Saturday, June 07, 2008

An Ancient Impulse Indeed

So why didn't Plato ever think to deck out a dungeon for his fellows to loot? ...
Many indie games are very close to being products of an anarchist collective.

"Dungeons and Dragons Owns the Future," The Escapist [7 June 2008]

While recently reading Jeff's Game Blog I followed the links in one of his posts to the above article (and a few others). I had found a genre of game culture which accepts that gaming is, in many ways, a modern analogue of an ancient impulse. In this deep level of metageekdom, the cultural invention of Aeschylus - ancient greek playwright who introduced dialogue to the story teller's art - is fairly equated with the later invention of Gygax and Arneson (publishers of the original D&D). Taking the conception a step further, Living Epic: Video Games in the Ancient World recognises the significance of emerging digital techne, creates a multidisciplinary syllabus for the study of online video gaming which draws on our understanding of the classical cultural roots of western culture (and, indeed, studies classical literature by drawing on our experience of online gaming).

All very interesting to me, what with my anthropological interest in these dimensions of the human experience.

So much so that it takes my thoughts back into the study of the phenomena which is occurring in PBBGs such as Renaissance Kingdoms. It'd be nice to tell that tale in both its 'internal' and 'external' dimensions. Is this the pursuit which the frustrated anthropologist in me has been seeking for?

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