I lose.. Therefore I think
Shuen-Shing Lee’s views on video
games as expressive of culture.
What about games?
• Games have moral undertones (usually)
• Games are usually fun/ enjoyable
• Appropriating games = fun?
Games you will never win. (Why Bother?)
• Games are usually win/lose situations.
• Some games you can’t win – Lose/lose mentality
• No defined way to “win”. E.g. Penguin Baseball
• Artistic games imply, with no ending, a time of
contemplation on the reason for the game/ not
being able to win.
• E.g. New York Defender, Kabul Kaboom
Trial & Error breakouts
• Trial and error is common for overcoming obstacles
• E.g. Arcade fighters, shooters lasting until player dies
• Player “wins” not in the game, but in a determined
other space of other players’ scores.
• Having no score creates a void of reason
• E.g. NYD, Kabul Kaboom.
Is there a need for a message?
• Some games attempt to be message focused
• However, Jarvis’ Narc simply becomes another
shooter, while attempting to be socially
• Paradoxically attempting to comment on
social issues while becoming one.
• Confuses the artistic nature.
I lose, therefore I think..
• Explicit goal – game recognises end state
• Implicit goal – Game supports user made goals
• NYD & KK = Aim to lose the game
• Second level player – Reflective state of
understanding game design/relevance as opposed
to finishing it.
• Losing invokes thought to create solutions (trial
and error); removing it creates an open space of
interpretation as to why the game exists.
• To remove an aspect to focus on another.
• Changes expression form
• Focuses audience attention on specific things.
• E.g. Arena, Adam’s Killer.
• Ironic = Artistic?
Time & Pleasure in Twisted Spaces
• Event time – In game happenings
• Negotiation time – Time spent managing, making
• Progression time – Game time overall.
• Limited progression time = No solution.
• Thus; Enlightenment.
So, we’re done..
• Games aren’t always “fun”
• Can be educating
• Use of game as expressive media.
• How useful is it/ will it be?
• Basic shooters as artistic in method OR
complex shooters being artistic in delivery?
• Will art games, or games reflecting cultural
concepts become more evident as their own
thing or simply become another genre?
• Any good ideas for some?
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