Thursday, June 18, 2009

Doctrine #1 ~ Experiencism

To truly begin analyzing this, we have to figure out what this is a response towards, you know---what gives rise to it. To remove oneself from the daily hassles of life is what's key in escapism. In a sense, anything not harshly connected to the direct needs of humanity can be perceived as this. The negative tie-in for me comes when one directly attributes the phrase "waste of time" to govern various "escapist acts". Any sane person can recognize for themselves that meaningful goals can be reached within the bounds of the term. Much like the term "gameplay" and "genre" have been dragged through the mud, escapism has suffered a relatively similar fate. To aid in escapisms failings, I've decided to accompany it with a counterweight-aid term so to speak. Specifically, this is to further define video-games' frequency in society.

It's close-minded and furthermore outright idiocy to claim that fictional constructs have no place, EVEN in the grand scheme of humanity. The sciences, the arts, hell---the entirety of academia is only there to support what humans create. The tools they use to accomplish these ends are no doubt a wealth of excellence in themselves (for instance, all sciences), but to pretend like they're the end-all-be-all is just silly and selfish (and human...).

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"Color True Experience" by skpzeenho

The superficial definition is what's been embraced by the media and what further governs the majority of "popular perception". As an example, take the very nature of how high definition graphics have affected the modern video-game. They've become necessity not out of the medium's requirement for growth, but the superficial need people have to quickly embrace cool looking technology (i.e. consumerism). Running away from reality is usually the right thing to do, but fact of the matter is...it's just not a possible feat to anyone accomplish. If someone has a crappy day at work and wishes to drown themselves in a video-game, how does one define that? There's certainly nothing wrong with it, but a line has to be drawn somewhere doesn't it? It becomes relative at this point, as the person's individuality will kick in here. Immaturity only factors into the equation when the areas are established around that person's life (in otherwords, its more accurate to judge that person's life as escapism, not the activity itself).

We use various fictions and "lies" throughout our lives to build and construct the various layers of our own psyches. Ten thousand years ago, "we" had to define ourselves by the mundane activities which we seek to escape now. Why do you think people hopped on the art-bandwagon so many centuries ago? In actuality, I think that kind of classical art was the very first FORMAL notion of escapism.

So, what the hell is Experiencism?

I define experiencism as the "transcendence of creation". When one finds fulfillment beyond the superficial in a medium, THAT'S experiencism. Now, when I say transcendence of creation, I mean just that; dialect that is beyond the act of the artist or the audience.

Main Entry:
1ex·pe·ri·ence
Pronunciation:
\ik-ˈspir-ē-ən(t)s\
Function:
noun
Date:
1941
Etymology:
Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin experientia act of trying, from experient-, experiens, present participle of experiri to try, from ex- + -periri (akin to periculum attempt) — more at fear
Date:
14th century

1 a: direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge b: the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through direct observation or participation
2 a: practical knowledge, skill, or practice derived from direct observation of or participation in events or in a particular activity b: the length of such participation [has 10 years' experience in the job]
3 a: the conscious events that make up an individual life b: the events that make up the conscious past of a community or nation or humankind generally
4: something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through
5: the act or process of directly perceiving events or reality

"experience." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009.
Merriam-Webster Online. 18 June 2009

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"Adina Experience" by Sec

Experience is defined by the active participation with "a world perceived as true" and in response, knowledge is imparted---a dialouge is created between any one person and their desired medium. To define knowledge is deifying, so those of you outcrying on that particular point already can shut the fuck up now (the only god in my world is myself, as should be for most people). Those who would stand against experiencism place their faith in logic and reason. Logic and reason are only based what we know in the world at that particular moment, while standing amongst the summits of gathered collective human intelligence. That intelligence gives rise to hypocritical and silly creations such as morality on "our" part. I won't continue into that oil-drum can of worms however, I'll just state that rationality is as irrational AS irrationality. Both are necessary for this world to exist and for humans to go on perpetuating the trash they're so proud of churning out on a daily basis.

Video-games create worlds for us to "exist" within. The only other medium with anything remotely similar to that capability would be literature. However, that [literature] occurs on it's own level so fundamental, that it's ridiculous to even try comparing a game to it in the first place. Experience is simply a direct product of existence, so video-games are the exemplars for experiencism. To make things a bit more complex for a second, I could launch into further discussion about how all medium actively deal with experiencism (for example, video-games are technically only exemplars for "synthetic experiencism"), but this is a gaming blog; I just thought it would be noteworthy to showcase that this isn't as sophistic of an argument most will write it off as.

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"Experience" by 3mmI

Ironically, video-games treat their own prodigal treatise like a child who has just found his dad's gun (I abstain from the constant games-as-a-child metaphor even though I just did it again). Superficial "nods" towards this can be seen in the basis of the modern RPG where "EXP" is STILL gained as a commodity. Apart from the nature of turn-based combat, that's always been my hangup with those particular games. The tales and experiences they're trying so hard to create are nothing more than a manufactured commodity. I crave the day when an RPG is created when experience doesn't simply equate to being a number on a chart. At the very least, I desire the day when I can no longer see the chart...in any way whatsoever.

I'll leave you with my own forged dictionary entry...

Main Entry:
1ex·pe·ri·encism
Pronunciation:
\ik-ˈspir-ē-ən(t)si-zəm\
Function:
noun
Date:
2009
Etymology:
Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin experientia act of trying, from experient-, experiens, present participle of experiri to try, from ex- + -periri (akin to periculum attempt) — more at fear
Date:
21st century

1 a: A 21st century movement perpetuated by modern fictional constructs (chiefly video-games). Significant emphasis is placed on the subjective relevance of an individual's ability to formally exist in a fictional world.

~sLs~