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S'funny -- I've always held the opposite view (articulated by Huizinga -- author of Homo Ludens) that civilization arises *in and as* play. But I guess he wasn't thinking of console games :)


I'm way too lazy to read the article, but isn't it very obvious that playing a videogame increases your adrenaline-level, which makes you tolerate more pain?


I know that when I'm sick with the flu, recovering from an operation, etc. sitting in front of my computer playing games makes it so much more bearable... I'm totally focused on the game.

Which can also be a bad thing, since if it can numb you to pain it can probably just as well numb you to pleasure.

A Weapon of Mass Distraction ;)



also see caterina's post about the space in which gameplay occurs:

These symbolic spaces are something I've been thinking a lot about lately, especially as regards The Game Neverending. Online games and communities can be fantastic "potential spaces" or "holding environments" for collective creativity, but they can also be territories where aggressive fantasies can be acted out without fear of consequences, by people who feel safe in the anonymity of online personae.

when we expand the idea of pain to encompass emotional/mental as well as physical - for they are, clearly, linked - then the space becomes quite contested indeed - the gameplay area can become a source of pain as well as solace to it.

also, justin, i still maintain that you are reading too much into Niemeyer's offhand comment. he acknowledged that games are played throughout civilizations, that they seem to be a fundamental facet of human social life. he was merely idly speculating on whether or not the attitude towards the importance of games changes as civilizations are "in decline", and what this might mean. it wasn't a theory, i think, so much as an impressionist thought, as way to approach the status of games in societies.



I'm not too clear that your views v. Justin's (fascination with games being the predictor of either the ascendance or decline of a society) are either opposite or mutually exclusive.

This whole discussion reminds me of the title of one of my favorite songs: "the end of the world as we know it", by REM. Perhaps extensive gameplay does indicate a disinterest in the general goings on of the "mundane" world, but it's presence may very well +simultaneously+ be ushering in an entirely new era of thought, consciousness, and existence.


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