Badiou on game design, part 1B: action, manor of the subject

(Intro: Dialectics of Game Design)

In this part, Badiou translates his terms into Christianity.

Council of Nicea states that “The Son is consubstantial with The Father”. This is the scission Ap(AAp), the Incarnation. Then, Ap(A) designates the determination of the Father by the Son, his death, the Passion. A(Ap) designates the counter-determination (limit) by the Father on the son, his Ascension, Resurrection.

Badiou summarizes the “redemptive adventure” as:

“The consubstantial duality Son/Father, that is, the Incarnation, the death of the finite (the Passion), and its non-death (the Resurrection) are the immediate theological concerns of scission, determination and limit.”

If we retranslate it using game design terms,

  • the scission, or the duality of Incarnation becomes Avatar/Player, the embodiment,
  • the determination, or the Passion becomes the consequences of the Avatar’s fate on the Player (the Player herself “dies” when the game is over, or she “wins” when the Avatar wins). In other words, immersion.
  • the limit, or the Resurrection becomes Player’s counter-determination of her immersion. In other words, engagement.

In this case, Christ’s crucifixion is the unsuccessful ending of a game session on the world by the God, the ultimate “game over” screen:

Next part: Badiou on game design, part 1C: the real is the impasse of formalization; formalization is the place of the forced pass of the real

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