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Chris
Outsider philosopher, game designer and author
Recent Activity
Surprised myself this morning by writing something about game design, specifically, the imminent update of the Gym system in Niantic’s Pokémon GO. Check it out on ihobo.com! Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Only a Game
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What does Niantic hope to achieve with its substantial update of the gym system in Pokémon GO, already in progress? Is this about bringing in more players, maintaining the existing community, or improving monetisation? Almost all news services this week... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at ihobo
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Delighted to report that the Russian website Pop Philosophy has an interview with me, in both Russian and English, talking about games, philosophy, Discordians, and cyber-squirrels. Here’s an extract: There are those who suggest we are living in a golden... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Only a Game
I can only applaud this analysis by Nicholas Lovell about the use of Shouty Men in Hats on Apples’ app store. I too had noticed this – but it took Nicholas’ keen business sense to turn that observation into a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at ihobo
I can only applaud this analysis by Nicholas Lovell about the use of Shouty Men in Hats on Apples’ app store. I too had noticed this – but it took Nicholas’ keen business sense to turn that observation into a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at Only a Game
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It gives me great pleasure to announce that The Virtuous Cyborg will be published by Squint Books, the cultural and political imprint of renowned poetry micro-press Eyewear Publishing. We are planning for an Autumn 2017 release date. You can read... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2017 at Only a Game
Hi Chris, Thanks for linking this in here... I still don't have much to offer, but I think part of the problem is I've not yet recovered my blogging momentum post-break. I will get there, but for now you will have to accept my thanks for sharing your ideas as a down payment on any future discussion. :) All the very best! Chris.
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Hi Ceyda, This is the only thing I've ever written that intersects with conceptual questions concerning spacetime, I think, although I have spent a lot of time thinking about it (I was an astrophysics undergraduate for two years before jumping ship to computer science). Thanks for your comment, and sorry I haven't anything more to offer! Chris.
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2017 on Heidegger's Time vs Spacetime at Only a Game
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Dr Chris Bateman is a game designer, outsider philosopher, and author. Graduating with a Masters degree in Artificial Intelligence/Cognitive Science, he has since pursued highly-acclaimed independent research into how and why people play games, and was the first person in the world to gain a Doctorate in the aesthetics of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2017 at The Virtuous Cyborg
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As of June, Squint Books has been officially announced as the publisher for The Virtuous Cyborg. An imprint of London's celebrated poetry micro-press, Eyewear Publishing, Squint publishes short-form texts on cultural and political topics. This will be the first time they've published a work of philosophy. An Autumn 2017 release... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2017 at The Virtuous Cyborg
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Is it possible to design videogames to encourage friendships? This is a question about whether cyberamicable games are a possibility, and it’s one that Earlier this year, Dan Cook published a long report from his November 2016 Project Horseshoe visit,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2017 at Only a Game
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Is it possible to design videogames to encourage friendships? This is a question about whether cyberamicable games are a possibility, and it’s one that Earlier this year, Dan Cook published a long report from his November 2016 Project Horseshoe visit,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2017 at ihobo
A couple get married after a robot selected them as potential romantic partners. A politician loses an election in the aftermath of an erroneous story widely shared on social media. A teenager is run over as they cross the street while playing an alternative reality game. As humans let computers... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2017 at The Virtuous Cyborg
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With a General Election here in the UK this Thursday, I have been wondering about the cybervirtue of the election process. This question could be framed: does as any good come out of the mechanisms we currently use to vote?... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2017 at Only a Game
Hi Howard, Many thanks for following up on this... I hadn't encountered Bob Doyle before you mentioned him, although I have been keeping an eye on information philosophy. Luciano Floridi was the name I was not quite able to deliver in this context when we spoke on Saturday. ;) Thanks again! Chris.
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Hey Ari, This Ursula Le Guin quote very much dovetails with my discussion of fidelity - many thanks for sharing it with me! Le Guin is from a generation of fantasy authors whose work, in my view, set a high point in the history of the genre. Along with Mike Moorcock and Fritz Leiber, there was incredible work being done in and around the sixties. The generations that followed, it sometimes seemed, learned how to write popularist fantasy but lost the deeper, insightful edge that had been there previously. Perhaps this is the trajectory of all popular media. (To be fair, I have not tackled George R.R. Martin, so perhaps I am just out of the loop!) All the very best, Chris.
Toggle Commented Jun 6, 2017 on Faith in What? at Only a Game
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Hey Marcos, These Caillois pieces have weathered rather well, I think. I've written about his work from three completely different perspectives now (observational, neurobiological, and historical/genealogical) and I still don't feel like I've exhausted his work. I should like at some point to explore the overlooked detail that he felt that there was something corrupt in combining certain combinations of his patterns (which, incidentally, videogames absolutely did almost from the beginning), but I've yet to find the right space for it. Thanks for your comment! And best of luck with the thesis. Chris.
Toggle Commented May 30, 2017 on The Joy of Ilinx at Only a Game
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It gives me great pleasure to be giving a keynote at this year’s Philosophy in Pubs National Conference, in the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool. My talk, “How to be a Traveller in an Ethical Multiverse”, will be talking about ‘moral... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2017 at Only a Game
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Greetings and salutations! Having enjoyed a month off from social media, I am now ready to reconnect with the hive mind. I cracked open the blogs late last week, and will uncorking Twitter and G+ very soon. The first phase... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2017 at Only a Game
Hey Dave, I was initially confused as to this comment, but I see that it follows from the discussions above. I think there is a role for games that expose the kind of consequences you are talking about, but there will always be videogames that are power fantasies which just elide the outcomes. I don't think the games are the root of any specific problem here... but I think that there is a set of problems that do need thinking through, and games are caught up in them like most other media. Thanks for commenting!
Toggle Commented May 26, 2017 on A Brief Introduction to My Philosophy at Only a Game
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Having completed the first phase of the Cybervirtue Campaign, it is time for my Summer blogging break. I shall be working on incorporating the pre-reader feedback to the new book, The Virtuous Cyborg, prior to submission to the publisher –... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2017 at Only a Game
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Over on the Journals of Doc Surge, Chris Billows has some additional thoughts about cybergs, the networks of technology and humans that are a definitive feature of our time. He suggests that literacy, toys, telephone networks, and vision correction technology... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2017 at Only a Game
Hello again, anonymous passerby! This comment is much clearer than the other that you left, and I agree with much that you say here. I completely agree that reason is a human tool, and I might even go further and say that our (multiple) systems of reason are human tools, since Alasdair MacIntyre has rather convinced me that there is always more than one form of reason. And like our tools, our reason can drive us if we're not paying attention! It's an ever-present risk. I also might agree that there is nothing absolute in reason... the truths of logic are absolute, but only because they are divorced from all reference. But I think the focus on absolute truths as a point of comparison is not always helpful... that's why I have become interested in 'reliable knowledge' as a touchstone, since 'absolutes' are always escalating a little beyond the sensible. In this piece, I'm playing at philosophical aikido, so it definitely has a feel of 'reason pitted against reason'. That's not my only philosophical mode, though... Given the general perspective you put forth in this comment, I want to gesture towards this ten-year old piece on 'The Meaning of Life': http://onlyagame.typepad.com/only_a_game/2007/09/the-meaning-of-.html I'd be interested to hear what you make of that. Again, thanks for commenting! New voices are always welcome here. Chris.
Toggle Commented Apr 20, 2017 on Is Free Will Too Cheap? at Only a Game
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Hi anonymous passerby, The layers of apparent sarcasm in this comment make it difficult to adequately respond! :) So I shall just focus on a few key points... 'Ethics are a tool' strikes me as a difficult to defend position. If you mean, the people in power use ethical systems to control those lower in the hierarchy, you are close to Nietzsche's position on morality. This is a highly defensible viewpoint, although holding it doesn't really help anything. It's one of those places that you can feel content with the sufficiency of your perspective, while not being able to do anything practical with it. In general, one of the problems I have with the 'will to power' perspective - which Nietzsche championed, and which Foucault saw through to the bitter end - is that the motive for power is less a foundational quality than it is one of the (many) key motives around us (one that is involved in a lot of specific problems). While I share your perspective that there are those with power and influence taking steps to ensure that the situation that benefits them remains that way, I wouldn't invoke a term like 'levers of power' as it suggests greater control than exists. Influence, even excessive influence, should not be mistaken for control. Nobody has any control at the moment... and that is as much an opportunity as it is a problem. Thanks for sharing your views, and my apologies for not quite being able to adequately separate your sarcasm from your sincerity. I feel there are other points here that would be worth discussing. Chris.
Toggle Commented Apr 20, 2017 on Everybody's Got It Wrong Except You at Only a Game
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Is it possible to be truthful without understanding the truth? When our sense of truth vanishes, what does it mean to be honest? At a time when ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ have become everyday points of discussion, it may... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2017 at Only a Game