Games and Rituals, Kick off sessions

We are looking at rituals and their overlap with video games as a way to explore “forbidden” or otherwise lost knowledge erased by oppressive systems.

On Rituals and Traditions

What is a ritual? And tradition? What makes a ritual “ritual”, and how does it differ from the traditions? Or are the two the same thing? What do rituals and traditions mean through the lens of culture, location and time? These and other questions we asked ourselves and one another during the first few collaborative sessions of this Special Issue. We kept talking and reading for hours about the commonalities and differences between the two. There is a lot to explore! We went down memory lane and shared memories, childhood recollections, and personal stories. Perhaps, dear reader, you have your thoughts on this too?

But let’s enter a parallel universe!

On Game and Play

What is a game? And play? What makes a game “game”, and how does it differ from play? Or are the two the same thing? What makes a game? It is the rules, the limitations, or perhaps the wins and the losses. Do you really need to win in order to play? Or were you being played? To try to answer some of these questions, we read and collectively annotated the chapter “Defining Games” from the book “Rules of Play - Game Design Fundamentals” by Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman. We discovered that games and rituals alike are the gateways to alternative ways of relating to Nature, each other and (re)production of life.

We played together by writing fanfiction and spells, developing rituals, and analysing and creating games. What emerged as a tangible result from all these discussions is this experimental publication you are holding in your hands right now. We named it Console.

Candles Tarot Joysticks
Graphing the game-ritual field

Another thing that came out of our first two sessions was the One Sentence Ritual. Each week for six weeks in a row, we wrote down a ritual of our own and took turns performing the ritual from the list. Coffee fortune-telling, hard drive purifications, collective eating, sound meditations, and talking to worry dolls made us reflect on the content of the week and our lives.

Mapping somewhere new