Unhappy with the way Tuesday’s Cybervirtue post went down, so I’ve edited it into a cleaner form and I’m rerunning it today. The sections I’ve cut have been edited together into a piece with a different theme that I’ll run next week. I think this makes a lot more sense of the material.
One of my promotional gambits for Wikipedia Knows Nothing: cards with the book cover on the front and a QR code on the back that goes to the landing page. Speaking of that, there is a new landing page too, which you can get to from the image in the sidebar, the link above, or by scanning the QR code in the image!
We’re always being pulled in two directions, one is the sort of utopian side that says ‘we could make a better world’ and the other is the side that says ‘the world is getting bad, we’d better defend the bit we’ve got’. And that’s actually an easier message to sell, unfortunately. You can actually not ever find a position where you’re not doing politics. You’re always doing politics and you’re always doing philosophy as well – they’re sort of the same thing, you know. The position you take is a philosophy, whether you call it that or not.
Brian Eno, interview broadcast on Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone, BBC 6 Music, Sunday 8th May 2016.
This week’s post wasn’t ready in time – I only just finished it, and I don’t want to post precipitously without adequate time to mull upon its wording to an unhealthy degree that borders upon the obsessive. Suffice it to say it combines two classic topics of Only a Game: philosophy… and squirrels. Watch this space!
Seems the British Journal of Aesthetics rejected my recent submission, "Can a Rollercoaster Be Art?", and for quite bad reasons this time. There's no sign of the high quality peer review I received last time, indeed, no sign of any engagement with my argument at all. It's a shame as it's a great paper, and I don't have another home for it. It's strange to be told "I just don't think that this author is familiar with the BJA or the work that tends to be published in the journal" in a paper that cites the British Journal of Aesthetics no fewer than eight times. I'm afraid I am forced to conclude two things: that the reviewer did not understand my argument of the connection between 'game' and 'art' as aesthetic concepts, and that all the discussion of 'game' was therefore lost to them because it did not seem relevant. That smarts. But it's also a reminder that we have in no way won the battle over the artistic status of games: we just satisfied ourselves with the arguments we had.
Caster slows down time in order to contemplate a problem or take a break from blogging. Only verbal and somatic components are required to cast this spell.
Only a Game will return soon.
My new laptop arrives this week, and blogging will be disrupted while I configure it for my purposes. In the meantime, a short cautionary tale.
I had originally bought a new laptop over a year ago from Amazon Marketplace. It arrived, and I used it for a month or two before a fault developed in the screen. I returned it to the vendor… and never saw it again. Amazon wouldn’t give us any details of the vendor, and told us to contact them via the email contact forms. We sent these to the vendor every week. Eventually it became apparent he didn’t even have it anymore.
In the UK, when you purchase with a credit card you have additional consumer rights under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Agreement 1974 that means when you can’t resolve a problem with the vendor, you can claim from the credit card who are ‘jointly and severally liable’. So we claimed via Barclaycard. They paid us some titbits (without ever admitting liability) but ultimately we had to take it to the Financial Services Ombudsman for resolution. The Ombudsman ruled against us last week: buying from Amazon Marketplace did not constitute a creditor-debtor arrangement with the vendor, so our consumer rights were null and void.
Surprised that everything could go so wrong with a purchase from a big name company like Amazon and a big name credit card like Barclaycard, I mentioned it to a contact at the BBC who passed it on to Radio 4’s consumer affairs show You and Yours. They ran my story on Friday. Amazon then ‘generously’ decided to pay us the cost of the laptop. So we did eventually get our money back… but only as PR damage control. I advise everyone to be cautious about big purchases on Amazon Marketplace, as Amazon do not take full responsibility for these transactions, and in the UK they disrupt your consumer rights. As ever, caveat emptor.
If you’re on RSS and just saw that post about player rights, my apologies – that is supposed to run tomorrow morning. You may have got a sneak peak…
Having a new PC installed, which has delayed this week’s post – it’ll be ready soon, and takes a sceptical look at the idea of a player’s Bill of Rights. Stay tuned!
Dear Players of Only a Game,
I want you back – even if it’s just for one comment! So starting in a few week’s time, I’m going to have a mini-campaign that attempts to reach out to old regulars of this blog and see how many we can get back for salutations and felicitations.
I’m still thrashing out the details, but expect more on this shortly!