Tagged ideology

Jim Sterling’s Guilt Free Gaming Manifesto, 2020

RND/ To consider a popular ‘guilt free gaming manifesto’ as formally named in 2020 by The Mighty Jim Sterling:

Jim Sterling, ‘Guilt Free Gaming Manifesto’ 2020


“No think. Game good! Game good so no think about sad when fun good game is a big yes to play. Gameplay? Fun. Graphics? Yes. Politics? No politic. Because having politic make a sad time. And sad is a bad time to be. 10 out of 10 for good new video game, no lower. Lower is bad and game good. Videogames are never politic, so don’t question. Don’t challenge. Just consume! Only buy, thank you. Devs no put politic in game anyway, so don’t look. No question. No doubt. Don’t speak. No talk, only play! No think, only play. No sad because to sad is to bad and to bad is not videogames. Because video games good and happy and no sad. Sad is bad. So don’t be bad, because if you are sad, then you bad. You bad.”
– Jim Sterling, Shut Up, Stop Thinking, And Play Games Guilt Free

Jim clearly identifies the complicit, blindly consumerist, pro-industry ideology of mainstream ‘shut up and take my money’ gaming fanboy culture, and it’s classic Orwellian Newspeak style.

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// how to play big science

A Clean, White Tomorrowland: Towards A Critique of Syd Mead

RND/ To consider the recent death of ‘visual futurist’ Syd Mead and the telling lack of critical analysis of his glossy art and style.

In which its sinister underlying political ideology appears to mirror that of Disney’s hyper-corporate Tomorrowland:

In my premise [..] there were these enormous structures going up 2000, 3000 feet, and decent people never went below the 60th floor
– Syd Mead, On The Edge Of Blade Runner (1999)

Who exactly might these ‘decent people’ consist of? Perhaps William Gibson’s The Gernsback Continuum holds a clue:

But not here, in the heart of the Dream. Here, we’d gone on and on, in a dream logic that knew nothing of pollution, the finite bounds of fossil fuel, or foreign wars it was possible to lose. They were smug, happy, and utterly content with themselves and their world. And in the Dream, it was their world.

Behind me, the illuminated city: Searchlights swept the sky for the sheer joy of it. I imagined them thronging the plazas of white marble, orderly and alert, their bright eyes shining with enthusiasm for their floodlit avenues and silver cars.

It had all the sinister fruitiness of Hitler Youth propaganda.

For Gibson, the link between fascism and technological progress is clear – a clean, bold, totally synthetic totalitarianism bursting with innocent delight, entirely and proactively cleansed of all dirty human mis-relationships that decide who builds, and who gets to live within such (social) megastructures.

It was a very dim and dismal vision of what the future of America was going to be all about, and funnily enough we’re living it now. I mean, you just go down onto Skid Row and you see the squalor and the, the.. human waste that is down there, and the multi-national, multi-ethnicity of Los Angeles, is now very evident.
– Katherine Haber, Racist Production Executive (On The Edge Blade Runner)

Syd Mead’s future appears to be one entirely bleached of such multi-national, multi-ethnicity, and indeed comes across as a white wet dream – a 50’s retrofuture nightmare, as brilliantly polished as the teeth of the Stepford droids who populate it. A total, all-encompassing vision, fiercely guarded and heavily armored against outsiders, safely holding all who fit its ideal within its polished iron and Formica grasp.

Hell of a world we live in, huh? (…) But it could be worse, huh?

That’s right, I said, or even worse, it could be perfect.
-William Gibson, The Gernsback Continuum

It’s the kind of plastic perfection envisioned and expressed by rich white men of power; that 2001-esque, Dr. Heywood Floyd, All American Company Man style, all crisp, lint free and infinitely ready to take orders. Christ, what a drag.

Mead invents like Buckminster Fuller and executes his thoughts like pop art pioneer Andy Warhol. His narratives are believable and progressive. He started out with concepts ahead of their time and has stayed in front for all these 50 years. “Hypervan” (2008, gouache on paper) depicts a vehicle of serene aerodynamics and reflective surfaces, with a circular window over an inviting passenger lounge area. Elsewhere, super-fit humans are attended to by valet-bots. All of it is very convincing.
– Terri Martin, art historian and art critic

Very convincing indeed.

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Fuck Martin Parr: Photography and the Cultural Ideology of Englishness

RND/ To consider the philosophical-artistic statement “Fuck Martin Parr.”

2639 x 3840 .jpg

“Fuck Martin Parr.”

Artistic Statement Concerning The Feeling That Martin Parr Photography is in fact Cruel and Shit

The following statement is for those searching the net for a handy, comprehensive statement about what exactly feels so hateful about Martin Parr’s tyrannical photo-aesthetic and approach:

Fuck Martin Parr, his fat gloating boiled cabbage head and his phony, violently overrated, piss ugly mobile-phone style holiday wedding snaps. Deathly dull, depressing and shite, their silently founded on an ultra-cynical and deliberate misreading of the world. They remotely imagine they can (and must, at any cost) maintain ‘objective’ and ‘artistic’ distance from ‘their’ subject, when in fact they simply and merely hate what is seen.

The images Martin Parr takes do not belong to him. He just consumes them whole, hunting out what he parasitically senses is their existential vulnerability – that is, a vulnerability to his exacting, coldly dissecting artist’s gaze. Consider Martin Parr a psychic vampire, a leering ghoul in search of victims he silently considers beneath him and his photographic fucking expertise.

There’s a dark violence to such images. They expresses a disservice, schadenfreude – a conceited, pompous, self-contented white male gaze which arrives with an extreme casual offhandedness and studied nonchalance. It’s like Martin Parr has a pair of car battery clips attached to his shriveled vampire nuts while taking photos – taking, in the strict sense of stealing away. Sucking dry. And when the shutter goes *click* and he’s successfully shot another subject square in the face, a delicious gruesome shudder appears on his horrible, wire thin witch lips – a knife wound in the side of stale, bloodless pork.

“Parr’s wry observations of Britishness” can also fuck right off. They’re only ‘wry’ as in droll, mocking, warped, contorted and drastically uneven. A distinct unequal power dynamic is at play in the images he hordes. Parr towers over his subject matter, psychologically framing what he thinks and wants to see within his artful prison. An exploitative worldview.

For Parr and others of his ilk, the camera is a glorified weapon of the spirit, a cruel and soulless conceptual microscope to stare down at his subject matter, pinned with his beady eyeballs. His nasty, sarcastic little old man gaze instantly and religiously reduces people to quirky PG Tips chimp adverts for instant, mindless consumption. Were you to realize that Martin Parr’s unfeeling corpse stands behind his images, sniggering inwardly at how apparently ‘funny’ (Parr’s term) you and your aspirations are, you’d unceremoniously punch him in the neck, Dennis Leary style. The next time you see him hunched over his little (probably expensive) camera, best be on the safe side; tell him to politely go fuck himself.

It’s telling that the piss weasels who thoroughly enjoy Martin Parr photos are STC’s (Smug Tory Cunts) on both pseudo-sides of the political shit spectrum. Both the tossers from The Guardian and Torygraph Scum always rate Parr’s shit. They really love what he’s doing, and get deep into it’s ugly spirit with hand rubbing glee. What they readily and deliberately mistake for the seeming ‘kitsch vulgarity’ of Parr’s Subject Matter is simply the exact same projection of snide socio-cultural prejudices. A convenient and essential barrier against the great unwashed – against the merest possibility of class based cross contamination.

It’s as though nobody reminded Parr that the idea is to rise with one’s working class, not above it. And yet, one one repeatedly hears that, simply because Parr’s taken a few images of some rich white posh lizards, this somehow instantly absolves him of ideological class snobbery. Does it fuck. What Parr expresses via his photography is just as bad, if not worse. It’s the calculated ivory tower snobbery of The Modern Art World, which as everyone with a fully functioning brain rightly suspects is one colossal fucking scam. A massively dysfunctional, self sustaining pathology mechanism for selling crude dumb (ultra-refined) shit to rich fuckwits with a taste for nothing but their own inherent ugliness. The whole sorry thing is contemptible and generally beneath human dignity – much like Parr’s undead body of work. In this way, Parr can safely play (/on) both sides of the class fence.

What is truly ordinary and stupid about Parr, lies precisely in the fact he does not in any way genuinely record what is truly grotesque about the everyday poverty of the lives of those standing unaware in judgement before him. His image-manifested theory of ‘everydayness’ only ever helps himself; he has no real relationship with his subjects. Parr can never join in directly with what he sees, because his bullshit internal self image of ‘man-as-great-artist’ (ie. media shark) prevents him from directly confronting the daily sadness and joy of another.

This suits Parr down to the ground, surrounded as he wants to be with his faintly sociopathic photos and unctuous sycophantic Modern Art World cronies, their tongues continually up his arse, telling him how wonderful and endlessly ‘witty’ he is. A Martin Parr photograph in a white washed gallery wall is simply a gross art-fart in your face that pongs of money and privilege – a presumptuous and falsely meek display of, and by those fully inside The Art Fortress. It’s all so very cool – the condescending anthropology of dead anthropologists, merely chronicling their own failures as human beings without genuine social conscience. And yet, despite being entirely contrived, Martin Parr would have us believe his images appear and arrive free of any artifice. Do they endlessly-self-promoting fuck.

Ironically, what’s precisely (and only) ‘British’ about Martin Parr’s photography is it’s psychotic, pathetic obsessiveness with some mythic bullshit sense of ‘Britishness’, which for Parr is apparently permanent, unalterable, and eternal. A forever shining plastic star in and of the Eternal Faded West – a combined Madame Tussaud’s wax museum exhibit and distorting funhouse mirror in which pink vaseline is continually, conveniently smeared over the present, precisely in order to prevent real change. This bizarre orientalism by Parr regarding what he imagines as (and therefore projects as images of) ‘British Culture’, precisely reflects the pathological monetary needs of the modern UK Culture Industry, which only exists to sell shit like Parr to idiots easily impressed by their own apparent ‘English Quirkyness’. A patronizing, Conservative crock.

Martin Parr is the photographic equivalent of tossers who ‘enjoy’ leering at those who enjoy Love Island with a smarmy ironic distance. Not that Love Island isn’t actually bollocks – but for uncritical Parr-droids, such images are the very means by which they’re able to control and maintain separated from what they think they see; yet what’s before them is only ever merely their own false idea of ‘British Culture’. The same thing goes for crap overrated bowl-haired poet Simon Fucking Armitage, who entirely fits the perfect profile and ticks all the relevant idiot boxes of “English Cultural Ideals Of Englishness.” Whatever the hell they are.

Such ideals however are often not remotely those of the poor sods who have to put up with daily so-called life on such a backwater Brexit infected island, but of those shit lords whose greasy little job is to generate, control and colonize the collective imagination with such infectious images. Martin Parr is merely the symptom of a widespread artistic bowel complaint called Culture, not some righteous chronicler of ‘Our’ Great Fucking Nation.

The only thing Martin Parr successfully documents, is the precise degree to which his own artistic distance from his subjects marks him out as a total Arthole. Yet for him, it’s a matter of ‘telling us about daily life’. Telling who, exactly? Parr’s images are firmly those of a toxic institution called Culture – of a private, elite conversation it’s (subjugated) subjects were never truly a part of, except as raw material for Martin’s dark photographic mill. If there’s any interest in or generated by the daily as-lived lives of those he snapshots, it’s only by proxy and by accident – a mere side effect. Parr himself appears only truly interested in taking cheap shots, maintaining his own self-misperceived cultural importance.

I just show things as I find them
– Yeah right, Martin Fucking Parr.

There’s a emotionless methodology to the way he entirely fails to mention and discuss the social *meaning* and importance of those he portrays – of those he coldly captures and contains with his crass conceptual lens. It’s all just about ‘documentation’ and ‘archiving’ – and never once about helping or improving. There’s no genuine sense that he’s truly part of the multiple communities he creeps about it. Martin Parr is a fucking Class Tourist with the artistic means and studied Cultural willingness to entirely forgo the trouble and mess of real, actual engagement with other humans. Better to just snap em’ up, and move on to the next slick assignment. It’s all very unsympathetically Artful. Martin Parr’s photography is a thin Humanistic veneer – a shallow English Culture Industry scam masquerading as ‘important social commentary.’ Yet only statement it clearly makes is that Martin Parr is just a smug, pseudo-satirical Tory tosser. “Fuck Martin Parr.”

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// how to play big science

Blocktober Gamedev Screenshots

RND/ To imagine a game called #Blocktober, in which largely untextured, ‘blocked out’ in progress levels are presented as ready to play:

3840 x 2160, 256 col .png, images via Twitter

– In which you still see the exact same kinds of developmental (architectural) paradigms at work, and although in modern terms and methods are highly efficient and heavily engine optimized, they still rest on largely un-examined first principles, common shared language (gaming grammars and assumptions) – regarding space, gravity, proportion, usage. Places based on such (often dull, ‘real world’ based) assumptions are still often merely backdrops to the action rather than central characters in themselves, and still very much static rather than dynamic. They just stand there like blocks of dumb concrete (despite being made of pixels and light.)

For the AAA games industry, #Blocktober represents “a beautiful insight into how game worlds are built” (Rock Paper Shotgun) but, rather than some apparently clarifying ‘behind the curtains’ look at how the game sausage is made, is in fact its entirely hidden ideological foundation.

Indeed, why else would so many people spend quite so long tinkering endlessly (and largely uselessly) with getting two adjoining virtual walls to line up ‘just so’? Who should care about that? Is there anything more cosmically boring and overly long winded than level design as it exists now? Just check out the Two Time making his own level. Why isn’t the level being actively designed via instant, dynamic hands-on play, instead of this endlessly anal ‘screwdriver mode’ (as Brian Eno calls it)?

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On Simply Seeing Red Stars

RND/ To consider (briefly) those poor devolved LOLtube morlocks, who automatically imagine they speak universally for all sentient beings (oh the irony) at all points in spacetime:

The video to “Stars” features Hucknall wandering around a desert surrounded by large gold stars with close-ups of him and a woman. It was edited by Marc Eskenazi.
– Stars (Simply Red song) from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2550 x 3114 .jpg, sceenshot edited in Gimp

Seeing Simply Red Stars

In which mistakenly reading such common comments make you see red stars.. and yet the hopeful threat of reading a classy rejoinder to The Above Comment draws you into the Ass of The Toxic Comment Hole.

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