Aesthetics of Play Sum Up Part 1

Ok…lets see if I can get this over with. I’m still not sure if I understand exactly what was going on this weekend…but let me give it my best shot! I’m not exactly sure how to sum it all up. I suppose the conference was about the different ways in which to study games, in particular how to study the play of games.
Espen Aarseth started it all with a bang, questioning what computer games really are. With the usual components such as, games not being fiction but fiction being a part of games, so we’re not playing a story. And that computers are the perfect simulator platform for games, but there’s trouble behind such a statement as well, what is simulation and what is computing? That game aesthetics is not visual, it is the action of play. He also presented a great typology of player behavior, which I fell in love with…so will blog some more about this at a later time. Definately a presentation that opened up the theme of the conference.
But where to start from here? Argh…this is the hardest summary I’ve ever written.
World of Warcraft was a reoccuring theme. Mattias Ljungström had an interesting presentation about architecture in WoW and how it influences player behavior. It was such a ‘OMG! Ofcourse!!” presentation. Other WoW stuff was Tanya Krzywinska’s presentation on myth in WoW and Henry Lowood’s machinima presentation was of course sexy and great. With Tristan Pope’s “Not Just Another Love Story” leading the way. There has aperantly been some controversy on this film as it contained ‘adult’ content, but the artist himself maintains that he’s only used the pixels that are already available in the game, which is true! Yet another thing I could write about for hours, but this is only a summary. His whole presentation got me thinking, however, about the contention that ‘sex only becomes an issue when gamers get bored’ (I’m sorry…I still haven’t figured out where I read this, will continue the search). So I’m thinking, if you want gamers to become creative in their own gameplay and use the game as a media, there should be an element of idleness designed into it.
Phew, I haven’t even covered half the event so far! I’m still not sure I understand everything completely, but this is what I got out of it. I’ll get back to writing some more tomorrow and see if I can’t be a little bit more summary oriented then.
But I need to dash for a Monday night party now – I know, it’s official! I’m such a student and I will never ever learn!!!

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