Aarseth

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I know they're not mere computer games, but I don't think they're literature either. Their narrative games. There's text, but the structure is that of a game. There's an outcome that's different than reading a book since you're a character. Win, lose, live, die.

3 Comments

Not necessarily, when you become involved in a game your life changes temporarily. There are back stories, characters that you can relate to, and situations that we can only dream of, you are engulfed in that culture, until your character dies off, then it is on to the next game. I can understand why some compare games to literature.

In many ways, I'd argue that roleplaying games like the text-based games described in Aarseth's book are actually able to affect us more profoundly than literature (although we don't often realize it's happening). Those types of games "engulf" us in a culture, as Jeremy put it, and as a result they often impact our way of thinking (much like literature)--and then they ask us to respond to the world in the game in that mode of thought.

I understood Aarseth in theory, but I really don't understand how a game can engulf a person like that. Of course, I've only ever played Sonic 2 and Zelda, both of which are visual and not textual. We'll see next semester.

I prefer books to game becase you don't have to "die" and start over. No one can force you to stop moving forward.

I just don't feel as lost in society as the individuals described in the MUD chapter were

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