As with the ongoing ‚Killerspiel‘ debate in Germany, public and politicians are in search of The Meaning of a game. Though it’s understandable that there’s concern over violent, pornographic or propagandistic content, few seem to understand that games can also be created as toys.
To quote Marvin Minsky in his ‚Society of Mind‘,
„A thing with just one meaning has scarcely any meaning at all.“
Games can take the form of paths, labyrinths, and landscapes, and the latter ones are difficult or even impossible to fathom. If seen from a literary point of view, I’d even deny a linear game to be ‚understood‘ in its ‚entirety‘, just by being played from a narrow social, temporal and mental vantage point.
I’m often asking myself, whether this is political actionism, populism, wishful thinking, technological and medial ignorance, or a mix of all these.
There seems to be a strong urge for a world which is deterministic, monocausal, where any one thing has one discrete meaning. Which fits nicely on the description of ‚digital‘, without the analog fuzz surrounding it.
Thus this drive is both very compatible with an information society, but also somehow incompatible with social, cultural, individual reality, diversity, and most of all ambiguity.