[NetBehaviour] Video Games, in Search of a Warp Zone.

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Thu Apr 2 18:57:42 CEST 2009

Video Games, in Search of a Warp Zone.

By Eryk Salvaggio.

The birth of modern gaming probably began in 1968, the launch date for 
the Magnavox Odyssey video game system. It wasn't the first video game, 
but it was the first video game console capable of supporting a library 
of external software. It launched the one-system, many-games model of 
gaming we know today.

At 41 years old, gaming is facing a mid-life crisis: not only are the 
original players of games beginning to grapple with existential pangs of 
self-doubt --- so is the industry that supports them. And so the market 
--- and the audience, and the independent crafters of code --- have 
collided to create games that address the desire for meaning and 
maturity left out of younger days spent killing time and space creatures 
for the accumulation of superficial rewards.

One of the central questions addressed at Floating Points 6: Games of 
Culture | Art of Games, a conference hosted at Emerson University and 
co-sponsored by Turbulence.org, is the notion of game maturity: the idea 
that video games can transcend "gaming" to emerge as a distinct artistic 
medium with an exclusive set of qualities. Simple version: How do we 
make video games that can tackle issues meaningful to the first 
generation of players, who are just now beginning to panic about their 
own lives and mortality? Is there any doubt that the gaming market 
cannot expand to address these concerns?


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