November 11, 2005

There are limits to any medium.

Self-immersion is a defining difference between literature and games. With games, there is a greater loss of critical distance between the medium and the user. Games invite your conscious mind to, in a sense, sleep, while the game takes you by the hand. A text story can sweep you away as well, but you remain the outside reader of the story, not a member in the story.

Simulated experiences are not literature. Sure, it's a kind of story, but a definition has to end somewhere, or it's not defining ANYTHING. Games offer a variation of traditional narrative. I think that it is easy to say that games are narrative in the broadest sense, but they are also much more than that, and to stretch the meaning of that loose narrative into literature, well, I'm not sure that statement can be supported.

Let's step way, way back, and look at what we're studying.

Blogs.
Games.
Literature.
Computer Culture.
Stories.
Narrative.

One of the chief benefits of blogging is the stimulation of ideas beyond your immediate periphery of acquaintences. If generation of critical thinking is the catalyst for social changes, then the more thoughtful the discourse, beyond daily small talk, the more opportunity for change?? Or is the casual daily exchange, when we don't have our "big, serious scholar" hat on, is that when we are most receptive to new ideas?

Or,

If our most private or thoughtful ideas come out in the form of text, then publishing these ideas on the web can promote more public discourse.?

What are we trying to achieve? Perhaps, an understanding of this moment in time to see who will be right in 50 years? A hundred years? Do we all attempt to be an Academic Nostradamus?

Are we relating this discourse to life, or only to academia?

The reign of text: We still go by the book.

One thing that will inescapably hamper blogs, is the fact that they will never truly be informal because the conversation is in text. I mean "hamper," only in that the discourse will unavoidably always carry the same benefits and repercussions of all print. It will lay mute until it is read, and it will change in ways the author never intended. This is neither good nor bad, but simply the perpetual motion of meaning.

The premise that seems to be forgotten when arguing and disseminating definitions, is that language itself is inherently both limiting and inconstant, at least in its utilitarian ability to communicate.

Posted by wood0072 at November 11, 2005 9:48 AM