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robertogreco : mario   8

Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s man behind Mario : The New Yorker
"Miyamoto has told variations on the cave story a few times over the years, in order to emphasize the extent to which he was surrounded by nature, as a child, and also to claim his youthful explorations as a source of his aptitude and enthusiasm for inventing and designing video games."

"The Dutch cultural historian Johan Huizinga, in his classic 1938 study “Homo Ludens” (“Man the Player”), argued that play was one of the essential components of culture—that it in fact predates culture, because even animals play. His definition of play is instructive. One, play is free—it must be voluntary. Prisoners of war forced to play Russian roulette are not at play. Two, it is separate; it takes place outside the realm of ordinary life and is unserious, in terms of its consequences. A game of chess has no bearing on your survival (unless the opponent is Death). Three, it is unproductive; nothing comes of it—nothing of material value, anyway. Plastic trophies, plush stuffed animals, and bragging rights cannot be monetized. Four, it follows an established set of parameters and rules, and requires some artificial boundary of time and space. Tennis requires lines and a net and the agreement of its participants to abide by the conceit that those boundaries matter. Five, it is uncertain; the outcome is unknown, and uncertainty can create opportunities for discretion and improvisation. In Hyrule, you may or may not get past the Deku Babas, and you can slay them with your own particular panache.

The French intellectual Roger Caillois, in a 1958 response to Huizinga entitled “Man, Play and Games,” called play “an occasion of pure waste: waste of time, energy, ingenuity, skill, and often of money.” Therein lies its utility, as a simulation that exists outside regular life. Caillois divides play into four categories: agon (competition), alea (chance), mimicry (simulation), and ilinx (vertigo). Super Mario has all four. You are competing against the game, trying to predict the seemingly random flurry of impediments it sets in your way, and pretending to be a bouncy Italian plumber in a realm of mushrooms and bricks. As for vertigo, what Caillois has in mind is the surrender of stability and the embrace of panic, such as you might experience while skiing. Mario’s dizzying rate of passage through whatever world he’s in—the onslaught of enemies and options—confers a kind of vertigo on the gaming experience. Like skiing, it requires a certain degree of mastery, a countervailing ability to contend with the panic and reassert a measure of stability. In short, the game requires participation, and so you can call it play.

Caillois also introduces the idea that games range along a continuum between two modes: ludus, “the taste for gratuitous difficulty,” and paidia, “the power of improvisation and joy.” A crossword puzzle is ludus. Kill the Carrier is paidia (unless you’re the carrier). Super Mario and Zelda seem to be perched right between the two."
games  nintendo  miyamoto  shigerumiyamoto  design  art  inspiration  videogames  childhood  exploration  nature  naturedeficitdisorder  wonder  children  play  unstructuredtime  gaming  mario  japan  history  edg  srg  glvo  unschooling  deschooling  topost  toshare  classideas  narratology  ludology  adventure  rogercaillois  johanhuizinga  work  gamification  asobi  funware  music  guitar  self-improvement  kyokan  empathy  collaboration  japanese  jesperjuul  janemcgonigal  animals  focusgroups  gamedesign  experience 
december 2010 by robertogreco
The case against Candy Land - Boing Boing
"Just as a thought experiment: "Imagine what the manual for Super Mario would read like were it structured like Candy Land: To explore Super Mario Galaxy, just hit the “action” button. At that point the game will randomly determine what action you have selected, and whether it was successful. When the action is over, hit the button again to see what’s next!" You think that game would have been a runaway hit? Even dressed up with accelerometers and adorable graphics? Of course not. But that’s what most of us who grew up before videogames accepted as normal when we were five."
stevenjohnson  videogames  mario  boardgames  games  play  gaming  parenting  learning  culture  children  candyland 
january 2009 by robertogreco
LRB · John Lanchester: Is it Art?
"The only thing which isn’t ridiculous about Rand & her ‘objectivism’ is the number of people who take her seriously. It would be a good time for someone to publish a work of fiction or make a movie going into Rand’s ideas and duffing them up a bit – for instance, imagining what it would look like if a society with no laws were turned over to the free will of self-denominated geniuses. Well, someone has done that, except it isn’t a book or movie, it’s a video game. BioShock" "The other way in which games might converge on art is through the beauty and detail of their imagined worlds, combined with the freedom they give the player to wander around in them. Already quite a few games offer what’s known as ‘sandbox’ potential, to allow the player to ignore specific missions and tasks and just to roam around."
via:preoccupations  videogames  art  culture  games  gaming  writing  bioshock  aynrand  objectivism  miyamoto  mario  gta  littlebigplanet  willwright  spore  thesims  grandtheftauto 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Time merge media (kottke.org)
"Some of my favorite art and media deals with the display of multiple time periods at once. Here are some other examples, many of which I've featured on kottke.org in the past."

[Update 26 Nov 2012: At least one of the links within is dead, so I'm adding a link to "Trackmania: The 1K Project" here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UcQmJwTnBg ]

[Also related: http://www.slideshare.net/blackbeltjones/designing-for-spacetime-ixda08/ ]
art  media  video  kottke  time  mario  nintendo  videogames  quantummechanics  photography  animation  layers  visualization  timelapse  timelines  games  gaming  graphics  physics  interface  timemergemedia  marioworld  2008  runlolarun  callandresponse  cursor*10  nicholasnixon  diegogoldberg  johnstone  jkkeller  noahkalina  change  movement  paralleluniverses  branching  jameseo  whiteglovetracking  averaging  timemerge 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Inside the Strange Design Process of Nintendo Genius Miyamoto | Game | Life from Wired.com
"None of Miyamoto's sentences have subjects," Koizumi says as an example. "So you have to rely on context. It gets to the point where Miyamoto will give us feedback, and the only person who has any idea what it means is me."
gamedesign  games  nintendo  videogames  shigerumiyamoto  mario  design  creativity  howwework  leadership 
december 2007 by robertogreco
'Super Mario Galaxy' Soars With Out-of-This World Camera Work
"If game designers are still struggling with getting their cameras right, it's because they're inventing a new visual language."
cameras  film  videogames  gaming  gamedesign  wii  nintendo  mario  games 
december 2007 by robertogreco

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