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Proocedural Representations of Ideologies. An example:. About me, and why I am here. Five years in ludology MSc Video Games (A Critical Simulation Analysis) MSc Education and Technology (Perceptions of Ideology in Simulation Games) Why What How. Why games and simulations?.

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Proocedural Representations of Ideologies


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about me and why i am here
About me, and why I am here
  • Five years in ludology
  • MSc Video Games (A Critical Simulation Analysis)
  • MSc Education and Technology (Perceptions of Ideology in Simulation Games)
  • Why
  • What
  • How
why games and simulations
Why games and simulations?
  • New medium for expressions of ideologies
  • Increasingly becoming part of political discourse
    • Politicians
    • NGOs
    • Interests organizations
    • Advertisement
slide5
Official Howard Dean 2004 PrimariesOfficial Republican National Congress 2006'Underground' Bush 2004 Pres election
why pt ii
Why? Pt II
  • QCDA: Simulations and Models from Key Stage 1 (Year 2/age ~7)
  • 32.5 million gamers in UK
  • Avg age: 28
  • 86% of girls aged 13-19
  • Weekly play time boys 13-19: 11 hours
  • Source: TNS TIPO Technology for gamesindustry.com
procedurality
”Procedurality”
  • Core component of computational representation (Murray 1997)
  • Relying on 'procedures'
  • Streams of logical expressions
    • 'do if',
    • 'do when'
    • 'do after'
    • 'do if not'
    • etc
game of life
Game of Life
  • For every increment in time,
    • All cells look at their eight neighbours
    • If equal or less than two alive
      • Die (from loneliness)
    • If between 3 and 6 alive
      • Live
    • If equal to or more than seven alive
      • Die (from starvation)
a similar model
A similar model
  • For every increment in time,
    • All cells look at their eight neighbours
    • If more than X% different from me
      • Move
    • If less than X% different from me
      • Stay
an entirely different model
An entirely different model?
  • For every increment in time,
    • All cells look at their eight neighbours
    • If more than X% different from me
      • Move
    • If less than X% different from me
      • Stay
procedural representations of ideologies
Procedural Representations of Ideologies
  • ”Manipulation of symbols through procedures”
  • Symbols widen interpretational space
  • Is vs could have beenvs ought to have been
  • Hermenutic relationship: procedures/symbols
  • September 12th revisited
my questions
My questions
  • What do these games say?
  • How can we analyse them?
  • Where can we find a (somewhat) compatible conceptual framework?
critical simulation analysis
Critical Simulation Analysis
  • Based on Norman Fairclough's work in Critical Discourse Analysis (1995, 2003)
  • Six concepts:
    • Intertextuality (and absence/presence)
    • Social Actors
    • Evaluations
    • Background Knowledge
    • Modalities
    • Nominalizations
the game experience
The Game Experience
  • To what extent do people project their own understandings on to the game?
  • How does this impact their ability to understand models they disagree with?
  • How do people make long-term plans on assumptions they disagree with?
a few player experiences
A few player experiences
  • “but I don't want to make a profit with McDonald's products...” (18:08)
  • “But obviously if I have to increase my production, I have to do something...” (21:52)”
a few player experiences1
A few player experiences
  • “I haven't got enough customers... which is a good thing, to be honest. Like... McDonald's is such a bad thing for you. Why would you want to eat there in the first place?” (31:40)
  • “How's my shop doing? Oh, excellent! There's a huge queue!” (41:50)
a few player experience
A few player experience
  • I'm trying to make everyone happy at the moment, because it seems in that game that if you don't make everybody happy, you can't [win]... even if you as a person don't believe in that, but the rules of the game seem to think that if one of the groups is not happy, you lose the whole game!” (P5, 29:40)
that is what games do
That is what games do!
  • Valorize the outcome (Juul 2005)
  • Disambiguate the model
  • Play qua game or qua social statement
modeling essential contestability
Modeling Essential Contestability
  • Congestion Charge (Freeden 2005)
  • Indeterminacy of 'Public Goods'
ideologies rorshach
Ideologies Rorshach
  • Allowing people to construct their own meaning
  • Their own 'valorization'
  • Playing their own game
  • Simple task: Set congestion charge to whatever you think is most fair. Ask any questions you will about the simulation.
participants
Participants
  • 1: Apolitical, only votes because he feels he kind of has to.
  • 2: Conservative
  • 3: Social liberal
  • 4: Life-long socialist activist
what they said
What they said
  • Apolitical 200:
    • I take the bus. So can everybody else.
  • Conservative 45:
    • I don't want the state to force people to do anything. But I also don't want to sit on the bus for too long. So double the amount of bus takers.
  • Social Liberal 114: Maximise gain to society.
    • Revenue from congestion charge + half of time saved * mean minute salary – pollution costs.
  • Socialist 80:
    • Get more than half of population into busses.
essentially contestable models as research tool
Essentially contestable models as research tool?
  • Normal biases: Acquiescence, central tendency, social desirability.
  • Needs to accommodate everything people could possible imagine (e.g. Individual travel time, accidents)
  • ”Model/modeling literacy”
thank you
Thank you!
  • Arthur Hjorth
  • arthur.hjorth@stx.oxon.org
  • Bibliography
  • Freeden, M. 2005. What Should the ‘Political’ in Political Theory Explore?*. Journal of Political Philosophy 13, no. 2: 113-134.
  • Juul, Jesper. 2005. Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds. The MIT Press.
  • Murray, Janet H. 1998. Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. MIT Press, August 28.