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Outsider philosopher, game designer and author
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Hey duckerman, Many thanks for this thoughtful, well argued comment! I don't disagree with any of your observations. I'm a huge fan of Campbell's work, but when I was reading one of his books in 2009 I was struck by a slight misrepresentation of his theological positions in work referring to him, and a few inconsistencies within his own observations - often rooted in the general frustration that people in the US who are not rooted in any particular theology experience facing the great many citizens who are. So I wrote this piece, which is about as negative a criticism of Campbell as I can manage. But I still teach Campbell's work, and the criticisms in this piece are, at best, niggles. Many thanks for taking an interest! Chris.
Toggle Commented 7 hours ago on What Did Joseph Campbell Believe? at Only a Game
1 reply
Player Practices was one half of a special double serial in four parts running here at for the tin anniversary (celebrating ten years of my blogging). It ran in parallel with another serial, Foucault’s Archaeology, at Only a Game,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2015 at ihobo
Foucault’s Archaeology was one half of a special double serial in four parts running here at Only a Game for the tin anniversary (celebrating ten years). It ran in parallel with another serial, Player Practices, at, from June 9th... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2015 at Only a Game
Despite the prevailing trends in games over the previous century producing a massive diversification of player practices, the discourses on games identified last week have insisted on asserting the artificial unity of the videogame or digital game, as opposed to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2015 at ihobo
Today is the tenth anniversary of my first ever blog post here on Only a Game, and the double-serial is perfectly timed to conclude upon this day, over on ihobo. This final part is perhaps my first public explanation of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2015 at Only a Game
By examining contradictions (as discussed last week), Foucault’s archaeological method distinguishes between one discursive practice and another, each being networks of relations between statements with their own regularities and constraints. Foucault is particularly intrigued by the ways that discursive formations... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2015 at Only a Game
Hi Rickard, This is an interesting question! When we talk about 'emergence' we are attempting to explain a phenomena by denying an appeal solely to smaller constituents i.e. to deny simple reductionism. But Foucault's interest here is only in analysing discourse as a phenomena; there is probably a way to express this in terms of emergence, but the term was not in use when Foucault was writing and I don't think it is necessary to invoke it. The concept to grasp here is that there are systems of connectivity between statements that regulate their composition. It is a subtle point, but it is one that becomes interesting as you start to examine discourses and see how they do not always fit the stories we like to tell about them. I think perhaps the remaining parts of the serial might help clarify this (hopefully!). Thanks for commenting! Chris.
Toggle Commented Jun 30, 2015 on Foucault's Archaeology (2): Discourse at Only a Game
1 reply
Over on ihobo today, part three of the Player Practices serial, looking at the three discourses on games: game design, game studies, and game criticism. Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2015 at Only a Game
When game studies was asserting itself as a new field in the late 1990s, it did so against a background where the primary discourse surrounding games at the time was not in any significant sense academic. The first discourse on... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2015 at ihobo
Discursive practices are networks of interrelated statements that display both regularity and constraints – this is the basis of Foucault’s method of archaeology traced in the analysis of discourse last week. Because networks of discursive practice cannot simply be traced... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2015 at Only a Game
Note: the original of the blog-letter in the comment above appears here: Dear Chris, Many thanks for your blog-letter! I may respond in full, depending on my workload for July (which is not looking hopeful!) but two quick remarks straight away. "I think that this demonstrates a lack of acknowledgement of knowledge’s emotional aspect." This interests me, and doesn't undercut the concept of 'knowledge as a practice', it only enriches it by showing that there is an emotional content to all practices. I shall mull this, as I think I have much to say on this front! "...noble doubt..." Any Buddhist - and we both qualify! - recognises the nobility of doubt. I'd like to say that doubt, in itself, is a knowledge-practice - and a very difficult one to master! Would like to reply in more depth, if my time allows. With love and respect, Chris.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2015 on Why the Wikipedia Knows Nothing at Only a Game
1 reply
Over on ihobo today, part two of the Player Practices parallel serial, entitled Caillois’ Paradigms of Play. This presents a totally different perspective on Roger Caillois’ work on play, quite distinct from how I have used it in the past,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2015 at Only a Game
Much has been written on Caillois’ groundbreaking book, Les Jeux et Les Hommes (translated as Man, Play, and Games) – very little of it insightful. Indeed, within game studies, the majority of responses to Caillois do not obviously go beyond... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2015 at ihobo
For Foucault, the role of language goes beyond a simple mediator between thought and reality, because the statements within a discourse are related to one another in a way that is governed by the prevailing conditions of enunciation – that... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2015 at Only a Game
Over on ihobo today, the first part of the Player Practices parallel serial, entitled Game Paradigms. Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2015 at Only a Game
Its very name conjures up ideas of freedom and reckless abandon, yet how we play is never without limitations or methods – it is always conditioned by the circumstances within which it occurs. Even the other mammals recognise boundaries to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2015 at ihobo
What gives a statement its meaning? The words act as signs with certain signification, and the grammar of the language establishes how those signs can be combined, while the logic of any proposition formed gives us a means of relating... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2015 at Only a Game
Cheers! I think. ;) Chris.
Toggle Commented Jun 8, 2015 on Celebrating Ten Years at Only a Game
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Several years back, we had a chance to work with Supersonic, a British developer that everyone at International Hobo respected because they were responsible for one of our favourite multiplayer games of all time: Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament on... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2015 at ihobo
Over on ihobo today, some thoughts about when it might be a critical mistake to view continuity of design negatively, particularly in the context of Mario Kart (and also British developer Supersonic). The argument being advanced is that being a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2015 at Only a Game
One month from today is the tin anniversary of Only a Game, at which point I will have been blogging for ten years. To mark this momentous insignificance I have prepared an overly elaborate serial that celebrates the twin themes... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2015 at Only a Game
Over on Only a Game today, details of the special double serial I will be running both here and there throughout June. Entitled Foucault’s Archaeology (Only a Game) and Player Practices (ihobo), it ties in with the ten year anniversary... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2015 at ihobo
Back to social media this June… it is not a transition I am looking forward to, but I’m sure it won’t be so bad once I get over the initial terror at reconnecting to the hive mind. If you commented... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2015 at ihobo
Hi Doc, Many thanks for this! Much appreciated. Tied up with the Tin Anniversary right now, so I won't get a chance to reply by blog letter, so just a quick comment. Strat-o-matic wasn't the first paper simulation - consider Kriegspiel, full title "Instructions for the Representation of Tactical Maneuvers under the Guise of a Wargame", published in 1812 by the Prussian army. I reckon that's your puppy. ;) All the best, and I look forward to catching up with you on Twitter the moment I get the courage to return to the hive mind. Cheers! Chris.
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2015 on The Essence of RPGs at ihobo
1 reply
Hi Michael, Thanks for your comment - and apologies for the slow reply (May was my Spring-Summer Social Media Break). The title isn't *entirely* misleading, as I think peer review that led to relationships between academics would be both more virtuous and more effective than blind peer review. Accountability is a minimum fix to blind review. But I see this as a blight on academic discourse that does not do what people claim it does outside of very narrow situations *that would equally be stopped in non-blind review*. I also agree with your allusion to drug trials etc. - double blind is being predicated because of the prevalence of a postivistic mythos that has become uncoupled to the actuality of peer review. I find the situation intolerable, but others seem content to just accept the status quo. I find myself in this situation a lot! :) All the best, Chris.
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2015 on The Broken Game of Peer Review at Only a Game
1 reply