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Can Second Life be even considered a "Game"?


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Aethelwine wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:


Nalytha wrote:

Pamela said she doesn't say she plays for a living. I've seen multiple SL documentaries where sellers explain how great it is that they can make money playing a video game. It's obviously, to some degree, subjective. 

Oh, there is no doubt that you are not alone is your error. We know that. Many people call SL a game. It's because it looks like a game, and many of them came from actual games that look like SL. It's not a difficult mistake for many people to make, but that's what it is - a mistake.

Also, some sellers are having fun when they sell stuff (make money). I made a lot of money for years from SL and it was fun. Perhaps the sellers you refer to mistakenly think of having fun as playing a game.

A bit like the way playing cards looks like a game such that people commonly talk about playing cards.... but they are of course wrong because playing cards are just the building blocks for games like Canasta, Bezique, Bridge, Solitaire and Poker?

At what point though does common usage determine meaning? Is the usage in that kind of context now so common that by extension the usage of play and game extends not just to Cards but also to things like Lego, Meccano and virtual worlds like SimCity, or Secondlife?

That's an interesting one, and I confess that, at first glance, you make a good point. BUT playing cards are created for the sole purpose of playing games with them. That's what they are for. Second Life wasn't created for the sole purpose of playing games though, even though some users have made games that you can play within it.

The much better way of looking at it is that Second Life is just like the planet Earth. Both are worlds in which people can do all sorts of things, one of which is play games. A world is not a game. The Earth is not a game, and Second Life is not a game.

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Theresa Tennyson wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

You stated the 3 meanings of the word 'play', and none of them fit SL.

SL isn't a musical instrument or a game. You may be tempted to suggest that playing a part (acting, roleplaying) is playing SL, but you'd be wrong to suggest that. Actors play a part on a stage or similar. Roleplayers roleplay wherever it's suitable, such as in SL. A stage isn't a game, or musical intrument, and actors/roleplayers play ON a stage or wherever. The stage or wherever is not the game. They don't play the stage. They play the role.

If you're suggesting the we can all invent new uses for words, well....

Of
course
we can invent new uses for words - that's called "language." When St. Peter's in Rome was built an onlooker described it as "awful" and "artificial" - he meant that it filled him with
awe
and it showed great
artifice
. Obviously words have changed meanings since then.

(Second request) So, what
is
the appropriate word for the act of manipulating the platform that is Second Life? Verb me, Philly boy...

Lol. So you really did mean that. I rest my case
:)

The word I would use to answer your "second request" is.... live.

When I'm in SL, I'm living in SL. I do all sorts of stuff but a generic word would be 'live'. Or to put it another way, the word to describe "
the act of manipulating the platform that is Second Life
" is the same one you would use to describe the act of manipulatring the platforn that is the world (Earth). It's what we all do, 24/7 in the world. Live

Second Life exists as data on a server farm in Arizona. As you, the human typing your posts, aren't actually inside the servers (because that would create a huge mess and not be good for either the server or you) you're manipulating the world from afar.

And this world is imperceptable until you make a positive act to temporarily turn the data into human-perceptable sensory information - in this case, sight and sound (and only sight and sound - this world only has 40% of the sensory options of the real one.)

Virtual worlds are newish, of course, so a dedicated verb doesn't exist for them. However, there is a verb already that is used for when we cause encoded sight and sound data  (i.e. a video file) to be released into perceptable form.

That verb is "play."

To answer your next post, it's certainly possible to manipulate and change an audio or video recording instead of playing it back verbatim, just as it's possible to manipulate the data in Second Life - I've always felt Steve Miller's album Abracadabra is a much stronger piece played at 45 rpm instead of 33 rpm.

 

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Theresa. You can waffle as much as you like but, no matter how much waffle (and squirmming around obscure thinking) Second Life is not, and never has been, a game. I accept that some people think of it as a game, and they are more than welcome to think that. I've said that numerous times over the years. And yet nobody has ever posted how you play it. I.e. what are the rules, aims, objectives, etc. etc. etc.

The best that anyone has ever been able to do is fiddle around with the meaning of the word 'game', and you are no different. Heck, a few posts back you even suggested that it's a game because we can invent new meanings for words lol. In which case, I declare that Second Life is, in fact, a coffin, and you can't deny it. It makes as much sense as your waffling ;)

Incidentally, when I'm at the keyboard and in SL, I'm living in SL, in my brain and through my avatar. I'm only playing a game in SL when I'm actually playing a game. You need to sit back, take a deep breath, preferably with a cup of tea, and think :)

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Phil Deakins wrote:

Theresa. You can waffle as much as you like but, no matter how much waffle (and squirmming around obscure thinking) Second Life is not, and never has been, a game. I accept that some people think of it as a game, and they are more than welcome to think that. I've said that numerous times over the years. And yet nobody has ever posted how you play it. I.e. what are the rules, aims, objectives, etc. etc. etc.

The best that anyone has ever been able to do is fiddle around with the meaning of the word 'game', and you are no different. Heck, a few posts back you even suggested that it's a game because we can invent new meanings for words lol. In which case, I declare that Second Life is, in fact, a coffin, and you can't deny it. It makes as much sense as your waffling
;)

Incidentally, when I'm at the keyboard and in SL, I'm living in SL, in my brain and through my avatar. I'm only playing a game in SL when I'm actually playing a game. You need to sit back, take a deep breath, preferably with a cup of tea, and think
:)

Did the post you're replying to say that it was a game? No, simply that with whatever Second Life works, the appropriate verb for interaction with it would be "play."

However, I agree with you that it is a coffin, since you "live" there, but only part of the time, and when you're not living you're dead - that's how "living" works - and where else would you store the dead?

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Nalytha wrote:

I actually put forth what my opinion the "objective" of Second Life is and how the players carry out that role.

What was the objective - because there isn't one. Perhaps you invented an objective for yourself. We can all do that, but it doesn't make SL a game, except personally.

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

Theresa. You can waffle as much as you like but, no matter how much waffle (and squirmming around obscure thinking) Second Life is not, and never has been, a game. I accept that some people think of it as a game, and they are more than welcome to think that. I've said that numerous times over the years. And yet nobody has ever posted how you play it. I.e. what are the rules, aims, objectives, etc. etc. etc.

The best that anyone has ever been able to do is fiddle around with the meaning of the word 'game', and you are no different. Heck, a few posts back you even suggested that it's a game because we can invent new meanings for words lol. In which case, I declare that Second Life is, in fact, a coffin, and you can't deny it. It makes as much sense as your waffling
;)

Incidentally, when I'm at the keyboard and in SL, I'm living in SL, in my brain and through my avatar. I'm only playing a game in SL when I'm actually playing a game. You need to sit back, take a deep breath, preferably with a cup of tea, and think
:)

Did the post you're replying to say that it was a game? No, simply that with whatever Second Life works, the appropriate verb for interaction with it would be "play."

However, I agree with you that it
is
a coffin, since you "live" there, but only part of the time, and when you're not living you're dead - that's how "living" works - and where else would you store the dead?

Ah. My mistake. I thought you were on about 'game', not 'live'. You asked for a verb and I gave you one. How accurate it is is another matter. 'Using' (I think someone said that) might be better. But it's definitely not 'playing', except in those minds that imagine it's a game.

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Nalytha wrote:

I actually put forth what my opinion the "objective" of Second Life is and how the players carry out that role.

What was the objective - because there isn't one. Perhaps you invented an objective for yourself. We can all do that, but it doesn't make SL a game,
except personally.

If it is a game personally, how can it not be "not a game"?

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Interesting. The person who criticized my grasp of the English language shows a lack of reading comprehension.

 

Phil. You keep asking for people to repeat things for you. This thread is 24 pages long. If you are struggling to keep up, perhaps you should bow out.

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Why are you nitpicking over the verb? Even if it's not a game, exactly what is wrong with the word play? It's been pointed out that that word is very versatile. I play music. I play movies. I play Second Life.

 

 

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Nalytha wrote:

Even if it's not a game, exactly what is wrong with the word play? It's been pointed out that that word is very versatile. I play music. I play movies. I play Second Life.

 


But do you play Facebook? Play Google, or eBay? Can you play email, or play WhatsApp?

What is it about Second Life that makes you think that you play it? The only other online services that people 'play' are (looking at Google results) gambling, sports or gaming related. Seems likely that 'play' is associated therefore with online gaming services.

Google itself is split on the language choice (shocking, right?) - 30K results for "play Second Life", 26K for "use Second Life".

Think verb usage is important, and probably part of what leads to the cloudiness in making this determination. Non-technical types often make this mistake and, because they aren't corrected on the terminology, the misinformation spreads. Has always been the double-edged sword in SL - technical knowledge is low across the userbase as a whole.

(Not that I think this misinformation really matters. People have been getting it wrong for a long time, and it hasn't mattered.)

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Nalytha wrote:

I actually think that the verb play has, over time, become associated with various media consumption. Second Life is media.

Perhaps, though that strikes me as a sad way to look at it. To me, Second Life is interactive and collaborative and not consumptive - most media (even modern media, sadly) is being presented to an audience, as is. That's probably a semantic game for another day however.

So I'll rephrase, do you play Netflix or do you play TV? Perhaps you play Amazon Prime.

No, sorry, still not adequate. People select verbs based on a range of factors, and the only decision-making that seems to  make sense when combining "play" and "Second Life" is a low level of understanding and/or participation (which may be the 'average', but average is not 'good' nor 'accurate')

P.S.:-


Nalytha wrote:

Is it soda or pop?

It's neither, but instead "fizzy". I'm not Ameriquaine (who seem to prefer these two options), but instead a Londoner transplanted into the cold hard Norf. :D

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Freya Mokusei wrote:


Nalytha wrote:

Even if it's not a game, exactly what is wrong with the word play? It's been pointed out that that word is very versatile. I play music. I play movies. I play Second Life.

 


But do you play Facebook? Play Google, or eBay? Can you play email, or play WhatsApp?

What is it about Second Life that makes you think that you
play
it? The only other online services that people 'play' are (
) gambling, sports or gaming related. Seems likely that 'play' is associated therefore with online
gaming
services.

Think verb usage is important, and probably part of what leads to the cloudiness in making this determination. Non-technical types often make this mistake and, because they aren't corrected on the terminology, the misinformation spreads. Has always been the double-edged sword in SL - technical knowledge is low across the userbase as a whole.

(Not that I think this misinformation really matters. People have been getting it wrong for a long time, and it hasn't mattered.)

Facebook, Google, and eBay aren't simulations of anything. Phil maintains that is a world, "just like Earth", but it's a created world - a simulacrum. Everything that happens in Second Life technically runs on a simulator. Phil makes "furniture" for this virtual world, but there's no need for furniture in this world. "Furniture" exists in Second Life only as a simulation of real-world furniture. The word "play" is often used for running simulations.

Incidentally, simulations can be considered games - when the military simulates a hypothetical military campaign it's called "wargaming" even though it's done for literally life-and-death reasons of strategic planning.

We've established that the word "play" is used for many actions, including actions that are extremely similar to the act of interacting with Second Life. Why would the word "play" not be used?

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Freya Mokusei wrote:


Nalytha wrote:

I actually think that the verb play has, over time, become associated with various media consumption. Second Life is media.

Perhaps, though that strikes me as a sad way to look at it. To me, Second Life is interactive and collaborative and not consumptive - most media (even modern media, sadly) is being presented
to an audience, as is
. That's probably a semantic game for another day however.

So I'll rephrase, do you play Netflix or do you play TV? Perhaps you play Amazon Prime.

No, sorry, still not adequate. People select verbs based on a range of factors, and the only decision-making that seems to  make sense when combining "play" and "Second Life" is a low level of understanding and/or participation (which may be the 'average', but average is not 'good' nor 'accurate')

P.S.:-

Nalytha wrote:

Is it soda or pop?

It's neither, but instead "fizzy". I'm not Ameriquaine (who seem to prefer these two options), but instead a Londoner transplanted into the cold hard Norf.
:D

In the Netherlands, a colorless lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage is generically listed on menus as an "up", as a back-formation from "7-Up."

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Aethelwine wrote:

Until the language of Neurochemistry can evoke the same sort of emotional responses as poetry, it is missing out on some of the meaning. Its language and analysis incomplete. Its function and the type of information it conveys different.


Neurochemistry doesn't have to evoke the same sort of emotional responses as poetry to be useful and desireable. The Marsh Chapel experiments and (I wish I could find the article) a similar experiment done in California much more recently showed that spiritual epiphanies, producing lifelong positive changes in attitude, could be induced by the administration of psilocybin (another hallucinogen in the case of the California experiment, I think). I've yet to read a poem that had such an effect on me.

I don't think we'll reach a sufficient understanding of human intelligence to reach Ray Kurzweil's "singularity" by his predicted 2045. But, if you believe we will, that suggests we may eventuall be able to inject poetry through a needle. I'm an optimist and think that, even if that happens, many of us will still read it.

;-).

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:

The word "play" is often used for running simulations.

 

Can accept this, thanks. Snipped some more for brevity, but I get your drift.

I did notice my Google stats dropped out of your post (my fault, am terrible for edits). A bit more to add, then:-

  • For Second Life it was 30K FOR, 26K AGAINST usage of "play" vs "use".
  • For GTA 5 (an obvious game) it's 397K FOR, 23K AGAINST usage of "play" vs "use".
  • For ARMA 2 (a simulator/game) it's 60K FOR, 3K AGAINST usage of "play" vs "use".
  • For Microsoft Train Simulator (a simulator with optional game elements) it's 159K FOR, 4K AGAINST usage of "play" vs "use".

Second Life is clearly more ambiguous than any of the others. Is there a way to explain this? Presumably, other than polarisation of terms. :D

Can agree that some consider it as a game, but I'm afraid technical knowledge still very much could be a deciding factor in verb usage. It would be interesting if any other service (simulator or not) showed similar results, but even the most simulator-y game I can think of seems to slide much further into "play" territory than SL does.

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Nalytha wrote:

I'll admit, I have only taken a couple of courses on the subject, but I was never given any impression of some inate truth. For example, a philosophy that focuses on the individual would probably not be "logical" for a collectivist society. 

 

It helped that my teacher refused to share any personal opinions/stances on the various philosophies until the end of the semester. His approach sounds very similar to what you describe as existential. 

I also took a couple philosophy courses. I was certainly not the teacher's pet. I applied my cold, hard, engineer's logic to raise hell in class. To make matters even worse for my poor professor, I was simultaneously taking a statistics class, taught by a fella with a deep background in psychology. In the morning, I'd listen to the stats prof explain how to reason our way over/under/around any number of subconscious biases to arrive at a true assessment of a situation. In the afternoon, I'd listen to the philosophy prof display damned near every one of those biases.

I will never forget the statistics professor's stated goal for his course... "I hope to massage your brains until you can look at a thing and, in your heart, know if it's right."

The philosophy prof never stated his goal, but it seemed to me it was "I hope to talk at you until you can look at me and, in your heart, know I'm right." That never happened.

 

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I am a huge fan of play. I've been playing all my life and have been able to retire at a very young age as a result. For me, engineering is play. Personal interactions are play (I hope you've seen this in me). Every day of my career was filled with "I wonder what will happen if I do this", followed by doing it. That's what kids do. I never unlearned how to do it. And it's the most fun when others play with me, and sometimes even if they play with me.

One of my favorite professional texts is Michael Schrage's "Serious Play: How the World's Best Companies Simulate to Innovate". I do not have a problem with people calling SL a game. I don't have a problem with people playing it. At the end of the day, all that matters to me is whether people behave in a way that pleases me. That may sound selfish. In my defense, I am mightily displeased by people who mistreat other people. So it's not all narcissism... yet.

;-).

ETA: Elsewhere in this thread, Pamela recommended the book "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Nobel laureate DanielKahneman. I haven't read it yet, but the concept of fast and slow thinking is familiar to me. And, for as much as I value slow thinking, I will find a way around it if I can, I hope for good reason.

Michael Schrage wrote another book, "The Innovator's Hypothesis: How Cheap Experiments Are Worth More than Good Ideas". Thinking is hard work and, the longer I do it without stopping to test, the more trouble I get into. So I generally experiment my way to success, thinking only when necessary.

So far, so good... I think.

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Haha, yeah. I like play too, and I've no issue with "play" in my SL.

I'm not bothered by folks mis-categorising (IMO) SL as a game because:-

  • Consumers are good people to have around.
  • They're still here logged into it.
  • I checked, and it doesn't hurt anyone or kill any fairies.
  • At least proves SL must still be fun! (if not fast, easy)
  • Usually means I can score higher than they do.
  • It'll still happen whether or not there's any resolution on the issue.

I just think it's interesting to see how the categorisation is goin' in peoples' brainmeats.

Afraid I don't have any books to link to. I did like Too Much Schooling, Too Little Education (which I liked) and
Sex in Education: Or, A Fair Chance for Girls (which I hated). But both deal with learning methods more than play methods.

More of a learner than a player, I guess. :)

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Freya Mokusei wrote:


Theresa Tennyson wrote:

The word "play" is often used for running simulations.

 

Can accept this, thanks. Snipped some more for brevity, but I get your drift.

I did notice my Google stats dropped out of your post (my fault, am terrible for edits). A bit more to add, then:-
  • For Second Life it was 30K FOR, 26K AGAINST usage of "play" vs "use".
  • For GTA 5 (an obvious game) it's 397K FOR, 23K AGAINST usage of "play"
    vs "use"
    .
  • For ARMA 2 (a simulator/game) it's 60K FOR, 3K AGAINST usage of "play"
    vs "use"
    .
  • For Microsoft Train Simulator (a simulator with optional game elements) it's 159K FOR, 4K AGAINST usage of "play" vs "use".

Second Life is clearly more ambiguous than any of the others. Is there a way to explain this? Presumably, other than polarisation of terms.
:D

Can agree that 
some
consider it as a game, but I'm afraid technical knowledge still very much could be a deciding factor in verb usage. It would be interesting if any other service (simulator or not) showed similar results, but even the most simulator-y game I can think of seems to slide much further into "play" territory than SL does.

There's a TV show in the United States called Bob's Burgers. One of the characters is a girl in her young teens and, like many girls in their early teens, is a horse lover. She described horses as "the most magical of non-magical animals."

If we consider Second Life to be a game I'd call it "the most non-gamelike of games", and if it is seen as a part of some other non-game application category I'd call it "the most gamelike of [whatever.]" From what I've heard, it used to be quite a bit more "game-like" and gradually evolved in another direction, but there's still enough left-over conventions (the avatar that always has to be there, the single point of entry, the single overall environment that all users are part of, etc.) that I don't see how it can be authoritatively described as Not A Game.

 

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