2017-02-02 - 12:37 a.m.
As I watched the masterpiece which is The Witch for the third time, I caught myself wanting their farm to succeed, for their corn to be enough, for the traps to catch prey, for their wheat field to be planted and for them to finish the barn and get that cow, all under the umbrella of thought of games.
I remember a moment playing Agricola where Berkley and I bonded over the idea that we just wanted our farms to be pretty. Beyond the points and the placement of winner, there is always the feeling of wanting your farm to succeed, to have what it needs to feed your family indefinitely.
It was strange to think of the family of The Witch as having carried out an unsuccessful strategy, to have made a series of moves that failed to create a working machine of production. It was odd to abstract their effort, their strife, as a series of moves.
I can't decide if it's apt or misguided to think of their lives this way. Making life out to be a game is, I think, apt in some ways; it connects interlinking systems of choice and consequence into a theoretical whole: the game. Yet, it's also worrisome in that thinking of such moves divorces the context, hope, motivation, and reality of the people making them. Thinking of someone's life as a game risks alienating oneself from empathizing with their reality. I think even with oneself, one can fall into thinking of one's own life as a game, risking divorcing oneself from the very real conflict of choice and consequence in favour of what, winning the game?