I have an interest in the overall-scope of Video Games; but limited time to play all of the things that are of interest. I think I have come up with a solution, to help define in my own mind what are the games I need to restrain myself to.
Video Games have at times been called Possibility Spaces; I think its a very great name since it is about exploring new places, tools, and concepts. Since there is not enough hours in our lives to play every possibility, I have come to accept that others can do the exploring is just as good. Twitch is a good example of the fun of witnessing games.
Lots of narrative based games like RPGs and FPSs we see the game’s setting telling a story about the world. Following the narrative-linear format, these games are like books and movies. When you finish the game, you finish the story.
The story is not going to advance unless you play. History waits for the player. It these kinds of games where we are acting as the page turner. Successfully overcoming obstacles advances the story. Witnessing these, spoilers and all, means that I don’t need to play it myself. The Possibility Space is linear and needs to be witnessed.
Yet I do want to engage with Games were there is a sense of affecting the outcome. Where the pages of the story will turn without your presence, allowing the story to advance. We find these kinds of games when the Possibility Space is dynamic and needs to be experienced.
What happens in these dynamic possibility spaces, what is shared is not spoilers, but wisdom and stories of ‘being there’. This is what I was trying to capture when I spoke about Gamestories, the recounting of wisdom found in games. Instead of witnessing a retelling of a story, I wanted to hear about the possibilities that were experienced, a kind of entertainment in and of itself.
My passion for Video Games goes back decades. Coupled with an obsession with historical evolution of the industry, I have concluded that the following classes of Video Games will be what I will track, watch, and hopefully play:
- Machine Games – Historical firsts in game play powered by machines (the Playstates concept that Games are the Play of Measurement) collected as a Timeline or a historical firsts contest.
- Video Game Fame – These are Video Games considered worthy of Awards given by industry respected institutions including top selling games. Essentially a popularity contest.
- Video Game Arcane – These are Video Games that are obscure & border-cases that represent diversity and personal interest. Essentially an obscurity contest.
- Zero Player Games – These are Video Games that provide In-Game Emergence (IGE). These consist of Events and History. Events are incidents of spontaneous outcomes that were unexpected. History is when the Video Game advances and the player is tasked with slowing or reversing a game’s advance of history. Collected as a Timeline.
Doc Surge (a cool synonym for Billows) is inspired by Doc Brass from the Planetary Comic series who in turn was inspired by the 1930s pulp hero Doc Savage.