Caillois RR

In Man, Play, and Games, by Roger Caillois, there were lots of things that were thought provoking. An interesting point came in the Corruption of Games chapter. “It may be of interest to ask what becomes of games when the sharp line dividing their ideal rules from the diffuse and insidious laws of daily life is blurred.”(pg. 43) When Caillois mentioned this, it really began to raise the question. What does happen when the harsh line between game rules and life rules are blurred? What about if it disappears entirely? Does a quality of life disappear from the situation?

Caillois talks about board games and physical games, but this can relate to video games in almost every case. In fact, that is what my focus will be on. There are groups of people who argue that violence in video games causes the player to show violence in their real life. This may explain that blur coming between game rules and life rules, at least the outcome of that possibility. With video games becoming more and more life-life with graphics and actual life simulations, we begin to see this sharp line diffuse even more. Most likely, there will always be those cases where people cannot distinguish reality from the virtual world.

A worry about someone’s quality of life though comes with perspective. There are people who play games for a living and are still able to live quality lives. Unfortunately, there are also many people hidden away for video game addiction and sometimes those people cannot function, what others might call “well”, in society. In those causes, I would think that their quality of life is disappearing quite rapidly.

As was mentioned in discussion about Huizinga briefly, Caillois also discusses the cheat. The reading is the whole second paragraph on page 45. Caillois describes the purpose of a cheat in relation to the rules of play or the game. The way he describes them makes it seem rather romanticized, almost like you want to be a cheat. Which brings the question back up of why is a cheat seen as a better person than a spoilsport? It is amusing that many cultures actually view the same way about cheats. Why is this a common thing? Is it a connection to the sharp line between game rules and life rules diffusing? I believe it is because it can be hard to distinguish these differences when you feel the rush of getting away with cheating in a game. You see cheats outside of games and they get away with it and we tend to brush it off in society. It has become a norm. A last question is: If a spoilsport and cheater are treated different, then where would a hacker be placed?

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