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robertogreco : willwright   23

Model Metropolis
"Behind one of the most iconic computer games of all time is a theory of how cities die—one that has proven dangerously influential."

"Forrester’s central claim about complexity wasn’t a new one; it has a long history on the political right. In a 1991 book, Rhetoric of Reaction, the development economist and economic historian Albert O. Hirschman identified this style of argument as an example of what he called the “perversity thesis.” This kind of attack, which Hirschman traced back to Edmund Burke’s writings on the French Revolution, amounts to a kind of concern trolling. Using this rhetorical tactic, the conservative speaker can claim that they share your social goal, but simultaneously argue that the means you are using to achieve it will only make matters worse. When commentators claim “no-platforming will only make more Nazis,” that welfare programs lock recipients into a “cycle of dependency,” or that economic planning will lead a society down a “road to serfdom,” they’re making this kind of perversity argument.

What Forrester did was give the perversity thesis a patina of scientific and computational respectability. Hirschman himself makes specific reference to Urban Dynamics and argues that the “special, sophisticated attire” of Forrester’s models helped reintroduce this kind of argument “into polite company.” In the nearly fifty years since it has come out, Forrester’s “counterintuitive” style of thinking has become the default way of analyzing policy for mainstream wonks. For many, “counterintuitivity” is the new intuition.

Expert knowledge, of course, has an important place in democratic deliberation, but it can also cut people out of the policy process, dampen the urgency of moral claims, and program a sense of powerlessness into our public discourse. Appeals to a social system’s “complexity” and the potential for “perverse outcomes” can be enough to sink transformative social programs that are still on the drawing board. This might not matter in the context of a virtual environment like that of Urban Dynamics or SimCity, but we have decades of real-world evidence that demonstrates the disastrous costs of the “counterintuitive” anti-welfare agenda. Straightforward solutions to poverty and economic misery—redistribution and the provision of public services—have both empirical backing and moral force. Maybe it’s time we start listening to our intuition again."
simcity  libertarianism  history  games  gaming  videogames  cities  simulations  simulation  2019  kevinbaker  urban  urbanism  policy  politics  economics  bias  willwright  urbanpolicy  urbanplanning  complexity  democracy  alberthirschman  edmundburke  danielpatrickmoynihan  jayforrester  paulstarr  urbandynamics  johncollins  dynamo  class  classism  motivation  money  government  governance  poverty  systemsthinking  society 
february 2019 by robertogreco
You Can't Fuck the System If You've Never Met One by Casey A. Gollan
"Part of the reason systems are hard to see is because they're an abstraction. They don't really exist until you articulate them.

And any two things don't make a system, even where there are strong correlations. Towns with more trees have lower divorce rates, for example, but you'd be hard-pressed to go anywhere with that.

However, if you can manage to divine the secret connections and interdependencies between things, it's like putting on glasses for the first time. Your headache goes away and you can focus on how you want to change things.

I learned that in systems analysis — if you'd like to change the world — there is a sweet spot between low and high level thinking. In this space you are not dumbfoundedly adjusting variables…nor are you contemplating the void.

In the same way that systems don't exist until you point them out…"

"This is probably a built up series of misunderstandings. I look forward to revising these ideas."

[Now here: ]
color  cooperunion  awareness  systemsawareness  binary  processing  alexandergalloway  nilsaallbarricelli  willwright  pets  superpokepets  superpoke  juliandibbell  dna  simulations  trust  hyper-educated  consulting  genetics  power  richarddawkins  generalizations  capitalism  systemsdesign  relationships  ownership  privacy  identity  cities  socialgovernment  government  thesims  sims  google  politics  facebooks  donatellameadows  sherryturkle  emotions  human  patterns  patternrecognition  systemsthinking  systems  2012  caseygollan  donellameadows 
march 2012 by robertogreco
The Sims designer creating new game for real life | Reuters
"I’ve had a couple of experiences where I realized that I’m surrounded by opportunities in life that I’m not aware of…I realized that we could build a system — if we had a situational awareness about you, about who you are, where you are, what time of day it is, how much money is in your pocket, what’s the weather like, what your interests are, etc. — that could make your life much more interesting.

If we had that much situational awareness about you and at the same time we were building this very high-level map of the world…all sorts of things like historical footnotes & people you might want to meet. I started thinking about games that we can build that would allow us to triangulate you in that space and build that deep situational awareness. There will be all types of games, but the key will be focusing the experiences, including multiplayer, within the real world and away from the fictional world that games currently invest in."
play  situationalawareness  context  awareness  situationist  situated  arg  gaming  2012  hivemind  games  willwright 
january 2012 by robertogreco
The Montessori Mafia - Ideas Market - WSJ
"Montessori educational approach might be surest route to joining creative elite…overrepresented by school’s alumni…Google’s founders Page & Brin, Amazon’s Bezos, videogame pioneer Will Wright, & Wikipedia founder Wales, not to mention Julia Child & Sean Combs…

Mr. Page said, “& I think it was part of that training of not following rules & orders, & being self-motivated, questioning what’s going on in the world, doing things a little bit differently.”…

Will Wright…heaps similar praise. “Montessori taught me the joy of discovery. It’s all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to youi…”

We can change the way we’ve been trained to think…begins in small, achievable ways, w/ increased experimentation & inquisitiveness. Those who work w/ Bezos, for example, find his ability to ask “why not?” or “what if?” as much as “why?” to be one of his most advantageous qualities. Questions are the new answers."
education  montessori  toshare  unschooling  deschooling  learning  tcsnmy  willwright  jeffbezos  sergeybrin  larrypage  jimmywales  juliachild  seancombs  mariamontessori  creativity  inquisitiveness  inquiry  problemsolving  mindset  rules  rulebreaking  why  whynot  questions  questioning  cv  teaching  children  montessorimafia  invention  entrepreneurship  2011  self-motivation  self-directedlearning  testing  standardizedtesting  standardization  amazon  google  wikipedia 
july 2011 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
But it bears repeatin’ now. « Magical Nihilism
"When we do these computer models, those aren’t the real models; the real models are in the gamer’s head. The computer game is just a compiler for that mental model in the player. We have this ability as humans to build these fairly elaborate models in our imaginations, and the process of play is the process of pushing against reality, building a model, refining a model by looking at the results of looking at interacting with things.“
willwright  videogames  psychology  games  play  gaming  imagination  modeling  quotes 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Video: National Geographic's Spore Documentary | Game | Life from
"Though National Geographic's How To Build A Better Being -- the documentary that will be shipping alongside Spore as part of that game's Collector's Edition -- doesn't air until September 9, the channel has passed along a short preview. This clip shows Spore creator Will Wright and marine biologist Tierney Thys discussing Spore's creatures -- specifically, how the game's Creature Creator relates directly to the amazingly varied, real-world sea creatures that Thys studies."
spore  willwright  animals  design  nature  nationalgeographic 
september 2008 by robertogreco
New Computer Game, Spore, Takes Cues From Evolutionary Biology -
"Evolutionary biologists like Dr. Near and Dr. Prum, who have had a chance to try the game, like it a great deal. But they also have some serious reservations. The step-by-step process by which Spore’s creatures change does not have much to do with real evolution. “The mechanism is severely messed up,” Dr. Prum said."
evolution  games  gaming  willwright  spore  science  videogames 
september 2008 by robertogreco
EA's 'Spore' a week from being finished - CNET - "They made "creatures we didn't even know could be made"
"That was a brilliant move because, already, users have made more than 2 million creatures using the system, all of which will be incorporated into the game when it goes live in will be far richer "
spore  games  gaming  crowdsourcing  ea  evolution  gamedesign  willwright  children  creatures 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Sims Creator on the Social Aspects of Computers - Bokardo
"It turns out that we don’t use computers to enhance our math skills - we use them to enhance our people skills“
willwright  videogames  gaming  games  learning  community  social  via:preoccupations  computers  technology  communication  relationships 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Blackbeltjones/Work » But it bears repeatin’ now.
"Will Wright from his now legendary Long Now talk with Eno, as quoted by Jim Rossignol in his excellent book “This Gaming Life” (my emphasis below):

“When we do these computer models, those aren’t the real models; the real models are in the gamer’s head. The computer game is just a compiler for that mental model in the player. We have this ability as humans to build these fairly elaborate models in our imaginations, and the process of play is the process of pushing against reality, building a model, refining a model by looking at the results of looking at interacting with things.“


That’s still the mission plan."

[Now at: ]
games  gamedesign  design  play  interaction  modeling  willwright  life  reality  learning  gamechanging  ux  mattjones 
july 2008 by robertogreco
The Long Now Blog » Blog Archive » Will Wright and Brian Eno - “Playing with Time” - ""Building models, said Wright, is what we do in computer games, and it’s what we do in life...
"...First it’s models of how the world works, then it’s models of how other humans work....[with games] You get to explore other paths to take in the same situation. Eno: “That’s what we do with everything I call culture"
willwright  brianeno  games  play  life  ambient  generative  spore  longnow  stewartbrand  creativity  gamedesign  process 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Games Without Frontiers: 'Spore' Releases the Pixar in You
"what Spore will do, very subtly & quietly, is begin changing way people interact w/ 3-D culture. 3-D art will suddenly seem less opaque & more time you go to animated movie, you'll see onscreen characters as series of design decisio
clivethompson  spore  games  gamedesign  animation  3d  play  pixar  gaming  willwright 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Confessions of an Aca/Fan: From Serious Games to Serious Gaming
"Learning as a Process, Not a Product...spaces for exploration, experimentation, & problem solving...Games as Interdisciplinary Spaces...Serious Games and Participatory Culture...Reality -- Augmented, Alternate, & Otherwise"
henryjenkins  willwright  seriousgames  interdisciplinary  gaming  games  gamedesign  learning  education  schools  schooling  unschooling  play  problemsolving  multidisciplinary  deschooling  janmcgonigal  arg  participatory  contentcreation  literacy  media  pervasive  cocreation  collaboration  modding  machinama  mobile  multimedia  phones  online  internet  web  computers  technology  puzzles 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Special Report: The Power of Play [Business Week]
"The gaming industry is in mid-revolution as a new generation of designers begins transforming games from mere toys into socially rich entertainment" -
design  innovation  interaction  technology  games  gaming  willwright  areacode  gnosis  nabistudios  videogames  arg  mmog  social 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Will Wright: Will Wright Wants To Control Your Miniature Worlds
"geekgasm about science fiction, miniature worlds, and the future of the user/viewer/gamer experience...referenced Godzilla, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, and Phillip K. Dick during his 45 minute speech"
willwright  games  videogames  scifi  sciencefiction  stories  storytelling  play  gaming 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Gallery: Will Wright Walks Us Through 'Spore'
"an extensive first look at the latest version of Spore, a grandiose simulation of every stage of life, from the primordial soup to space exploration"
games  spore  willwright  videogames  gaming  evolution 
february 2008 by robertogreco
TED | TEDBlog: SimCity plays with One Laptop per Child
"Game publisher Electronic Arts has donated the original SimCity, Will Wright's groundbreaking 1989 computer game, to Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop per Child initiative."
olpc  willwright  laptops  $100  simcity  games  play  learning  simulations 
november 2007 by robertogreco
The Pedal-to-the-Metal, Totally Illegal, Cross-Country Sprint for Glory
"Alex Roy has a crazy dream: to beat the legendary Cannonball Run record by crossing the country in under 32 hours and 7 minutes. Floor it!"
racing  cars  willwright  us  crosscountry  wired 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Wonderland: SXSW: Will Wright Keynote
"I studied Montessori’s philosophy and methods. She basically wanted kids to explore the world themselves using toys and objects, learning the meaning of things... and I want to build a game where a player is going to come across the Copernican Principl
games  play  videogames  spore  willwright  software  children  education  montessori  learning 
march 2007 by robertogreco
Will Wright's bibliography (
"Bibliographies are something normally reserved for books, but Wright draws much of the inspiration for his games from articles, books, papers, and other games that a list of further reading/playing in the instruction booklet for SimCity wouldn't feel out
books  games  people  videogames  reference  lists  bibliography  play  learning  inspiration  willwright  influence 
november 2006 by robertogreco

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