Civilization and Games

“When cultures change, so do games.” Imagine what effect if any AI will have on gaming.

Homework from Andrew McLuhan’s Understanding Media intensive, quote from UM

In Sandra Fox’s book “Jews of Summer,” about Jewish American summer camps in the post-war period, the third chapter is about games. Immensive multi-day long sociodramas that the whole camp would get involved in. Where they would pretend to create a village, or to relive the exodus from egypt, or the destruction of a shtetl. I know Sandy, having grown up at different camps at the same time – and we went through regertitated versions of the same activities when we were campers. In the chapter she cites philosopher Roger Caillois who wrote in 1961 “to a certain degree, a civilization and its content may be characterized by its games.” With AI, many think about the technical storytelling of video games, but I wonder how these tools would change how counselors at summer camps reimagine the games they make up for the temporal village. Maybe they’ll go deeper and more nuanced, or figure out a way to not just break the camp into 4 teams but to truly write out a role for each camper, something a temporary staff wouldn’t have the time for. I am not sure how technology has already affected those experience, because when I went to camp we brought CD players and our counselors used the payphone. I think that when properly used, AI allows humans to access creativity and wisdom — accordingly, I think AI will further deepen the historical connection Jewish camps are trying to foster through immersive role playing games.