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Man, Play and Games - Roger Caillois

Eng 590 - ASU

Jeff Holmes

on 31 August 2011

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Transcript of Man, Play and Games - Roger Caillois

Man, Play and Games Roger Caillios Bio Roger Caillois 1913-1978 Literary critic
Philospher What is play? [P]lay must be defined as a free and voluntary activity, a source of joy and amusement. (6) PLAY Free Seperate Rules Make-believe Uncertain Unproductive Magic circle Game Reality - Huzinga [C]reating neither goods, nor wealth, nor new elements of any kind. (10) Self-imposed Imposed The game consists of the need to find or continue at once a response which is free within the limits set by the rules. (8) What is the relationship of play with games? Play Games Games Play - Salen and Zimmerman Rules of Play Typology of games Not necessarily "categories of games" but "attitudes of players" Agon Competition Equalized
Skill or effort
Supremacy demarcated Alea Chance Equalized
Fate or luck
Supremacy demarcated Mimicry Simulation Make believe
Spectators as mimics Ilinx Vertigo Distortion of senses
Voluntary panic
Uncontrollable (?) Paidia Turbulance Ludus Rules Ilinx Mimicry Alea Agon Games & culture What is expressed in play is no different than what is expressed in culture. (64) Play is simultaneously liberty and invention, fantasy and discipline. All important cultural manifestations are based upon it. (64) These preferred and widely diffused games reflect, on the one hand, the tendencies, tastes, and ways of thought that are prevalent [in a society] while, at the same time, in educating and training the players in these very vitues or eccentricities, they subtly confirm them in their habits and references. (64) Questions Is the running of the bulls a game? Games discipline instincts and institutionalize them. (55) If games are inquonsequential and unproductive...but also "contribute usefully to the enrichment and establishment of various patterns of culture" (55), are games really "inconsequential" and "unproductive"? Where do videogames fit into these classifications? What about a game you are forced to play? Is it still a game?
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