I posted this as a comment on another blog, but that person’s blog hasn’t been updated in seven months, so I’m making it a short article of my own:
“When people say Second Life is “just a game” and people shouldn’t take it so seriously, they are usually implying that it is ridiculous to experience real emotions (positive or negative) over something that happens to their avatar in-world.”
Be cautious of reading that intention into the statement of ‘SL is a game.’
I often state, and feel strongly, that it -IS- a game. SL is relaxation time, enjoyment time, fulfillment time, play time, social time.
– For me, that defines ‘game.’
If it was not a game, it would be work. 😉
The notion of ‘game’ has been getting narrowed of late by the video-game generation, inspired by the Dungeons and Dragons generation, who were shaped by the miniatures warfare simulation generation.
- That’s a very male-centric view that a game has clear objectives, competition, defined rules, winners, and losers. To me, that is -not- a very inclusive definition, and leaves out almost any ‘non-patriarchy’ (to use an over-used buzzword…) form of ‘leisure / social engagement’. It basically trivializes feminine-centric ‘game play’ and any ‘non-aggressive’ forms of male-centric game-play.
I don’t think I’m alone here, I think a -LOT- of people who say SL is a game just didn’t grow up playing Dungeons and Dragons… 😉
We just don’t have the same narrow concept of what a game is. For us a game can be any number of forms of pleasure with challenge, or social pleasures, or play.
Ask yourself why the phrase ‘the game of life’ exists… its not a definition that comes from the narrow-scope concept of game.
Three definitions of game to challenge your assumptions:
- : activity engaged in for diversion or amusement : play
- : the equipment for a game
- : a procedure or strategy for gaining an end :
- : a field of gainful activity : line
- : any activity undertaken or regarded as a contest involving rivalry, strategy, or struggle ; also : the course or period of such an activity
- : area of expertise : specialty 3
And the one which is the narrow scope concept:
- : a physical or mental competition conducted according to rules with the participants in direct opposition to each other
- : a division of a larger contest
- : the number of points necessary to win
- : points scored in certain card games (as in all fours) by a player whose cards count up the highest
- : the manner of playing in a contest
- : the set of rules governing a game
- : a particular aspect or phase of play in a game or sport