venerdì 11 luglio 2008

Literacy and games

Eric Zimmerman claims that 21st century literacy is more than accessing and generating analytically stored information through interfaces, but is taking part to complex organic
social systems in which you act, you do things that change the system itself.

... and this is what you can do with games, and with digital games.

This happens because games are complex systems - complex cultural phenomena, actually - not reducible to any single thing. We can identify at least two main components:
1. Rules, that can be broken down to math. Rules are unchanging, unbreakable, fixed - not much fun.
2. Play, that is interactions and social structures. Playing is submitting your behavior to the rules, and it is the opposite of rules: creative, imaginative, spontaneous.

The movement between the gears is called play. But that play/movement exist because of the gears (rules)! Playing is free movement within a more rigid structure.

(although playing can change the structure, as slang can change language).

[reporting from GLS 2008 Conference in Madison, WI]

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