“An emancipated community is a community of narrators and translators.” (12)
“The interminable critique of the system is finally identified with a demonstration of the reasons why this critique lacks any impact.” (40)
“[Post]-Marxist and post-Situationist wisdom is not content to furnish a phantasmagorical depiction of a humanity completely buried beneath the rubbish of its frenzied consumption. It also depicts the law of domination as a force seizing on anything that claims to challenge it. It makes any protest a spectacle and any spectacle a commodity.” (33)
A general outline of transmedia “world-building” practices in a variety of historical and social contexts. Prepared for a guest lecture delivered at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
“The first secret is “story.” When I say story I am not talking about a linear “once upon a time” type story. I am talking about an all encompassing notion, a “big picture” idea of the world that is being creating. A set of rules that will guide, the design and the project team to a common goal. It is this first step that will insure the created world will be seamless. If you are creating a game or attraction based on, let’s say “pirates”, you’ll need to play your audiences expectation like a violin. You want to pamper them by fulfilling every possible expectation of what it must be like to be a pirate. Every texture you use, every sound you play, every turn in the road should reinforce the concept of “pirates!” If you successfully establish a strong enough “story” early on in your design process, you will have little trouble keeping your team focused.”
“When describing solids, one may ignore time altogether; in describing fluids, to leave time out of account would be a grievous mistake. Descriptions of fluids are all snapshots, and they need a date at the bottom of the picture.
Fluids travel easily. They ‘flow’, ‘spill’, ‘run out’, ‘splash’, ‘pour over’, ‘leak’, ‘flood’, ‘spray’, ‘drip’, ‘seep’, ‘ooze’; unlike solids, they are not easily stopped – they pass around some obstacles, dissolve some others and bore or soak their way through others still. From the meeting with solids they emerge unscathed, while the solids they have met, if they stay solid, are changed – get moist or drenched.
These are reasons to consider ‘fluidity’ or ‘liquidity’ as fitting metaphors when we wish to grasp the nature of the present, in many ways novel, phase in the history of modernity.”
“[Melancholic] prediction does not revolve around verifiable facts. It simply tells us: things are not what they seem to be. This is a proposition that does not run the risk of ever being refuted. Melancholy feeds on its own impotence.” (37)
“This is the logic of the stultifying pedagogue, the logic of straight, uniform transmission: there is something — a form of knowledge, a capacity, an energy in a body or a mind — on one side, and it must pass to the other side. What the pupil must learn is what the schoolmaster must teach her. What the spectator must see is what the director makes her see. What she must feel is the energy he communicates to her. To this identity of cause and effect, which is at the heart of the stultifying logic, emancipation counter-poses their dissociation. This is the meaning of the ignorant schoolmaster: from the schoolmaster the pupil learns something that the schoolmaster does not know himself.” (14)
“According to the Brechtian paradigm, theatrical mediation makes [spectators] conscious of the social situation that gives rise to it and desirous of acting in order to transform it. According to Artaud’s logic, it makes them abandon their position as spectators: rather than being placed in front of a spectacle, they are surrounded by the performance, drawn into the circle of action that restores their collective energy. In both cases, theatre is presented as a mediation striving for its own abolition.” (8)
“That speaks to what games are really doing, which is allowing people to express themselves in a living system with other people who are doing the same. You’re actually making decisions that are going to move one way or the other and that will have effects concretely on other people. I think that for many people, sometimes including me, real life doesn’t always feel like something that you can have concrete effects on in a systemic way. It’s not always easy to figure out how to be generous in a way that can touch a lot of strangers. Games allow us to do these kinds of things. It’s true that what’s happening in them is fictional and useless, but it’s as fictional and useless as literature or cinema. Games allow us to see each other, for a moment, in a way that living in a city prevents.”