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  • The Reward of a Global Challenge

    Community, Communication Design

    After reading "Challenges and Rewards" by Adam McCulloch I am reminded of the intricate and complex relationship between social needs and wants so well portrayed in Sid Myers Civilization, especially as it pertains to real life political events, that it makes me wonder why politicians are not required to first reach space in a game of Civ or attain equilibrium in a Sim City prior to being handed the keys to the office.

    Nevertheless, the secret of the inherent success of violent over non-violent games is not one of availability, but one of vulnerability. As with other industries, the prevalent and most successful marketing paradigm in gaming is to exploit the greatest human vulnerability ever - instant gratification. Again, the question here is not whether or not a non-violent experience can be profitable, but whether we are willing to admit that commercial gaming for all intents and purposes exploits the addictive aspects of human nature, and whether it is possible to even regulate such a market.

    However, once we start raising such concerns, very soon we arrive at other questions about our society that are much more personal, habits more difficult to recognize and break due to one thing - our fundamental and involuntary consumption of the lifestyle we are surrounded with from birth.

    Greed and ego are at the core of human conflict. How can we judge a child whose trigger happy reflex subconsciously explores a domain that we all create, consciously or not. Perhaps we simply cannot "package" ethical products and expect to change the world.

    Instead, let's re-evaluate the concept of a product such as a game, and redefine human challenge in terms of a distributed web of problem solving. Community driven websites offering solutions in the form of question and answers are the first step towards distributed real life problem solving.

    The pieces that are still missing are:

    • immersion
    • intimacy
    • aesthetics

    I would love to see an online free-market economy of skill and knowledge merge gaming with real life collective problem solving experience which blends education, friendship, and international co-operation into a seamless and limitless world which we may all create together .

    Furthermore, “Why can't Call of Duty actually be about duty?” is an excellent place to start asking questions. What interests me about this inquiry is the framing of this particular problem. After all what defines our duty to one other?

    "Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart" ... "Let the beauty that we love be what we do." -Jelal al-Din Rumi

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