproduction rights when such information is available to me. Fig. 1. Games are fun!. Photograph by Z. Stachniak. Introduction Games are essential to human experience and, most likely, they always will be. We are many things, creatures who think and create as well as destroy without mercy. But we, like many other animals, are also playful creatures. We can play with sticks and stones, words and thoughts. On a sunny day, in a city park or on a mountain trail, someone picks a stick. She will try to balance it on a tip of a finger, he will throw it high in the air to catch it after a few rotations, effortlessly behind the back – impressive! Or children on a beach creating magic out of sand, a castle, a city. Then, with a stick or a spade they will defend them every time the sea monster returns with raging force of the ocean. 1
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Fig. 1. Children building a sand castle to defend against the Dark Lord residing in the real castle. Sand Castle vs Real Castle . Photograph by Chris Tolga Pehlivan. Now, imagine what can be done with a computer at home on a rainy day... Like sticks and stones, like a deck of cards or warm sand of a sunny beach, the computer invites to play. 2
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Computer games defined According to Digital Deli: The comprehensive user-lovable menu of computer lore, culture, lifestyles and fancy , computer games are desserts on the menu of computer applications. For some, they are the main course served 24 hours a day. But more prosaically, computer games are programs designed for recreational use on a computer or a dedicated game console in stand alone or networked configuration (e.g. multiplayer games over the Internet). Computer’s ability to generate, display, and manipulate multimedia objects in response to our inputs (or lack of) makes it an irresistible game playing device. Computer can not only imitate a game’s board or a scenario, but it can also be an opponent, a partner, a referee, or all of that simultaneously. Game playing computer can invoke deep emotions (too cliche?): the ecstasy of victory and the agony of defeat, the primordial joy of destruction and victory fed by the sense of duty and justice or fear, desire, revenge, and rage. Computers offer ”gamers” yet another chance, don’t mind the late hours, are indifferent to our addictions and eating habits. In short, computers are perfect entertainment boxes. 3
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It seems certain that we will be playing electronic games for as long as there is no better technology to provide us with artificial entertainment (as opposed to ”natural” one, such as performing or listening to music, dancing, engaging in sports). There will be claims made of technological advancement induced by the gaming culture and needs and of new forms of artistic expression.
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  • Fall '12
  • ZbigniewStachniak
  • Video game console, Atari

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