Design · Digital Media · Games/Play · Human-ities · Technology

The 21st Century Will Be Defined By Games, a Manifesto.

Previous centuries have been defined by novels and cinema. In a bold manifesto we’re proud to debut here on Kotaku, game designer Eric Zimmerman states that this century will be defined by games.ore

Below is Zimmerman’s manifesto, which will also appear in the upcoming book The Gameful World from MIT press. We invite you to read it, to think about it and even to annotate it. Zimmerman’s manifesto is followed by an exploration of the ideas behind it, in an essay by author and professor Heather Chaplin. In the days to come, we’ll be expanding the discussion even further with perspectives from other gamers and game-thinkers. But let’s start with the big ideas. Let’s start with a manifesto by gamers, about games, for the world we live in…

Games are ancient.

Digital technology has given games a new relevance.

The 20th Century was the century of information.

In our Ludic Century, information has been put at play.

In the 20th Century, the moving image was the dominant cultural form.

The Ludic Century is an era of games.

We live in a world of systems.

There is a need to be playful.

We should think like designers.

Games are a literacy.

Gaming literacy can address our problems.

In the Ludic Century, everyone will be a game designer.

Games are beautiful. They do not need to be justified.

Expand on each of these claims HERE

Art/Aesthetics · Education · Human-ities · Performativity · Public Space · Social/Politics

Nova Scotia College of Art and Design students disrupt university board meeting to announce manifesto

Last month, 100 students attending the Nova Scotia School of Art and Design (NSCAD) interrupted a board meeting to read their manifesto.

“Our manifesto was collectively written by the student faculty and staff to reaffirm what is essentially to NSCAD as a university.”

“The meeting was pretty much immediately adjourned once the students entered the room,” she says. “Half the board members left, but some stayed and had a conversation with students.”


Via NSCAD is Alive and The Chronicle Herald.

Human-ities · Social/Politics

America the Possible: A Manifesto, Part I

The following transformations hold the key to moving to a new political economy. Consider each as a transition from today to tomorrow.

• Economic growth: from growth fetish to post-growth society, from mere GDP growth to growth in human welfare and democratically determined priorities.
• The market: from near laissez-faire to powerful market governance in the public interest.
• The corporation: from shareholder primacy to stakeholder primacy, from one ownership and motivation model to new business models and the democratization of capital.
• Money and finance: from Wall Street to Main Street, from money created through bank debt to money created by government.
• Social conditions: from economic insecurity to security, from vast inequities to fundamental fairness.
• Indicators: from GDP (“grossly distorted picture”) to accurate measures of social and environmental health and quality of life.
• Consumerism: from consumerism and affluenza to sufficiency and mindful consumption, from more to enough.
• Communities: from runaway enterprise and throwaway communities to vital local economies, from social rootlessness to rootedness and solidarity.
• Dominant cultural values: from having to being, from getting to giving, from richer to better, from separate to connected, from apart from nature to part of nature, from transcendent to interdependent, from today to tomorrow.
• Politics: from weak democracy to strong, from creeping corporatocracy and plutocracy to true popular sovereignty.
• Foreign policy and the military: from American exceptionalism to America as a normal nation, from hard power to soft, from military prowess to real security.

This is an excerpt from an essay written by James Gustave Speth at ORION. Read HERE

Education · Human-ities · Philosophy · Social/Politics

Toward a Virtual Topography of the Manifesto by Matt Applegate

The following is an exploration of the relationship shared between space, relationality, and virtuality as it comes to bear on a particular genre of revolutionary expression: the manifesto. My argument here is in opposition to thinkers like Naomi Klein who have asserted the virtual power of the internet and social media to be the end of the manifesto genre; something like, we have twitter, we have Facebook, therefore manifestos are obsolete. Rather, my argument is in favor of a metamorphosis where the genre is concerned and where revolutionary expression is evolving. To put it another way, I am interested in thinking a politics of the manifesto genre that exceeds its own instrumentality. So the manifesto is being treated here as a provocation toward thinking the shape and character of a radical politics. By way of a brief and somewhat simplified characterization of the genre, I want to think in opposition to, or beyond, two primary problems where the genre is concerned. First, I want to think the function of the manifesto against an ought or revolutionary telos that would name its future and provide the political program to manifest it. Second, I want to problematize the Schmittian character of the genre, the bi-partisan, “friend” vs. “enemy” relation that is so often asserted where the manifesto names a revolutionary telos.

This paper was presented at the 2012 Telos Conference, “Space: Virtuality, Territoriality, Relationality,” held on January 14–15, in New York City.


Human-ities · Performativity · Science · Social/Politics

The Power of Introverts: A Manifesto for Quiet Brilliance

Author Susan Cain explains the fallacy of “groupwork,” and points to research showing that it can reduce creativity and productivity.

Do you enjoy having time to yourself, but always feel a little guilty about it? Then Susan Cain’s “Quiet : The Power of Introverts” is for you. It’s part book, part manifesto. We live in a nation that values its extroverts – the outgoing, the lovers of crowds – but not the quiet types who change the world. She recently answered questions from Mind Matters editor Gareth Cook.

Cook: This may be a stupid question, but how do you define an introvert? How can somebody tell whether they are truly introverted or extroverted?

Cain: Not a stupid question at all! Introverts prefer quiet, minimally stimulating environments, while extroverts need higher levels of stimulation to feel their best. Stimulation comes in all forms – social stimulation, but also lights, noise, and so on. Introverts even salivate more than extroverts do if you place a drop of lemon juice on their tongues! So an introvert is more likely to enjoy a quiet glass of wine with a close friend than a loud, raucous party full of strangers.

It’s also important to understand that introversion is different from shyness. Shyness is the fear of negative judgment, while introversion is simply the preference for less stimulation. Shyness is inherently uncomfortable; introversion is not. The traits do overlap, though psychologists debate to what degree.

Continue on Live Science HERE

Art/Aesthetics · Digital Media · Film/Video/New Media · Theory

Do We Really Need the Virtual in Art?

Darren Tofts essay has proved to be a really interesting reading, and I’m grateful to him for writing it. Ideas that were still dispersed and fragmentary in my mind found an order there. However, the essay left me with a couple of concerns, both related to the term “virtual”. I must confess that I’m allergic to labels in art, but I’m pretty sure that it’s not just that.

Tofts brilliantly addresses a whole line of thinking in Western culture, that goes from Henri Bergson to Philip K. Dick through Cicero and Baudrillard, in order to address a complex, layered reality of which the actual reality, for lack of a better term, is just one of the many manifestations (and dreams, “the palace of memory”, parallel universes, simulacra, the Matrix, Truman’s world, media spectacle and virtual environments are just a few of the others).

I’m wondering about the opportunity of reducing this extraordinary complexity, that Tofts knows and describes very well, to the classical, binary opposition “real vs virtual”. Contemporary life is already beyond this binary opposition: we live parallel lives in parallel worlds, some “real”, some simulated; we move fast from the one to the other, simply switching on and off our mobile phones. We kill monsters in videogames and help a disabled person to cross the street. We are kind here and perverse there. We adapt to different environments, different living conditions, different languages. We eat cheeseburgers every day, and drink Barolo during the summer holidays. We store our memories in tiny, well designed gadgets that we add to our key-case. What is real? And what is virtual?

Furthermore, and this brings me to my second argument, though having a long and honored history, the term “virtual” has strong roots, in our… ehm… memory, in the Eighties and Nineties technology and media theory. When I read it, I recall data-gloves and virtual reality; and when I read “Virtual Art”, I recall Frank Popper and Jeffrey Shaw. I find no way out of it. So, my question is: does it make any sense to rescue this term from its (un)glorious past? Why not use another term? Or simply call it “art”? If Tofts is right when he says “contemporary art is always already virtual”, why do add this prefix at all?

The answer, of course, can be that the term is needed by those who recognize themselves as “virtual artists” in order to promote their work against the limitations of the art system, against the requirements of the art market and outside of the tight borders of the art worlds. My opinion is that they don’t need it. They are already on the right way. As the “Manifesto of Virtual Art” proves, they have an understanding of the structures of contemporary life that is way more advanced than the one of most “traditional” fine artists. They understood that it’s not a matter of medium, but of understanding and picturing the world we are living in; but they are framing themselves in a way that will probably bring only artists using “virtual technologies” such as synthetic environments and augmented reality to join the crew. The binary opposition “real vs virtual”, if kept as such, can be a curse for them, and for a better understanding of their work.

I’m aware that I’m writing this in the columns of the inaugural edition of an ambitious editorial project called The Australian Journal of Virtual Art (AJVA), to which I wish long life and success. So, what I’m writing should not be intended as a critique, but as an invitation for my host to clarify its assets, and to answer some questions that, I’m sure, are not harassing my own mind only.

Written by Domenico Quaranta. Via The Australian Journal of Virtual Art