I'm guessing that I'm one of the few people in the world that likes this piece of jargon. It represents my central desires when engaging with games. These desires are beginning to change as others in the interwebs help me grasp a greater understanding of not only of who I am and what I believe but of what is possible.
I am an ignorant neophyte. I'm not seeking self-promotion or attention when I interact with others I seek information. I seek knowledge. I seek to compare myself understanding of the universe with others who I admire. I wish to engage in a dialogue about things that matter to me and to these others. I wish to remain a nobody (small 'n') because power corrupts, not that I know, of course.
Versus CluClu Land has educated me and I have responded honestly to Iriquois Pliskin's post on Brecht and MGS2, a post that I think lotusvine would also appreciate. He discusses player alienation and game play and I found it very interesting indeed. Play, that element of gameplay I value most has always been about a sense of exploration, joy and wonder. I test the game's rules, I explore my relationship with the game, I realise the vision of the developer and then I do what I can to make something out of it. The reasons for this are very personal and exist elsewhere on this blog (although there's more, much more that isn't here yet and may never make it here).
I turned away from MGS and from Silent Hill because my notion of play, of gameplay is naive, idealistic, even childish. The structured play proffered by these sorts of games and by games that have linear stories or little functional deviation offer little to extend my belief that games can enable me. I do enjoy many games of this ilk so I'm not completely narrow minded. The question that I ask myself is whether it is possible to forge a gameplay experience that puts the rules in the hands of the player and still be fun or more importantly meaningful.
Mornington Crescent was a game my English teacher adored when I was in High School. Wikipedia covers it's premise aptly enough and when in English class we had fun playing it. Trying to unravel its riddle. The riddle is that it is, in itself, make believe. There are no rules and the winner is the first to name Mornington Crescent on their turn. If one does not know this, then the rules are inscrutable, a humorous trick that teases the ignorant seeking of knowledge. Me. I don't know much of post modern philosophy and its role in games as art, yet. I'm hoping that Pliskin and others will help me, that they don't mind holding the figurative hand of an ignorant nobody. But I wonder if a video game can be designed around the notion of Mornington Crescent. Perhaps the player doesn't know, at first, that the answer to the game is simple, too simple. Perhaps the game leads that player on a merry chase of confusing and humorous phrases, rules, tricks and feints. Perhaps the game itself is so well crafted that it remains playable even after the player gets the "gimmick" because the game itself requires play to unravel all its variants, all its twists and all its wonders.
Wouldn't this then represent the objective vision of Brecht or Kojima without leaving me an embittered ignorant whose understanding of its greater sublime meaning is more "conventional"? I honestly don't believe developers have done anywhere near enough with game play yet, do you?