Reality is a Game

Game thinking from Adam Clare

Tag: civilizationPage 1 of 2

Leaders of Hyperreal Civilizations

Hyperreality is the inability to decipher which is real and fake in the real world. The concept comes from Jean Baudrillard and he sees consumerism hampering our ability as a culture to see the real. I accidentally found one the best examples of hyperreality when I Googled the other day for Mansa Musa.

For some context, when you search a famous person on Google the site will pull in an image of that person like so:
Ada Lovelace

Pretty nice feature right? Look at the image below of the search results for Mansa Musa:
Mansa Musa

You see that? Where Google usually puts an image of the person in question they have parsed the web and found that the best image to use is from the game Civilization IV!

I wondered if the other leaders from Civ IV and the newer Civ V (leaders) suffered from the same fate, and below are other leaders that get the hyperreal treatment:

Pachacuti (Incan):
Screen Shot 2013-01-12 at 12.17.24 PM

Huayna Capac (also Incan):
huayna capac

Gilgamesh:
Gilgamesh

Hammurabi (Babylon) gets a Civ 4 screenshot only in the thumbnail of his pictures:
Hammurabi

All the other leaders are too popular or too well documented to have Google deem a screenshot from a video game is the best image. If I’ve missed any leaders please let me know!

Walden, a Game?

Henry David Thoreau wrote Walden, which is a book about leaving the industrial, technological, and modern life of civilization for a return to the essence of nature. Basically, the book is about a dude who hangs out beside a pond eschewing conveniences of modern life.

It turns out that someone has thought it wise to emulate that idea in a video game.

I don’t know where to begin on this, luckily someone else has thought about it more than me and you can read their thoughts.

Responses to the game so far have been mixed. While some have expressed enthusiasm for the idea of virtually recreating Thoreau’s life at Walden Pond, others have scoffed at what seems to them a rank violation of Thoreau’s tenet of living as part of nature; one online commenter noted, “Thoreau would be spinning in his grave knowing that people were about to commit the ultimate in abstraction and try to connect with the natural world through completely mediated means!”

Thanks to a certain Flea!

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