Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I found Galloway's interpretation of films v videogames interesting when it comes to popular media and how we may learn from the two, especially when it comes to racism and political governing of the public sphere.

Much like what Braxton lectured about conspiracy theories today, Galloway reveals the limits of film as a way to create somewhat of a cognitive map for living in society. He says "translation of political realities into fil has a soewhat complicated track record, for mainstream inema generally deals with the problems of politics not in fact by solving it but by sublimating it" (89). Film will either make the problems (like racism or race in the Matrix) seem trivial or "sublimate" it with another problem.

However, with videogames, Galloway suggests that the more interactive approach and the need to master the algorithms force the user to learn more about societal relationships/situations and come up with possible solutions to real life issues, as in government: "in their very core, video games do nothing but present contemporary political realities in relatively unmediated form. They solve th eproblem of political control, not by sublimating as does the cinema, but by making it coterminous with the entire game...a unique type of politcal transparency" (92).

Referring back to Tess' point, which I thought was very interesting because this is still a prominent question especially in American society today, is Galloway suggesting that race is just "a game we play" (Tess) like we do with characters and avatars in videogames?

I agree that there is a fundamental flaw with this idea that race becomes erased or the dynamics and old tensions that are related with race are erased. I feel that especially with games like Civilization where you choose the potentially best-performing race, one is not presented with a racism-free society. Just the opposite can occur; because we live in a society where racism is still so prevalent, a game like this could just promote more racist ideas to live on, especially because the avatars and videogame characters are restricted to just their stereotype.

Also, I feel this particular idea presented by Galloway cannot or should not apply when it comes to politics: we cannot govern treating race and racism like they do not exist as in videogames. I might be reading too much into it but yeah, I felt some of his comments were too idealist or just ignored some important facts that all society does not necessarily live with the values of this horizontal postmodern world.

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