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Saturday, 26 July - link

Greetings from the CGDC

I study the cultural lessons encoded in video games. So the Christian Game Developers' Conference seemed a natural. Except the people here aren't studying cultural lessons encoded in video games, they're encoding video games with lessons.

This is perfect for my study, but it puts me in the position of being an outsider. As far as I've been told, I'm the only working journalist here this year. I'm studying them. I have my head up, watching and thinking while they are head bowed, saying prayer before the lectures, before the meal, before the group discussions.

Most people don't mind being studied, if it means more attention for the best of what they're up to. Here, these folks are mostly fervent believers - His Honor Lord Jesus Christ infuses their language, their desires, their sense of purpose in life.

I was looking over photographs and text from the Bonden ceremony in rural Japan, one of the most thrilling religio-traditional ceremonies I've ever attended. There I was clearly an outsider, but I was given a chance to particiate. Most people at the Christian Game Developers's Conference are assumed to be a part of the cause. They have no reason to assume that I'm not participating or sympathetic. I have no antipathy here, but yesterday I felt like I was in the midst of a party where everyone is dancing to a shared tune, they've read the same book, and I'm illiterate and standing still. I've grown used to travelling to far-flung locales and conferences with Jane - my constant companion and conversation partner. So pardon my blubbering!

Today I'm working to be honest, telling folks that I'm studying ideological formation through games. America's Army teaches people to respect U.S. military values. Monopoly teaches kids to respect capitalism and to use finance to enslave their kin. People's eyebrows raise with that example. It's been entertaining so far - stimulating people and giving them a sense of my conversational parameters.

Posted on 26 July 2003 : 09:43 (TrackBack)
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Justin's Links, by Justin Hall.