Yishay Mor  
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power to the people

Clive Thompson's latest Wired piece is titled: "Aesthletics", or, why don't people invent new sports?
Here's a comment I posted there:

When we were in highschool we had a very small courtyard in which to vent our excess energies. So we used to invite all kinds of games which would involve moving relatively slowly at significant effort. Mainly variants of tag. That was until we discovered smoking, and took up rolling as a sport.

My son's school is dominated by the 'wizard's game' that one kid invented. All the boys are into it. They spend their days casting elaborate spells at each other in 1:1 wizard combat. The beauty of  it is that it allows them to play-fight with articulate physical gestures but without actually touching each other. Sort of like Capoeira..

There's also the gamemaster, who is the kid that invented the game, and he has tyrannic power: he is the sole judge of all challenges, and the assigner of grades and honours. This is an interesting social exercise, because he can use the power he gains by designing a game to manipulate his status, e.g. by rewarding his friends unfair advantages. However, he can only stretch it so far. After all, as one of my son's friends said, "he doesn't have a copyright on it. we can always start our own game".

Which brigs me to the inherent open-source nature of physical games. No wonder our consumerized, corporatized culture doesn't promote them: you can't make big money off something you  can't control. Or maybe not, maybe there's a world of games2.0 around the corner?

posted by Yishay Mor on Wednesday 9th, May 2007 (03:53) - comments (0) - permanent link


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