Videogames and Computer Holding Power, Sherry Turkle

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From a Montana Tech New Media Design class lecture.

From a Montana Tech New Media Design class lecture.

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  • 1. Videogames and Computer Holding Power Sherry Turkle – Referencing The New Media Reader, Wardrip-Fruin & Montfort
  • 2. Original Publication of this Work: Turkle, Sherry. The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit. 64-92. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1984. This chapter is based on over one hundred hours of field research and on interviews (ranging from one to four hours) with 30 game players. Other Books by Turkle.
  • 3. 1984 pop culture and technology trivia
    • Aids Virus identified by French Immunologist
    • The first Apple Macintosh goes on sale
    • Sony and Philips introduce the first commercial CD Players
    • Sony makes the first 3 1/2" computer disk
    • 1984 Videogame titles
  • 4. Turkle, Context and Backstory
    • Turkle received a joint doctorate in sociology and personality psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed clinical psychologist.
    • Approached computing from the discipline of psychoanalysis ie how the computer enables people to enact personae that are different from the ones they use in non-computing situations.
    • Turkle was adamant that games can provide ways to take on different roles that are important to us psychologically.
  • 5. Gist and Research Design
    • Previous chapter was about the child as philosopher – Piaget’s theory of childrens’ emergence causality, life, and consciousness.
    • The gist of this chapter follows up her discoveries re computer holding power of games and the heart of computer culture is “constructed, rule governed worlds.”
    • This chapter is based on over one hundred hours of field research and on interviews (ranging from one to four hours) with 30 game players.
    • Chapter that follows deals with children making their own games.
  • 6. Asteroids … Asteroids is a video arcade game released in 1979 by Atari Inc. It was one of the most popular and influential games of the Golden Age of Arcade Games.
  • 7. A New Way of Life
    • Protest against videogames carries a message about how people feel about computers in general. … Only one other gift of science has been so universally recognized as marking a new era of human life. That was atomic energy.
    • [re: community opinion when game arcade asks for licence.] “Let’s look at this thing more closely.” It feels like a chance to buy time against more than a videogame. It feels like a chance to buy time against a new way of life.
    • Videogames are a window onto a new kind on intimacy with machines that is characteristic of the nascent computer culture.
  • 8. Embodiment
    • The holding power of videogames, their almost hypnotic fascination, is “computer holding power.”
    • Videogames are something you do to your head, a world that you enter … something you “become.”
    • In interviews and when describing gameplay, children will express it as “You are Pac-Man.”
    • Players describe the (ingame) experience of being with one as less like talking with a person and more like inhabiting someone else’s mind. Conversation > Fusion. In PacMan, you are the mouth.
  • 9. PacMan
  • 10. Rules are the Secrets.
    • For children, rules driving the videogames become “the secrets.”
    • Videogames offer a chance to live in simulated, rule-governed worlds.
    • Games as “child culture” (appreciation of logic of simulation) bridge into larger computer culture beyond.
    • There is a danger of infatuation with simulated worlds – for many people what is being pursued in a videogame is not just a score, but an altered state … Mediation With Macho … Cheaper than psychoanalysis.
  • 11. Space Invaders “ Pong was a novelty but it set the stage for the arrival of Space Invaders – the game that launched the videogame culture.” “Culture” being the attitudes, beliefs, and behavior that are characteristic of a particular social group or organization. Pong
  • 12. Your thoughts, Your Links
    • Sherry Turkle on Colbert Report
    • Affects of Videogames on People .
    • Game Building Software
    • Alice
    • Cube 2: Saurbraten
    • Game Maker