Week 4 Response

The article on Pokémon was very interesting, I’ll admit I didnt think I would like it as I never played or watched Pokémon as a child and was annoyed when it’s what my friends started doing. It was interesting to see how this particular product was marketed to fit into a global sphere rather than just the Asian sphere.  I never knew about this background and how the game was marketed to be ‘cool’ in America and ‘cute’ in the Asian markets. It was interesting to see the work and ideas that go behind making a product go global, I had always thought (naively) that something went global just because it was popular and well liked, not because it was marketed to be that way.

The history of games that we read about this week was an interesting and much needed break from the definitions of play that we have been reading about. The notion that games are a reflection of what is going on in society at the time, and what people’s hopes, dreams, and desires are is fascinating and falls into the catagory of using literature or artwork to understand a society of a previous time. I think it might be even more of an important aspect as people who are illiterate or impoverished can still play a majority of games whereas they would not be able to purchase or perhaps understand the literature or works of art at the time, letalone create them, and therefore they would not be indicitive of society as a whole. They would be leaving out a key part of the population that help us further understand the past.

This article seemed different than the others we have read. It gave more of a ‘behind the scenes’ look to games than say the ‘Making your Move’ or ‘Playing the American Dream’ articles that we also read. Those articles were very interesting too in how they showed the sort of circle society has taken from basing games in education of values and morals of a religious standing, to using these values to gain ‘success’ and money, to material and economic gains rising to the level religion and moral values held as stated in the ‘Making Your Move’ article. Looking at board games through the lense of education, do they fall into that catagory more so than that of play? How would this idea of games as efforts to transmit values and morals into children through games ( as Cremin says in the ‘ Making Your Move’ article) fit into Callois’ or Huziga’s definitions of play? Or are games on a totally different sphere than play?

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 10.13.10 PM   Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 10.13.19 PM

The image(s) I found the most compelling were those of the Pachisi boards from India. They are very intricatley designed, like the chess boards we looked at in class the other day. The most interesting aspect of these boards to me is that they are fabric, and therefore not as stable of a playing surface as a wooden or stone chessboard for example.The one that caught my eye the most was the beaded one, which must have taken an insanely long time to make, as the entire board is covered with beads as well as the playing pieces. A board like this must have been something that was cherished and well looked after to ensure that the beads stayed on. The large, square, velvet boards were incredibly beautiful and adorned. They were boards of aristocracy and they also happened to impede the game as the description states, showing how importance showing your class and wealth was.



Leave a Reply