I only wish that someone would put it into a nondescript arcade cabinet in a hallway somewhere, so that people could stumble across it unprepared.
Edit: Naturally, it turns out that Mr. Barr has a PhD in this sort of thing, and that his thesis has to do with how we demonstrate our values during the course of playing video games. http://www.pippinbarr.com/academic/Pippin_Barr_PhD_Thesis.pd...
Like in GTA, do you try to talk our your problems or do you shoot first and ask questions later? The UI will repeatedly encourage you to shoot first and players will learn that, because if you won't, your enemies will.
This is the definition of value they're using, which I guess applies in this case: "A value is an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct is preferable to other potential modes of conduct".
Seems like a weird use of the word "values" to me as it's essentially about being able to figure out how it's best to progress rather than moral beliefs as the term may imply for many people.
EDIT: Yet they try to mix these interchangeably in the paper, with examples like "a value of PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT means that we will choose to put out the recycling on Tuesday evening, rather than put all our plastic in with the regular trash." - the reason you believe that is probably not because you stopped progressing and there was nothing else to do. I suppose this is the distinction between "video game values" and real world values. But I think it's important to note the lack of overlap and reasoning, which I'm not sure this paper does. Though maybe it does say something about our real world values changing to get the job done.
So for example I really just cannot bring myself to play a "dick" character in games like Fallout 4, Skyrim, Mass Effect, etc, but I know plenty of people who delight in it.
I don't think people's real world values have much if any influence on their play style. Ultimately playing Skyrim and Fallout for stealth and one hit kills will dictate a lot more the decisions I make than their moral value to me. I need to make certain decisions in order to optimize my build, so I'll make those decisions whether I like the values they show or not and whether they're consistent or not. I kill for weapons and armor, I steal for cash, etc.
It's funny like the parent I cannot bring myself to do that to "innocents" in games like Skyrim, even if the game reward it, I need to really force myself to roleplay to start letting my values step back
This is the first thing I saw in his paper and I have to say those claims are, well, interesting. And I say this as someone who plays video games. I can think of numerous counterexamples to each claim and even examples that conflict with every claim. Take Dwarf Fortress, who's interface is the bane of every player's existence, or Human Resource Machine which is essentially a learn-to-program game and therefore most serves its purpose when its emulating a beginner's version of MSVC. Minecraft's creative mode offers no fail states, cathartic killing sprees or explicit challenge, but merely stimulates parts of the brain capable of 3D processing. Competitive gaming like CS:GO, COD, Dota (and about 30 more) also don't fit into this model of games.
Admittedly I'm not a PhD in anything, much less video games, but this paper's analysis seems to fall short of explaining most games.
His point is that games are NOT means to an end, they are things where the whole point IS to interact with them (Minecraft creative mode is a perfect example of this).
To put it another way: The ideal way to make a powerpoint presentation would be to think of it and have it instantly materialize. On the other hand, what's the ideal implementation of GTA? As much as we say that the point of the game is to "beat it", if we just showed you the victory screen, then it would ruin it.
The same goes for Dwarf Fortress, Human Resource Machine, CS:GO, etc. If you just jump straight to the end result, you miss the entire point: the interaction itself.
I had to switch it off because I started to project myself to this small square pixel that elongates in the backdrop of pitch dark oblivion staring back into my empty soul.
"Il n'y a qu'un problème philosophique vraiment sérieux: c'est le suicide" I guess.
But the instance suicide is committed, he is no longer an existentialist.
It's better to be an existentialist as long as possible. Even if it becomes absurd. To maintain life is to maintain my philosophy. Suicide is forfeiture of the very thing existentialists cling on to-their ego created as a defence mechanism against all man created banalities.
p.s. I am talking out of my ass.
Anthropomorphism: the apple moves like the snake, man was made to the image of god and so on.
Apocalypticism: the game just ends after a few moves without notice.
Asceticism: the game ends if you eat the apple, you are supposed to be like a faquir.
Capitalism: you start the game with 50, spend 10 each apple you eat - when you are broke you can't afford the apple.
Casualism: I had to Google this one, the screen just flashes
with random squares.
Conservatism: just the plain old snakes game.
Determinism: the snake just moves by itself and you are unable to control the game - your destiny was set in stone the moment you were born.
Dualism: you can control the snake body with the regular controls, and you can move the snake mind with your mind. My mind is too weak so I was unable to move the snake mind.
Existentialism: you move the snake in a dark screen - after reading the wikipedia I guess the joke has to do with freedom in a meaningless world.
Holism: the whole screen moves with the snake (makes it very hard to get the apples in the corners)
Idealism: imagine you are playing a game of snakes
Monism: your play is not restrained by the walls - after reading it I guess the joke is about you being made of the same substance of god or something like that
Narcissism: when you finish the game it sends an email to the creator about how much you love his work.
Nihilism: just a black screen, no snake, no apples - nothing in the world really exists.
Optimism: you see apples everywhere but looks like they are not nourishing because the snake doesn't grow.
Pessimism: the play field is smaller and the apples appear outside of the walls where you are unable to reach.
Positivism: you see only a narrow part of the play field, I guess the joke is that you are unable to know the universe because our senses are limited.
Post-apocalypticism: no apples, you just move through a scrambled play field.
Romanticism: every time you eat an apple you see a cheeky statement like "food tastes like ashes when I'm not sharing it with you".
Stoicism: like a plain old snake game but you don't die when you hit the walls or yourself - after reading the wikipedia article I guess the joke is that virtue is sufficient for happiness, so the sage is immune to misfortune.
Utilitarianism: you have only two very narrow paths, one with 5 apples and other with one apple. If you take the one with more apples you win, otherwise you loose.
Anthropomorphism: as apple moves, you attribute intentions and feelings to it - now it flees, now it gave up and so on.
Determinism: you start out as usual trying to control the snake, but very quickly realize everything is predetermined and your sense of control is illusion.
Monoism: we are all part of oneness, you are devouring yourself.
Nihilism: I especially liked that you cannot go back to menu, you have to refresh the page. It's kind of a dead end in terms of meta-game (game of games).
Optimism: The reason you are not growing is that would make the game more difficult. You stay forever a child.
(Although, UI-wise, I'd like the play area to distinguish between spaces which you can see but don't contain anything and spaces which you can't see.)
Stoicism: you can however lock yourself up, ending with no valid direction for next move. However, the game doesn't end, so you have to restart. There's probably a philosophical implication here, though I can't think of one.
The stoic becomes its own trap.
> Seems like much less of a dilemma than the trolley problem.
From utilitarian point of view, it's exactly the same dilemma.
Ahhh, thank you for this list. For me (playing in Firefox), the narcissism ending just opened an empty Chrome instance...
Life is meaningless!
And personally, I thought it was brilliant. I played that level for a solid few minutes trying to figure out what the twist was.
Socialism: there are two snakes, and the 10 points for eating an apple gets split between them.
Communism: the game starts as Capitalism with two snakes, but then the game switches to Socialism, and the 50$ (or remainder) gets expropriated and split between the two snakes.
Late Communism: Starts like Communism, but more and more points for apples get allocated to the AI snake (and fewer to you) because it's a member of the communist party.
Late Late Communism: Like Late Communism, but eventually no more apples appear. Game implodes and turns back into Capitalism, but the party member snake has all the money.
Platonism: another game runs in parallel alongside this one, but the snake is perfect and the highest possible score is obtained.
For a couple of examples, the dualism version says "Arrows control snake body. Mind controls snake mind." and utilitarianism gives you two dead-end paths, one with 1 food and one with 5 food. Stoicism lets you run into walls and just sit there without losing.
Really enjoyed the Stoicism & Narcissism versions.
 and surely introducing a couple bugs of my own. I almost got it pixel-perfect, but I couldn't figure out QBasic's arc-drawing algorithm! (And the "slow rendering" is artificial delays. Because whole frames are drawn at a time with HTML5, you have to do something on purpose to get the slow city drawing effect.)
If you're curious, the HITSELF constant in the original game is 1, but I was testing a boolean against HITSELF using strict equality (===). Thus, you were just scored based on how many gorillas you hit with a banana.
Edit: If you have the source online, link please. I would love to make it networked :-)
The IBM EGA font came from an image someone kindly had of the complete character set, which I converted to JS: http://www.kylem.net/stuff/gorilla/ega8x14.js
The source code is http://www.kylem.net/stuff/gorilla/gorilla.js
Feel free to do whatever you want with it!
Brings back fond memories of 8th grade algebra class.
I think romanticism had me laughing the hardest.
And "Kosmosis: a communist space shooter is an arcade game from an alternate present where non-degenerated socialist values are hegemonic", and which is more fun than that sounds:
Updated, touch-oriented version:
Of course the rest of the work is itself a rather potent rebuttal to that idea. In the context of the Snake game, at least.
Ahhh, thank you. I was having some trouble figuring that one out but you summarized things nicely.
My be just track motion of fingers for movement? It would provide a more time accurate interface. Otherwise it looked really cool. I love arcades.
Optimism: as your progress in your life, it just fills up with music no matter whereever you go.
Stoicism: I think the snake should have kept the same size whether it ate an Apple or not.
Really great stuff and mind-tinkling :)
More serious answer: it's using HTML5 canvas, which is quite inefficient as rendering APIs go. For example, if you use n colours when rendering a frame, and your game runs at m frames per second, you are invoking the browser's CSS parser n×m times a second, because CSS colour strings are the only way to express colours, and it is an exclusively immediate-mode API.
The engine in use might be layering on top additional inefficiencies.
(I love how easy to use HTML5 canvas is, but its CPU usage, performance and power consumption properties make me want to cry.)
It's irrelevant here-- the game is using Phaser, which can render as either Canvas or WebGL (WebGL in my case), but it's spending most of it's time in engine code updating expensive transforms every frame.
Edit: in particular, getImageData and putImageData.
If you want to do anything serious, WebGL's your only option.
... OR IS IT?