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this talk was originally delivered at the No Show Conference in Boston on Sept 14, 2013 and is an expansion of some of the ideas in my original response to Darius Kazemi's talk "FUCK VIDEOGAMES", summarized by Ian Bogost here:

rather than addressing these points specifically, i'm going to use the talk as a jumping off point to talk about the culture around games.

so let's take an example from this past monday, on Kotaku:

here's Smartbomb author Heather Chaplin's addendum to designer and academic Eric Zimmerman's manifesto The Ludic Century. in the first paragraph she expresses worries that games becoming more dominant in culture will lead to a "systemitizing", technical personality type taking over and enforcing a default state where we lose ability to empathize with each other. this is pretty funny to me, since all signs point to that being the world we live in right now - and have been living in for some time, particularly since industrialization.

but the real thing of note here is when she mentions "Dark Play", or play that introduces themes of violence or death, and how games like Call of Duty use this kind of play to push military-friendly agendas favored by corporate interests. notice the part i hilighted at the bottom, in reference to both "Dark Play" and the "sytemitizing" personality: "Iíve been consistently astounded to discover that even the smartest game designers donít seem interested in this question". in this sentence i think she's inadvertently getting to the heart of the issue, and this is what i'm going to talk about.

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