Sunday, January 10, 2010

On Games

In The Sunday Times I review Tom Chatfield's book on computer games Fun Inc.. My conclusion is that Jason's Rohrer's Passage is the greatest game of all. Do not, however, get involved with Rohrer's Primrose. Your conscious life will end.


  1. Welcome to the dark side.

  2. Ten years or more ago I started a list of things that occurred to me. This was the first thing I wrote:

    1) There are at present several billion models of (presumably) one reality. The interaction of these (model/model & reality/model) stimulates a large part of human activity, including all of literature. Bear in mind that every model of any reality-related subject is necessarily incomplete.

    I didn't even consider videogames then, as the models were so crude. Once again, the history of humanity is driven by technology.

    I also remember, even longer ago I think, hearing part of a radio 4 science programme where the gist was that one day, in the not too distant future, you'd go to borrow a lawn mower from your neighbour, only to be told that he'd gone. He'd taken the something-or-other option. Which was?
    The contents of his mind had been downloaded into an extremely powerful computer. Inside which he would live forever.

    Still can't get into gaming though.

  3. Pixilated cowboy outfits for big kids, should carry a mental health warning, shows where society lost its marbles in the latter half of the twentieth century, abysmal pastime, creates retardation, excessive masturbation, skin irritation and chav's.

    I blame Harold Wilson's "The Britain that is going to be forged in the white heat of this revolution will be no place for restrictive practices or for outdated methods on either side of industry", the BBC micro and Pacman.

    Of course AA Gill will have had a hand in it somewhere, for goodness sake the man thinks that Branagh can act!

    If Albrecht were alive today his woodcuts would be full of effing computer game images.

  4. MMOGs have received justified attention as potential platforms for population studies, including infectious disease epidemiology, based on the expectation that how people behave is best modeled by having large numbers of people behave.

    By the way, I don't know how much American TV y'all get, but if you've never seen South Park's Make Love, Not Warcraft, you owe yourself.

  5. Is there any ill in this world for which AA Gill isn't at least partly to blame, Malty?

  6. The Sino-Soviet pact, Brit. There was I understand some language difficulty plus the fact that he was only six at the time.

  7. Ah yes, the Sino-Soviet business was Kirsty Wark's doing, I believe.

  8. Perhaps there should be a word for the point at which conscious life ends and zombie life begins.


  9. I honestly dont see why you lot get so wound up about doing things that are fun. Computer games are a laugh not some Phd research mullarkey thingey.. or a bloody rubbish book.