Playful Objects: agency, technology and aesthetics
(helen kennedy and seth giddings) Often been argued that video games are characterised by an aesthetics of control or agency. Mastery assumed to be the dominant (sic.) pleasure.
Aesthethis: this early 18th century verison of aesthetics more clearly linked to root in aesthethis, sense experiences.
Who are the agents? what are their pleasures?
The players not the only pleasures, mastery not the only pleasure.
(video example from Lego Star Wars, where the players are laughing about the way Yoda moves. Some of the pleasure definitely abotu the “bouncingness”, which Melanie talked about)
They’re going to show a number of clips.
Lots of “ooh, I just did something there” and “oops, sorry” and then “goodness, I apologised to an NPC” and “there’s a guy attacking you” and “is that me?”
–> hardly about control
Then put up a list on the screen of what they thinks going on. Accidental agents – they’re making things happen but they’r enot sure how. delight in discovering what is possible in the world. Kinaesthesia gives pleasure. The agency of the gameworld and the NPCs. “The game wants us to do something.” False assignation of intentionality – e.g. when Seth accidentally attacks an NPC he apologises – we assign emotions to NPCs. This is not a mistake but part of the pleasure, part of the world and the game event.
What’s actually happening? The player’s moving the analogue stick around on the controller –> generates really cool spinning on Yoda. That amplifies the movement of the players. The players themselves amplify things again, by finding it amazingly hilarious.
Relates to Melanie’s talk because she’s responding to possibilities and owning them, she is Chewie.
Pleasures in loss of agency: (auto) destruction and submission.
From amplification to positive feedback.