Fifteen Years Today!

15 CandlesHard to believe it was fifteen years ago this day that I first began typing my extraneous thoughts into blog posts. It's been quite a journey! In the time since I began, I've published a great many philosophy books that began as posts here on Only a Game. Alas, I have also watched discussion on the blog fall from its peak as a lively forum for exchange of ideas to the current wasteland of comments where a month where I get more than one short comment is exceptional.

So I frequently ask myself: why continue?

The answer is that I have to write, and it feels right that I should share those writings publicly, where at least the possibility exists for discussion. I do long for more discourse and less narrowcast, but it is clear that the golden age of blogging is over, and while I am still a member of the Republic of Bloggers, the exchange of blog-letters is a rare event - although always cherished. My especial love and gratitude to Chris Billows and Jed Pressgrove for their exchanges with me, which have been of inestimable value.

Sometimes it is suggested that I move to Medium. I am wary. I cannot move my blog to a place that is not my own, and the prevailing quality of all social media is that the content is at the mercy of the mob. I have not ruled it out, but the weight of fifteen years of practice keeps me to doing it the way I always have. And I am sceptical that changing platform will resolve the problem with discourse, since the problems with discourse is the core the problem of the early twenty first century.

So, what now?

Firstly, I must complete the epic two year project that is A Hundred Cyborgs, which is now just ten cyborgs away from concluding. (I know what most of the final ten will be, but I've no idea what #100 will be!) After that, I intend to go back to freeform blogging for a while, as I have throughout June. I've been enjoying it. It would be nice to be read as well as to write, but to write is still enough for me. I might have a go at rethinking intellectual property law in the spirit of Kant's rethinking of law in the context of morality. I'm also always up for suggested topics, since when someone suggests a topic it means I am about to engage in discourse. And this is the point of the exercise.

Well there be another fifteen years of Only a Game? Let's find out.

A Hundred Cyborgs begins again, for the final time, next week.


A Wild Blogger Appears!

Ditto

My social media break is officially over, but as usual I'm reluctant to rush back into the chaos of the hive mind, and taking my sweet time at reconnecting to it all. I've caught up on comments (a whole one of those...), but I have yet to uncork Twitter.

Maybe next week.

Have enough #100Cyborgs pieces to see out the year, but I am hoping to get in a couple of blog letters this December that I still need to find the time to write. Also, I have to start thinking about what happens when A Hundred Cyborgs ends, which is going to happen sometime next year. Chronologically, it's the longest blog campaign I've run (although it might not have as big a word count as The Ethics Campaign)... it's going to be strange when its over!

The Game resumes shortly!


Brevis Absentia

Monet_LilliesNext week I'm at Gamescom speed dating publishers again, and then I'm on vacation. A Hundred Cyborgs is on hiatus now until Autumn, but will return later this year with more ponderings about the strange creatures we become with our technology. And coming up for September, the Designer's Notes for Silk, which is much more philosophical and political than anything of its kind anyone has ever written, myself included (which is why I'm running it here and not on ihobo.com). Stay tuned!

The Game resumes shortly.


Autumnal Intermission

Taking my usual break from social media for a few weeks this November. I will be hiding from the socially mediated world from Sunday November 11th until Monday 26th November at the earliest. A Hundred Cyborgs will continue soon afterwards.

Back soon!


Thirteen Today

Birthday-cake

Back in 2005, thirteen years ago today, I began blogging. I have often written about what a transformative experience this was for me, and also about the tremendous value I place upon blogging as a practice – indeed, as recently as the end of May this year, I was talking about why blogging is more cybervirtuous than other forms of social media. When I started, I could write every day, but at the moment the demands of my jobs and family make this difficult. Still, I try to offer something every week at least, except when I’m taking my Spring or Autumn social media breaks. I blog because I want to express myself, hone my thoughts, and share my ideas. And I blog because I want to change the world and I want to achieve that by changing myself first of all. To everyone who has participated in ‘the Game’ over the last thirteen years, my infinite and unlimited gratitude.

If you are a stalwart of Only the Game, please support it by buying The Virtuous Cyborg and leaving a review on your blog or an online bookstore. Thank you!


Coming This Spring...

GuardianWelcome back to Only a Game, the musings and nonsense of game designer, philosopher, and author Chris Bateman! I am busily weaving my magic behind the scenes, preparing for a host of new blog pieces exploring historical game lineages, cybervirtue, and more besides, not to mention gearing up for the promotional tour for The Virtuous Cyborg, which is coming out this March. Some things to look for…

  • Virtuous Cyborg Endorsements: The endorsements for The Virtuous Cyborg are in, and can be read over at the landing page at cyborg.ihobo.com. Check it out! My thanks to Jane McGonigal, Justin Robertson, Michaël Samyn, and Babette Babich for their kind words about the new book.
  • UK Speaking Tour: I will be touring the UK and further afield to promote the book in March, April, and May, culminating at some point in a big event in London to coincide with Justin Robertson’s new art exhibition (more on this soon!). If you would like me as a visiting speaker, please get in touch using the contact link at ihobo.com, or any of the usual methods.
  • Player Practices Research: My player practices research project continues to gather steam, and I will be engaging in some more work on game design lineages this Spring prior to the book coming out. Expect something to appear in the next week or so to set the scene for this.
  • History of Videogame Shops: I am working on tracing the game design lineages of videogame shops and money – I would be grateful for any input anyone has concerning early examples of stock trading games like the 1940s SHOC (which I used to own…), games influenced by trading in 1984’s Elite, the origins of the round shop in 1999’s Counter-Strike, or any other significant development in videogame shops and money.
  • Lineages of Zelda: Have started another game of The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild on the Switch, having already played it on the Wii U, and am getting dangerously close to writing about it. There may be a Lineages of Zelda serial this Spring if this all works out!

See y’all in the corners of the internet!


Solstice

138022823The Winter Solstice, the oldest of the religious festivals at this time of the year, and the origin of a great many of the traditions of Christmas, and thus too the traditions of its more widely-celebrated successor Swik.

The shortest day and the longest night… small wonder this time of year is peak time for depression. But don’t let your demons get their talons into you… there’s always hope, always a chance at rebirth. The days will get longer, life is eventually renewed, and every volcanic devastation is followed by a wild season of bloom.

A new dawn is coming, and beyond it another, and another, and so on and so forth until the last syllable of recorded time… Macbeth wields this metaphor to express his weariness with life – but nothing stops us from taking this repetition in another direction, as Nietzsche attempted. Maybe life is indeed a tale told by an idiot – by many idiots, actually! – but that cannot also mean it signifies nothing.

Happy Solstice!

Only a Game returns in the Gregorian New Year.


All Good Things…

Have thoroughly enjoyed my Autumnal Social Media Break – so much so, in fact, that I don’t particularly want to come out of hiding (nothing personal, entirety of the online world!). However, it has to happen, and I’ll be back to blogging next week with the first of a small set of Winter blog-letters.

If you left me a comment, I will get back to it shortly; if you left me spam, I’ll be deleting it very soon… I might rejoin Twitter tomorrow morning (1st December) or I might put it off until next week. But ‘I’m on my way’, at the very least!


A Virtuous Interlude

Sunset BirdsIt is time once again for my autumnal social media break, a chance for me to exercise my cyber-restraint, pay less attention to my pocket robot’s distractions, and peer more deeply into the world around me. When I come back in early December, I have a small handful of blog-letters to share before the Winter Festival hits – mostly on or around game topics, and following on from discussions that have already happened here or at events I went to this year. I have room for one more that I haven’t started yet, so if you want to write a blog-letter to me while I’m away it would be more than welcome.

Then, as the Gregorian New Year comes around again, it will only be two months to the release of The Virtuous Cyborg and I will be gearing up for the book’s launch events. I will be touring, so if you would like me to come for a guest lecture or other speaking gig please get in touch through the contact link at ihobo.com, or directly if you already have my email address. So far, I am focussing on the UK but a US trip is always on the table and Europe is only a short trip away even if the current political climate makes it feel more distant.

To everyone who has continued to support the discussions here at Only a Game, my unlimited love and gratitude. Enjoy the silence, and we shall speak again soon.

The Game resumes in December.