Identity Discussion


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An outline of some aspects of game identity

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Identity Discussion

  1. 1. Game Design Workshop "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." -- Kurt Vonnegut
  2. 2. Cartoon by Peter Steiner. The New Yorker, July 5, 1993 issue (Vol.69 (LXIX) no. 20) page 61
  3. 3. When you think about it, a remarkable feature of humankind is the capacity to project a sense of self onto objects that are outside the self. While other kinds of animals do not even recognize their own reflection in a mirror, we humans can identify with everything our imagination comes up with. Anything can be experienced as a representation of the self. Nowadays this capacity is extended to digital data. In essence zeros and ones are nothing but the digital representation of information and since everything can be viewed as information anything can be translated to the digital. The fact that human beings are capable of using data as representation of themselves and others is due to the imagination. The stronger the imaginary capacities the easier it is to use a digital configuration as extension of the self. With those kind of extensions, the identity shows itself more and more as consisting of different layers of which some seem fixed and others are changeable or even just temporarily. For this reason, Arjun Appadurai (USA) prefers the term identification above identity. Identity as a term suggests something fixed while identification is the experienced sense of identity linked with a particular thing, idea or process during a particular moment in time. Human beings are capable of identifying themselves with everything their imagination comes up with. Game Design Workshop
  4. 4. Game Design Workshop Concepts from psychology <ul><li>Possible selves work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Possible selves are the motivational link between the present and imagined future often used in psychoanalysis to motivate personal change </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ideal self </li></ul><ul><li>The split self </li></ul>
  5. 5. Game Design Workshop Multiple digital persona <ul><li>players adopt multiple persona (viewpoints) in game </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i control her </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>she acts independently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>we act together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>i watch her </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>i am her </li></ul></ul><ul><li>there is an argument that tech lets us live as another however it is not that easy to unknow the physical, rather tech creates a double embodiment </li></ul><ul><li>we can never be 'the other’ </li></ul><ul><li>the physical body is not all there is to subjectivity in this digital age </li></ul><ul><li>me inside:me outside:me virtually </li></ul>
  6. 6. Game Design Workshop Processes of identification in game
  7. 7. Game Design Workshop Thursday’s Exercise Develop a game concept and document that explores aristotle’s definition of emotions as follows: The emotions are: * Anger vs. Calmness * Friendship (Love) vs. Enmity * Fear vs. Confidence * Shame vs. Shamelessness * Kindness vs. Unkindness * Pity * Indignation * Envy
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