Saturday, 29 September 2007

Weird, but I can't say why...



[Apologies for the quality of the photo, but that is a game of rock, paper, scissors embedded in Excel, played out at the banquet laid on by DiGRA Japan to give away freebie books to the winners.]

Still trying to work out my reaction to this. There was a little cultural cross confusion at the Banquet, some of which makes me a little embarassed in retrospect (and thanks to Bob Appleman for getting just a lttle hush before we totally got out of hand) but I couldn't quite work out why I found this weird. Maybe it seemed to chime with where I got the impression Japanese academic interest in games rests at the moment -- closer to Excel than to the planet of sophisticated and nuanced language use (cough) where I like to think I hang out. And I have no problem with that. Each to their own and stuff. And I have never bothered before to find out if the story of the flight sim in Excel were true, but I am quite prepared to believe it. And there is always Championship Manager. But this was odd -- maybe because it was making what I might dare to suggest is a mistake people sometimes make in other contexts of using digital delivery for a form of game that doesn't really need it? Or maybe I am being all pretentious and academic and seeing a metaphor here for the way poor little games are embedded inside the tools and frameworks of consumer capitalism. What really surprised me was how gripping the Noh play excerpt we were treated to was. For the first couple of minutes it felt incredibly alien, but there was something quite compelling about what unfolded. I have no idea what it meant, of course...

Nice place, Japan. And not just because I spent a few hours today shopping for the coolest toys I have ever seen.

2 comments:

Catherine said...

Is completely jealous of your trip to Japan :(.

Barry Atkins said...

I would recommend a visit to Japan to anyone, and not just for the videogame related bits and bobs. As people kept saying, it is an easy country to be a tourist in. It was a truly great experience. :)