Forewarned by Jorge Luis Borges (III)
The central dogma—that video games are for passing the time—is untenable. It is not untenable because it is untrue. It is untenable, because it cannot be held for long and still give life. If video game makers continue to hold to this dogma, they will be unable to ever break free from the shackles of their own habits and expectations. They will always be working with roughly the same expectations from the masses. And the masses will always be eagerly expecting the same thing from every video game: something new. As you will see later, Warner will argue that video games must offer something old. You will see that later, just you wait. You will see it. He will force you to see it, whether he is right or not. For now, it is my duty to show you how the central dogma of video games necessitates a foundational desire for novelty.
Please note that this is the only place where Warner and I agree in content. In every other place, Warner and I only agree methodologically. We recognize the same problem. The central problem is that the main dogma of video games has never changed. This problem leads Warner and I to have the same methodology, because our methods must form away from the central dogma. This movement away from thinking of video games as simply a way to pass the time requires a method of thinking that is altogether different from every other way that people think about video games. This method of thinking is that of treating video games as a thing worthy to ask a question about. When we ask what video games are for, it is as if Warner and I have lifted up our heads from the screens for a moment and asked, if only for a moment, what principles are at work. We would like to know what principles are at work in the production and existence of video games. Simply what is going on? This is a question about principles. What are the principles that govern video games? Warner and I would like to ask this—and we would encourage all of you, who have your heads down, staring at the screen, to ask the same question. We want you for a moment to suspend your desire to pass the time and to ask about first principles. And if we want you to ask about first principles, we want you to consider the metaphysics of video games. Let me reiterate: only Warner and I are doing this. All the rest of you have your heads down. Pick them up for a moment and allow the entire world to warp around you. You could alter the very nature of the entire video game industry. We can change history, if only we pick up our heads.