Saturday, 9 May 2009

Dudgeon & Dragons

Hurrah, the dialectic of the mock heroic and the middle classes has just done another little Aufhebung-fart with the arrival of Chore Wars! "Chore Wars lets you claim experience points for household chores. By getting other people in your house or workplace to sign up to the site, you can assign experience point rewards to individual tasks and chores, and see how quickly each of you levels up."

As Jeff Hilson once wrote, "fun is not the only fun." Of course this is only the first step. Next I require advanced VR interfaces, such that feathers dusters seem to me vorpal swords, dust bunnies become beholder cubs etc.

The benign quasi-Matrix effect approach obv.

You think that the bodily affect of housework are the wrong microfoundations for the molar behaviours of swords & sorcery (at least, satisfying roleplaying with proper characters, and an inkling of New Weird in the air - WE ARE IN A POST-LACUNA, PART 1 ERA HERE PEOPLE!).

I say: to a point yes, but what if production as a whole were taken as the base? I.e. your virtual quests are coordinated with those of millions of others to ensure that all the goods and services society decides it needs (including those decisions!) get produced. Across the realm, individuals flow in and out of different factories and homes and HQs, subjectively pestering drows and rust monsters, objectively, a coercionless synthesis of the action manifold.

You may argue, not everyone likes RPGs; some people prefer real time strategy or first person shooters or Chelsea FC or love, well those people suck. They are hostis humani generis.

Reading between the lines, the Complex Terrain Laboratory want me to hunt down and kill Miss Jill Louise Starr, so in a way it's already begun. How many XP is a troll worth again? (While we're at it, who will rid me of this troublesome Jamie Oliver, also Poppy etc. to be on the safe side). Burning Angel's Chapel and Dane Cross have already conducted promising pornographic research into the intersection of fantasy and fantasy, roleplaying and roleplaying, and oui, of hard and wet. To label this "not work-safe" would rather beg the question! And as Herbert Marcuse points out:

"[T]he sociologist-observer [...] speaks of 'the growth of a strong in-group feeling in each crew' and quotes one worker as stating: 'All in all we are in the swing of things . . .' [...] The phrase admirably expresses the change in mechanized enslavement: things swing rather than oppress, and they swing the human instrument -- not only its body but also its mind and even its soul. A remark by Sartre illuminates the process: 'Aux premiers temps des machines semi-automatiques, des enquêtes ont montré que les ouvrières spécialisées se laissaient aller, en travaillant, à une rêverie d'ordre sexuel, elles se rapellaient la chambre, le lit, la nuit, tout ce qui ne concerne que la personne dans la solitude du couple fermé sur soi. Mais c'est la machine en elle qui rêvait de caresses . . .'"

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