Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Theory of the day

'Playbour' as a ludic dressing-up of the same old produce-to-consume paradigm of Western capitalism will easily be rumbled by the Multitude (see Antonio Negri and Micheal Hardt). 'Playbour' as the ideal reconciliation of social duty, and semiotic flexibility, in a steady-state, sustainably-aware post-carbon economy, might be an entirely new social ethic.

Pat Kane, former Hue and Cry singer and cultural commentator, on his blog.

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Runner Up, and shortlisted for the 'Robust Beg to Differ-ing Award 2010'

He makes a comparison between Huizinga's idealisation of chivalric and carnivalesque play in the medieval era and the patriarchal guilds, wilfully embraced hierarchies and mass triviality of digital play today. Is our current ethos of play to be defined as "happy inspiration" in a world of neo-feudal and neo-militarist values and structures? This play-theorist would robustly beg to differ. But at the very least, these books make a strong case that we're all ludologists now. As the Tense Tens approach, we might as well get good at it.

Pat Kane, reviewing Fun Inc. by Tom Chatfield.

15 comments:

Willard said...

Sorry. Too early in the morning for all this... I'm going to get an apple.

Gaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gaw said...

I got as far as the first dozen words of the second review - Those of us who have been dented in a tender financial place... - before halting. Anyone whose powers of everyday observation and reflection aren't up to disclosing that 'tender' places don't get 'dented' isn't going to be a very reliable critic of anything. More generally he seems to be someone whose vocabulary has vastly outgrown his understanding of it (or anything else).

Brit said...

What's interesting to me is that there are all these little monomaniacal worlds of semi-academia out there - as with Kingsnorth's 'uncivilisation' movement - where these chaps all publish reams of arcane theory, organise conferences and review each other.

malty said...

At last AA Gill has a competitor. Things are still looking black in the post carbon economy tenies. I look forward to the post verbal diarrhoea teenies.

Gaw said...

Careful, Brit, you're in danger of wandering into self-description there (except for this corner and its environs being more multimaniacal).

Brit said...

Gaw - it did occur to me as I wrote it that I should perhaps add "other" before "little".

But then I remembered that generalism and, above all, amateurism save us.

David said...

Ah, the post-carbon economy. As a carbon-based life form, I welcome our new silicon masters.

David said...

It's not the monomaniacal that hurts, it's the "semi-academia."

wv: rexor -- the name of my new silicon master.

Peter said...

I love how this gobbledegook is magically given weight with a reference to obscure scholars (see Antonio Negri and Micheal Hardt). I think I'm going to start inserting see Nixon and Cohen in all my blog dust-ups.

Brit said...

Obscure, Peter? Us?

I would never tar David with the semi-academic brush. It's true that, as with Kane, I can't understand most of his sentences. But I at least get the impression that, unlike Kane, David understands most of his own sentences.

worm said...

When my wife comes to giving birth, I shall attempt to help her turn the event into something light hearted and fun by rebranding her labour as 'playbour' and setting her little deep breathing games, screaming competitions and suchlike

Brit said...

Do you have some news for us, Worm, or are you just hypotheticalising?

malty said...

The following academic gem comes courtesy of one Prof Rob Wilson via the University of Minnesota Press.

"If such a sublime cyborg would insinuate the future as post-Fordist subject, his palpably masochistic locations as ecstatic agent of the sublime superstate need to be decoded as the ‘now-all-but-unreadable DNA’ of a fast deindustrializing Detroit, just as his Robocop-like strategy of carceral negotiation and street control remains the tirelessly American one of inflicting regeneration through violence upon the racially heteroglossic wilds and others of the inner city."

Marks out of 10?

Peter said...

Worm may be on to something. Surely Nintendo would jump at the chance to come out with "Parenting Playbour" in which players compete to see who can withstand the most agonizing labours, change the most soiled diapers without heaving, avoid bankrupty over school fees and orthodontics, and collect the most number of counsellors and prescriptions to deal with the havoc brought on by ADHD. Extra mega-points for every romantic evening consummated before collapsing in blurry exhaustion. Endless squeals of laughter, no? Or am I just asking to be rumbled by the Multitude?