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Fun and Games

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Hey folks – seems a good time for a rainy-day show, with a few ideas about things we can do to stave off frustration, when we are forced to put all of the projects we’d planned on-hold, for an indefinite time.

Part of this is about creative outlets – and if you’ve been reading or listening to me for awhile, you’ll know I’m an advocate for every kind of art and craft making. Experience is unbeatable here, and even if our own skills never advance too far, our appreciation of the art and craft around us grows immeasurably. So too does our respect for the cumulative contributions of so many, which we live inside and take for granted, far too often.

But it is unrealistic to expect your best work under this sort of stress – and unfair to demand new creative peaks from those who aren’t accustomed to tapping-in to this source of energy and pleasure at all.
Thing is, even if we haven’t got the energy to create anything new, we can still wander around inside some lovely, elaborate and absorbing creations of others. Books, movies, and games are all diverting, and full of unexpected inspiration.

 

Hi Folks – I had to take this episode down awhile ago (to make space for new shows) but thanks to Substack I have been able to put it up again:

 

You can now find this episode at my substack site:

https://paulsnyders.substack.com/p/fun-and-games

The division between gamers and those who look down on gaming is roughly generational – but there are many communities who are welcomed into surprising literacy within gaming culture, who often defy this simplistic sorting. Dyslexics who experience great difficulty accessing a text that many share, feel no such barrier in this realm, and often find their unusual emphasis on spacial relationships an outright benefit. Finally, they can join-in without any feeling of penalty for their neuro-diversity.

Perhaps even more unexpectedly – the more options and freedoms that players have been allowed by the game worlds they play inside, the more themes of real social value have gained prominence in the world of gaming, and user created projects never conceived by the creators have been added to the original concepts, extending their possibilities in quite extraordinary ways.

Rockstar games is often singled out as offensive (and just as often called the best game company there is). Their flagship product, the Grand Theft Auto series, has been criticized endlessly by non-gamers, for allowing freedoms to their players, which ought to be forbidden. Badly confusing the idea of real world consequences for physical actions – with censorship of the thoughts and options available in fiction and imaginative play.

The series does have some pretty strong content – but each episode is a simulation of the career of a successful criminal, rising from the streets to the upper ranks – so it would be weird not to expect that, and also frankly lame, were they to limit the story to the restrained, cliche or predictable.

What I (and millions of others) found hilarious when they got to their most recent instalment, was that they managed to make both the East coast Mafia character of the early games and the LA gang Member of the later ones seem like restrained and rather sensible people, in contrast to the meth-cooking maniac way far out in the desert.

Despite a lot of violence and crazy characters, the depth of the latest instalment is quite amazing – missions far more flexible than scripted, plenty of room for personal style and genuine strategy. Most surprisingly, the world has grown to encompass far more than just simulated capers. There are now a number of support groups who meet way out in the virtual desert together, play around on their motocross bikes, and console each other over their medical and psychological conditions, in emotionally important ways.

Sure, not as good as actually being there – then again, for reasons of money and health both, presence simply isn’t an option for everyone – and spending some time with pals, having fun, goofing off and sharing painful soul-stuff that really counts, is something of genuine humane value that the able with more options ought not to deny the house-bound, simply because we haven’t understood the genre.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I am always curious about what you are thinking

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