Monday, May 02, 2011

What's Next

It is the second of May, 2011 and I'm thinking about what's next. today, I'm anticipating the results of the current Canadian federal election. More personally, I'm reflecting on what I have just achieved and what I hope to achieve in the future. Much of this is an ongoing process that will just lead to the next thing until there is no more me, rather than no more next. I hope that will be a very long time in the future.

My very good March featured winning a few bucks in a hockey pool; Completing my M.A.; and reconciling with my wife. The latter two help me vindicate myself as an okay guy. I supported myself, and my son, while completing an M.A. and working often as a carpenter, teacher and digital materials developer. My wife asked for the reconciliation, and I immediately said yes, but I didn't approach her. So far, we are all happy to be back together as a couple and a family.
As a family, we're all pretty invested in education. My wife coordinates a medical research group. I'm looking for new/additional teaching opportunities. Developing a focus for a Phd is also on the horizon.

I have started by a very simple statement "The Game is in the player". An analysis of this concept begins with Aristotle and how his doctrine of causes plays out in his discussion of psychology in his De Anima. This theoretical discussion combines my interest in aesthetics and creativity, with my M.A. thesis, especially with regards attributing agency to art objects, a line of thought I derive from the anthropologist, Alfred Gell. It also sweeps up my comparison of Nietzche's idea of Dionysian ecstasos with the experience of 'immersion' that we find in digital games. While I suspect that Aristotlean causes will fail to account for the placement of the game in the player, I think it will fail in an interesting way,setting the stage for games as performances that map onto Husserlian intersubjectivity. The creative elements of play that are discussed by biologists Neil Greenberg, the idea of 'meaning machines' as developed by computer scientist Deb Roy and asynchronous relationship of experiential phenomena to time in the work of neurologist David Eagleman provide data to consider the  digital game as an aesthetic conduit to Husserl's transcendental ego. This relationship between intersubjectivity, time, rhythm and experience would employ Martin Heidegger's Being and Time but also Henri Lefebvre's Rhythmanalysis as relevant text to exploring the interaction of shared experience in digital games.  Aside from continuing to explore the intentional experience, a frustrated goal of philosophy  this work offers the possibility of new means to conceptualising user experience of digital games. The experience of ecstatic temporality always seems to hover around my work, whether it is philosophy, game studies or music.

By continuing to blog my research, you can follow and make comments, if you are interested. I may attempt a more elaborate blogging site for that. This is partially to learn how to use such modern web/internet technologies as PHP, Python, Joomla and Wordpress. As a humanities scholar, I haven't invested in learning such technologies but now I feel I must.

A blog on my dissertation research would be good for a project focused learning experience. I also plan to learn to program/develop games with Unity and the Ios. For fun, create music, including some for games. This all represents an attempt to integrate all my disparate activities into a whole.


"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster