What Video Games Are
- Lev Manovich on New Media
“Numerical representation, modularity, automation, variability, and transcoding” (The Language of New Media, p. 20)
- Alexander Galloway Definition
“[a] video game is a cultural object, bound by history and materiality” (Essays on Algorithmic Culture, p. 1)
Sid Meier’s Civilization
Bread and Circuses, Carrots and Sticks
- Martial Law: By adding a military unit to the city, the rioting stops.
- Luxuries: The tax rate is split among revenue, science, and luxuries. Tax rate increases the money the civilization can spend; science rate increases speed up the next discovery; and luxury rate increases make citizens happy.
- Entertainers: By pulling a worker off resources or agricultural duty, the city can add an entertainer to increase happiness.
- Temples or Cathedrals: Religion is the opiate of the masses.
- Coliseum: Distractions keep people from rioting. Bread and circuses worked for Rome; why can’t they work for the virtual Rome?
- Governing your civilization
- Government Algorithms for…
Even after demonstrating how Civilization reproduces American capitalist ideology, can we think differently about the game and see it as subversive?
IF city improvement built OR peace pursued THEN citizens happy;
IF citizen’s wishes NOT met THEN RIOT!