Highbrow High Score

The Art of Gaming Intellectually

Archive for October 2010

Ludology: Best Job Ever? (Hint: The answer is “yes!”)

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Hello again! I won’t bore you with the details, but I’m sorry for the embarrassingly long delay. After a hectic month, we’re back on track! And on with the blog!

I discussed in my last post my most dearly held work of literature as well as the video game to which I owe most of my nightmares. Strange mix, no?

I can’t really speak to why those happen to be close to my heart, but I know they’ve influenced how I view many forms of media and art today. I’d like to think they set my standards for what I enjoyed. This might indicate that I enjoy strange things or at least that I expect a different kind of enlightenment from the separate medium.

Sounds fairly reasonable. What we expect from the myriad forms of art varies considerably, and rightfully so. When the potential knowledge or entertainment or artistic enlightenment one expects to gain doesn’t meet our expectations, we may write that work off as a “bad” one.

Being a student of the humanities, I couldn’t say exactly what sort of sociological trait this is. Our perceived expectations dictate how popular art and media are advertised to us and limit the “avant-garde” creative expression to an indie fringe – never challenging the mainstream ideologies of said media.

What I’m very wordily trying to say is that our world at large has very specific parameters for different types of art and media. Those expectations are used to produce and market entertainment to us, often recycling conventions from formulaic genres and sub-categories instead of trying for true innovation. And so we see a cycle…

But where does this leave video games? Socially, certainly not on the same tier with traditional art and literature. No, video games are delegated somewhere below that – often seen as “base” entertainment. Because of this divide, video games may never be seen as a comparable “alternative literature,” limiting gaming to (from some non-gamers’ perspectives) a childish, inadequate form of media.

I suppose the question at hand is “Why?” Why have we subjugated forms of media to be accessible to one group, excluding others? Why did video games become the preferred whipping boy for the societal problems of the youth?

I can’t pretend to even know where to start with those questions, but if you have any ideas, feel free to comment away. A comment by “D” last post inspired this tangent and I hope that people keep discussing their ideas. I promise to reply in a timely fashion next time : )

Thanks for reading through the rambles. Next time, I’d like to discuss the importance of perspective in video games and how that relates to classic literature. Hope to see you there!

Happy Geekery!

P.S. Ludology is the study of games, play, toys, and video games. It also sounds like one of the best. disciplines. ever. Check out this awesome blog as well as this one.


Written by highbrowhighscore

October 27, 2010 at 5:38 pm