In the wake of the exciting "Art History of Games"
conference in Atlanta, where some extraordinarily interesting questions
about the nature of the several things we call "games" were given room to grow, I want to treat Thursday's group playthrough of the beginning of KOTOR as an opportunity to talk about whether the thing that I'm calling "practomime
" can, or should, also be called "game."
KOTOR is to my mind an excellent place to have this conversation, because of its pivotal place in the histories both of character and of plot in interactive art. Now that games aren't supposed to have characters or plots, is this marvelous work to be considered a mistake? Is it to be removed from the canon of interactive art?
Obviously, I want to talk about those questions because I think they're the wrong questions. People like Jason Rohrer
may well try to expel our beloved practomimes from the fold of games--but perhaps the day is coming when such an expulsion look equivalent to the expulsion of apples from the citrus union.
So I suppose Thursday's session, in which I invite us all to start a new fabula from the beginning of the work, will be a consideration of the nature of ludic narrative in the setting of a story-world that poses the central question of that nature--what are we to do?--very forcefully.