Saturday, October 31, 2009

Second Life: a response

Well, JP... Second Life is interesting, because in and of itself, it isn't a "Game" - at least not how people think of it. Within it there are these aspects that function like games, and certainly a lot of the interface and aesthetics have developed from Gaming, but it acts more as a pure interactive technological platform like Facebook or Wikipedia. Within that structure there are elements of gaming and within these elements there are ways to discuss "win-win". At least, that's my take on it.

In Second Life, Red76 has done some projects. One of them is "Second Home" which is a virtual space created in the model and as a way of examining a real life anarchist community that formed in Home, WA around the turn of the last century. The idea is to create new models of collaboration in opposition and parallel to the ones that are more commonly found in Second life (capitalist exchange markets, property flipping, anonymous hook-ups). In Second Home participants are encouraged to experiment with communal living, mutual aide and other horizontal forms of exchange.

Another body of work is being done by a group called Ars Virtua. Ars Virtua exists primarily as a New Media Gallery and Arts Space in Second Life. Some of their work is very ironic and seems most interested in fucking with the presumed norms that already exist in spaces such as Second Life and World of Warcraft. In World of Warcraft they've created a "Guild" intended to explore "the potential of this platform to create a new dimension of media art" within its construct. One project that I think is really pertinent to the concept of Win-Win Games is the creation of TAZ within WoW. There seems to be an attempt to explore horizontal structures and free-space within a construct that is uniformly hierarcheal and oriented towards violence. One meeting was described as "a consensus session to set the rules for our cross-factional and self-governing guild association."

A current concern is to create "an NGO – somewhat similar to Red Cross or Red Crescent. [Ars Virtua] see it as an opportunity to reach out to the minority communities ( on Demon Soul realm that would be the Alliance) in order to bring them the support needed to navigate a hostile terrain. Basic Humanoid Rights are the key here, trade the political scaffold for the social scaffold without prejudice."

Besides the obvious humor and potential learning tools made through the creation of a Pacifist, Anarchist group in a game called "World of Warcraft", there is also something very poetic going on. In fact it verges on the mystical. If one considers the notion of "As above, so below" - the Macrocosmos and the Microcosmos - it seems much more meaningful to explore these themes in a Three Dimensional cosmos. Perhaps this work that they do here will manifest in our own multi-dimensional world at war.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's hard not to love this.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

second life

second life is a huge can of worms...gabe?

some ideas I had while talking to friends

-Is making work in a democratic or non-hierarchical model inherently going to sacrifice the "quality" possible in a singular vision? For example the idea that democracy walks at the pace of the slowest member of the group.

-Is Tradition a way around that? ie Inuit throat games, Sacred Harp, Pygmy songs

-Is the degeneration/fracturing of cultural contexts accelerating to the point where win-win art ideas are too little too late? or, worse, regressive/nostalgic?

-Can things like group sing-alongs, dance for non dancers, co-operative games etc have a space in the world of the individual driven art world?

Man I have more questions but I am super tired.. more later

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Katajjaq is a form of throat singing practiced among the Inuit. It is a game of entertainment and friendly competition traditionally played only among women. Two players face each other holding oneanother's arms and begin singing rhythmic improvised sounds and words fitting each sound within the empty space of the other. The game lasts until one person can no longer keep singing and usually the duet is ended in laughter.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yoko Ono's white chess board

Yoko Ono created her first White Chess Board as a Fluxchess set, but where other disrupted sets (such as "Spice Chess") kept their competitive edge, hers clearly defied the basic assumptions of the game.

Her instructions...
Chess Set for playing as long as you can remember where all your pieces are.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bobby McFerrin win-wins

Conways Game of Life

This guy seems related somehow:
You can play it here and his wiki is here

here is more-

Drum circles and teams

Thinking about some common uses of music to generate community
kinda begs the question... Which is more important, the musical outcome or the social outcome? Are they inherently linked?
This came up while surfing-

Group Games
Drum cafe california
Drum Circle Workshop Video

"We unpack the 200 drums and form a circle of chairs. The delegates are completely unaware that they are about to drum and are by now beginning to arrive at the venue for their annual conference that begins in 1 hour.

We set up the team and as everyone has gathered outside the room we begin playing and they hear the drums calling from inside the conference room. When people walk in, they cannot believe their eyes when they find 200 drums laid out on the seats, and this amazing drumming music filling the room, being played by our team. Slowly, people find their way to their seats, all staring at each other with embarrassed smiles on their faces, not knowing really how to deal with the drum that is now in their lap.

Then, without saying a word, our facilitator gets up and starts to orchestrate the group with a massive repertoire of body language signals, bringing the 200 entry level musicians into perfect harmony." - From Drumcafecalifornia

I like the idea of non-verbal communication... its music, it does not need words

and then there is this...

from the Telematic Drum Circle