VGHVI Discord

We now have a VGHVI Discord server, to use when we want to chat about stuff between our regular sessions.  If you’re a VGHVI regular, you’re already on the server; but if you’re somebody who’s not a VGHVI regular but who would like a congenial place to talk about video games and/or human values, you’re more than welcome to join as well!

We’re not opening it up for public invites just yet, but if you know one of the regulars, just ask and that person will be happy to give you an invite. Or, if you don’t know one of the regulars, you can leave a comment here asking for an invite and saying something about how you know us and we’ll invite you that way as well.

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Symposium: Celeste, April 5, 2018

The April Symposium will be on Celeste, with Pat leading the discussion.  Quoting Pat:

This Thursday, we’ll be looking at Celeste, the indie platformer for Steam and Switch.  Specifically, I’d like to look that the odd place Celeste sits in the audience spectrum.  Celeste is, in parts, friendly and approachable.  The easy-to-learn mechanics, narrative and cute graphics suggest a wide, casual audience.   But at other times, the game requires a huge time commitment and a either a lot of skill or a lot of luck, or both.  And there’s also “assist mode” to talk about.  The question I really want to ask is, “Is Celeste challenging its audience in the manner of a lot of great art? Or is it misrepresenting itself and acting carelessly with audience expectations?”

We’ll meet on Thursday at 8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT, voice chat over Skype.
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VGHVI Minecraft: March 29, 2018

Minecraft this Thursday! 8:30pm EDT, 5:30pm PDT.

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Symposium, 1 March: Snapchat et al.

Image result for snapchat image

More experimental even than my usual fare, this symposium will seek to describe the snapstreak, and Snapchat itself, as performative play practices, and then to extrapolate from there to describe other social media practices in similar terms.

The question to which I seek an answer: what traction can we get over the function of identification in the play practices we usually describe as games from considering how we identify with ourselves as practitioners of social media? If immersion is identification with the ruleset, how do our social media performances transform us as we assume the self-images we create within the mechanics of various social media platforms? What happens to that imago, and to us, when a snapstreak ends?

Thursday, March 1st, on Skype at 8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT.

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, February 22, 2018

Minecraft this week! Thursday at 8:30pm EST / 5:30pm PST.

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Symposium, February 1st: Universal Paperclips (and Incremental Games)


Everything. Everything in its right place.

The system has a task. A task and a purpose. For incremental games like Universal Paperclips, that task and that purpose becomes our own as we become both the rules of the system and their flight toward the cold, incandescent flame of progress. If we were to feel, everything might feel inevitable, but it might also feel sharp and focused, a narrow synergy of theme and mechanics.

Everything has a place and time. Our place and our time will be this Thursday, February 1st, on Skype at 8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT. Our flight will drift far enough from the system so that we can observe and speak to it; does it remember its task? Does it remember our purpose? Or can the system only see its history as justification to perpetuate its meaning?

The game(s):

Supplemental material:

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, January 25, 2018

The first Minecraft session of the new year: Thursday at 8:30pm EST / 5:30pm PST.

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