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robertogreco : subservience   2

Sunset: Interview with game developers Tale of Tales - The Skinny
"Such divergent and nuanced subject matter is nothing new for Tale of Tales. The Belgian studio headed up by married couple Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn have spent more than a decade making games that deal with ambitious and lesser explored topics, like The Graveyard, their 2008 vignette about old age, or The Path, a psychological horror based on Little Red Riding Hood about female adolescence. These earlier games had an air of confrontation about them, recklessly experimenting with video game form and its tried-and-tested control schemes in way that at times felt even disdainful: there’s something deliciously blasphemous, for instance, about having to let go of the controls in The Path to allow the character to interact with objects in the world, a critique of the incessant subservience of video game characters to their players.

This sort of contrarianism developed out of a desire to reach beyond what they saw as an increasingly homogeneous and stagnant gaming culture at the time. “We had this idea about making games for people who don’t usually play games," she explains. "This was more of our mission statement – something we had in our heads about about the kinds of people we wanted to reach, people who were disenchanted with other games that they found. That made a lot of sense given the atmosphere around gaming at the time.”

Sunset, however, marks a new tact for the team, one which for the first time finds them openly embracing an existing format. “We wanted people who play a lot of first-person games to be extremely comfortable with Sunset," claims Harvey. "We don’t want the discussion to be around our awkward or unique control schemes, so we decided to make that disappear by just being conventional about it.”

Following in the footsteps of Gone Home, Sunset is a typical example of a first-person exploration game, a kind of narrative-driven experience in which details in the environment function as clues with which players can piece together the story for themselves rather than having it dictated to them. Like Gone Home, Sunset takes place entirely within a single domestic space, and it’s by getting to know that space, by noticing what’s changed the next time they visit that players learn about and interact with Ortega. It’s said that a bookcase tells you everything you need to know about its owner and Ortega certainly has plenty of paperbacks lying around, not to mention a bunch of confidential documents and what appears to be a covert stash of illicit art."
sunset  videogames  games  gaming  2015  taleoftales  thepath  control  subservience  gonehome  andrewgordon 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Toward a Luddite Pedagogy - Hybrid Pedagogy
"In stark contrast to the fluffy talk of a thousand “revolutions” coming from plush conference halls in places like Long Beach, California – talk that reduces serious political discourse to the level of a sales pitch – the Luddites were willing to pay the ultimate price for a real revolution in the prevailing power relations, hoping to build a social order that forward-thinking people like the Luddites might be able to believe in.

A Luddite pedagogy for the 21st century

Just as the 19th century Luddism was interested far more in a forward-looking political agenda than in particular pieces of technology, so a 21st century Luddism in education will be concerned with more important issues than whether or not allowing pupils to use their own devices in class is a good idea. Like their political ancestors, the Luddite pedagogues will wield a hammer, but they won’t see any urgency in bringing it down on trivial things like touch-screen gadgetry. Instead, the targets lie elsewhere.

One place they lie is in the false talk of liberation that has gained popularity among people using the #edtech hashtag. A Luddite pedagogy is a pedagogy of liberation, and, as such, it clashes head on with the talk of liberation peddled by advocates of edtech. According to the latter, the child, previously condemned to all the unbearably oppressive restrictions of having to learn in groups, can now be liberated by the tech that makes a 1:1 model of education feasible, launching each and every child on an utterly personal learning journey. Liberation as personalisation – here the Luddite finds something that ought to be smashed.

But what needs to be smashed is less the pedagogy itself than the idea of freedom it rests on – the more general political notion that freedom is all about freeing individuals from social constraints so that they can pursue their personal projects unhampered by the claims of society. This is the essentially liberal idea championed by Sir Ken Robinson, for instance, for whom it is enough for individuals to find things to do that they enjoy and that allow them to develop a talent.

But we need to be clear here: Luddism doesn’t want to smash the concern for personal freedom, rather it wants to smash the idea that it is enough. The untruth of personalisation is its unjustified narrowing of the horizon of liberation."

"A Luddite pedagogy takes its cue from this need to build (and later maintain) a world – a society – of a certain sort. And in pursuing this end, the Luddite hammer has to be brought down again on a number of currently dominant assumptions about education.

One is the assumption that education must be child-centred. Luddites laugh at the assumption that education must have a single centre. No, it has two (as Hannah Arendt argued). It must also be centred on the needs of the society whose construction and maintenance depend partly on education. Rather than the ideal of letting the child pursue his or her curiosity unconstrained (an impossible ideal in any case), Luddite teachers are right to cultivate the broadest possible engagement with the world that children will find themselves bearing responsibility for in the future.

And this means that the education of children at its best is less about personalisation than socialisation. And, no, it is not a form of indoctrination beginning with infants being frogmarched around the schoolyard before being compelled to learn the Little Red Book off by heart.

This does not imply any antithesis to solitary work or personal choice or occasional use of 1:1 techniques. All it entails is the inclusion of these in the broader framework of an education taking place chiefly in a school outside the home, where children can be introduced to the habits, values, ideas and ways of thinking that are crucial to a free society.

Like all societies, that free society, at the very least needs to be able to use the pronoun “we”. We can only achieve freedom historically if we find ourselves among people similarly engaged by the questions of who we are, what we are doing, what we believe and what makes sense to us. As preparation for this, a crucial initial task of school is to enable children to feel that they are part of a larger whole beyond the family, and then to equip them and inspire them to carry on the dialogue about the beliefs and ideas and frameworks of sense that hold society together."

"Because of the centrality in that debate of the questions about who we are, what we are doing, what we believe the Luddite pedagogy entails what might be called a Delphic model of education (recalling the inscription outside the Temple of Apollo in Delphi: Know Thyself), and it entails bringing the Luddite hammer down hard on the liberal taboo against what we would call an education in belief (and they would call indoctrination).

The broader liberal framework of personalising edtech requires keeping values out of education as much as possible, except as things to be studied “objectively” (e.g. in the form of comparative religion, where belief systems are presented without being questioned and evaluated). Only a minimal set of values are to be openly endorsed: chiefly the values of a respect for the facts and logic, combined with the minimal liberal agenda of tolerance, peace, and the value of a sort of idle critical thinking (idle because it is not really in earnest about criticising other systems of belief – that would be too illiberal).

A Luddite pedagogy puts the non-idle interrogation of values at the centre of the curriculum, at least in the high school, when children have a broad enough background to draw on when making their critical appraisals of ideas about value – the aim being to help children begin to think more deeply about what we believe and what makes sense and what doesn’t."
tornhalves  luddites  history  2014  luddism  edtech  education  socialization  democracy  learning  howwelearn  individualization  technology  1:1  kenrobinson  tcsnmy  freedom  collectivism  collectivity  debate  discourse  curriculum  walterbenjamin  hannaarendt  progress  disruption  mechanization  automation  atomization  subservience  revolution  neoluddism  society  unschooling  deschooling  personalization  schools  schooling  child-centered  children  1to1 
september 2014 by robertogreco

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