Sunday, October 03, 2004

Surrealist Game Critique

I think the Surrealists really hit the meaty part of the discussion of games. For me it is always interesting when you place a more serious light on any subject. The Surrealists found this special quality of games and exploited it to the point where it becomes of philosophic importance. So, when playing a surrealist game whether you understand the theory behind it or not you can feel how differen't it is from your "average" game. When playing Exquistite Corpse you immediately feel the abstract energy of the game in its lack of competition and lack of substantial goals or pay-offs. The game is about sharing. In the drawing version of Exquisite Corpse, regardless of the nature of your fellow players abilities to draw, the game is always successfull. The only argument or difficulty of the game is in the decifering of the end product, the interpretation of the resulting drawing. I really enjoy this games ability to bring a group of people together. In playing the game, people whose brains and personalities normally work on very differen't wavelengths, are seemingly forced to come together and do come together. Its always interesting how a drawing will come together with the same themes and style. Even through the people who are playing the game are differ in many ways it is common for there to be a collective unconsiousness at work when it comes to the final drawing. It is that kind of outcome from a game of Exquisite Corpse, one that reminds us of the errie forces of coincidence, that screams of the Surrealists.

88 Comments:

Blogger Jane said...

hey Jacob-- I like the way you situate the "argument" or "difficulty" of the game in the final interpration stage. We had some debate in class over whether Exq Corpse is truly a game or not, because there's no real way to evaluate the outcome. But by characterizing the payoff stage as a kind of managing of the results, through interpretation, keen perception, and persuasive presentation ("Ah! See! look at what I notice here... this is really a...")you could arguably stage a more conclusion finish to the game. Usually, it's very freeform and casual, but there are some stakes in the final interpretation, I think.

October 4, 2004 at 10:37 AM  
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