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February 11, 2005

A Situationist Critique of Computer Games


Interactivity is Preferable to Boredom

"A key premise of the mobile-technology game industry is that the pleasure of interactivity is preferable to boredom. Who would choose simply to sit on a train or wait in a line when you could be distracting your brain and hands with a game? Idleness, slowness, contemplation, being mentally present in a situated context have no place in this wired world. But for those who were alive before this hyperactive culture grew up around us, it was during those interstices of life’s activities that we breathed, relaxed, observed, thought things over. Listen up - even the smallest fragments of your idle time have now been colonized with meaningless, addictive junk. Junk that is part of the fabric of the Spectacle." From Piercing the Spectacle: A Situationist Critique of Computer Games by Brenda Laurel [via]

Posted by jo at February 11, 2005 05:41 PM


"In The Mass Ornament, Kracauer writes about boredom as a way of resisting constant distraction or, in other words, defying Debord's spectacle and Lefebvre's colonisation of everyday life by the commodity. But Highmore suggests that Kracauer also shares an affinity with 1970s punk: "to declare yourself bored is not a mark of failure but the necessary precondition for the possibility of generating the authentically new (rather than the old dressed up as the new)." From Anne Galloway's response: http://www.purselipsquarejaw.org/2005_02_01_blogger_archives.php#110834618733244017

Posted by: Jo at February 14, 2005 10:30 AM