Nihilism and Artificial Intelligence
Nihilism and Artificial Intelligence
If we are in a general way permitted to regard human activity in the realm of the beautiful as a liberation of the soul, as a release from constraint and restriction, in short to consider that art does actually alleviate the most overpowering and tragic catastrophes by means of the creations it offers to our contemplation and enjoyment, it is the art of music which conducts us to the final summit of that ascent to freedom.
– Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
I’ve seen it in the passionate music and epic stories of Final Fantasy. I’ve seen it in the comradery of split-screen deathmatches in Goldeneye. I’ve seen it in the power struggles and great friendships of the silent Tibia. Hell, I’ve seen it in Guitar Hero. Playing (and creating) video games, in a similar sense to listening to (and creating) music, can be a unique way of letting the physical dissolve and allowing the spirit to flourish. It can show us who we are and what we are about on the most fundamental level.
In the world-historical sense, playing video games and skateboarding are utterly absurd activities. In a more subjective and, dare I say, eternal sense they can show us a glimpse of what it means to be human and how the human spirit transcends the purely physical.
We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.
– Hermann Hesse
This is love. I have my self-consciousness not in myself but in the other. I am satisfied and have peace with myself only in this other and I AM only because I have peace with myself; if I did not have it then I would be a contradiction that falls to pieces. This other, because it likewise exists outside itself, has its self-consciousness only in me; and both the other and I are only this consciousness of being-outside-ourselves and of our identity; we are only this intuition, feeling, and knowledge of our unity. This is love, and without knowing that love is both a distinguishing and the sublation of this distinction, one speaks emptily of it.
– Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
This is the eternal origin of art that a human being confronts a form that wants to become a work through him. Not a figment of his soul but something that appears to the soul and demands the soul’s creative power. What is required is a deed that a man does with his whole being.
– Martin Buber
Embrace your destruction… It is the fate of all things.
I will destroy everything… I will create a monument to non-existence!
Why do people insist on creating things that will inevitably be destroyed? Why do people cling to life, knowing that they must someday die? …Knowing that none of it will have meant anything once they do?
And did you all find your “somethings” in this broken world that just won’t die?
Bleh! You people make me sick! You sound like lines from a self-help book! If that’s how it’s going to be… I’ll snuff them all out! Every last one of your sickening, happy little reasons for living!
Life… Dreams… Hope… Where do they come from? And where do they go…? Such meaningless things… I’ll destroy them all!
Video games are big business. They can be addicting. They are available almost anywhere you go and are appealing to people of all ages. They can eat up our time, cost us money, even kill our relationships. But it’s not all bad! This book will show that rather than being a waste of time, video games can help us develop skills, make friends, succeed at work, form good habits, and be happy. Taking the time to learn what’s happening in our heads as we play and shop allows us to approach games and gaming communities on our own terms and get more out of them.
With sales in the tens of billions of dollars each year, just about everybody is playing some kind of video game whether it’s on a console, a computer, a web browser, or a phone. Much of the medium’s success is built on careful (though sometimes unwitting) adherence to basic principles of psychology. This is something that’s becoming even more important as games become more social, interactive, and sophisticated. This book offers something unique to the millions of people who play or design games: how to use an understanding of psychology to be a better part of their gaming communities, to avoid being manipulated when they shop and play, and to get the most enjoyment out of playing games. With examples from the games themselves, Jamie Madigan offers a fuller understanding of the impact of games on our psychology and the influence of psychology on our games.
Jamie Madigan, PhD, has become an expert on the psychology of video games and seeks to popularize understanding of how various aspects of psychology can be used to understand why games are made how they are and why their players behave as they do. Madigan has written extensively on the subject for various magazines, websites, blogs, and his own site at www.psychologyofgames.com. He has also consulted with game development companies and talked at conferences about how game developers can incorporate psychology principles into game design and how players can understand how it affects their play. Finally, he has appeared as an expert on the psychology of video games in dozens of print, radio, and web outlets such as The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, BBC Radio 5, the BBC, The Guardian, and more. He is a lifelong gamer.
During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition called war; and such a war is as of every man against every man.
To this war of every man against every man, this also is consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the cardinal virtues.
No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.
– Thomas Hobbes
You’ll never forget your first dragon. Tibia is an online fantasy world in which you may escape the mundane realities of your boring life. Thousands of people plug into this Matrix-esque world (it is literally a matrix) every day to mindlessly murder trolls and goblins in the vain effort to increase their skill numbers. Tibia offers a huge world to explore and more ways to die than Dark Souls (“Did you bring a rope?”). If killing the local creatures isn’t enough for you, then you will be pleased to learn that you also have the freedom to murder other players at will and loot their corpses, offering the sweet satisfaction of ruining their day while at the same time improving your own. But beware, for every time you die you will lose a small part of yourself and become that much weaker.
If you find yourself being murdered more than you see fit, then you also have the freedom to band together with other adventurers (unless they be secret spies from a foreign land). Tibia is a world in which lost souls bring out the true nature of men (or children? – certainly not women). From political alliances to rogue assassins for hire, this is a land where might makes right. And might is here defined as he who can sit in his computer chair for the most amount of time. The illusory sense of progress is not to be underestimated. The most elite players have transcended the urge to piss for days and may even starve to death while staring at the wall for the sake of increasing their numbers faster than yours seem to decrease.
Sure, you may rent a house (if you prefer to throw your things all over the floor), but other lost souls may also threaten to erase you and your entire virtual family from the annals of Tibian history unless you turn over the deed. You may scavenge dungeons and slay dragons for hours, only to be murdered on the way back home, effectively losing your spoils and spirit. You may wander the world for days on end, solving puzzles and catering to NPC’s riddles, only to be rewarded with a worthless virtual achievement. You may innocently offer help to a poor lost Brazilian, only to find that their God-damned cohorts are waiting in ambush to trap and murder you with geometrical precision.
Of course, there is something to be learned from your time in the fantastical land of Tibia: trust nobody, not even yourself. Each time your health reaches zero, whether it be from the slow tick of poison or the blade of another lost soul, the game reminds you of why you are spending your days sitting in the same chair, in the same clothes, staring at the same screen: “You are dead.” Perhaps your mundane life is not so bad after all.
This is what is sad when one contemplates human life, that so many live out their lives in quiet lostness… they live, as it were, away from themselves and vanish like shadows… The most common form of despair is not being who you are… The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss – an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. – is sure to be noticed.
– Soren Kierkegaard
June 27, 2011|By John D. Sutter, CNN
The “God of War” games from Sony are considered violent, but the Supreme Court says such games still have protection as art.
Maybe it helps for the nation’s highest court to say it, too?
Video games are art, and they deserve the exact same First Amendment protections as books, comics, plays and all the rest, the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday in a ruling about the sale of violent video games in California.
California had tried to argue that video games are inherently different from these other mediums because they are “interactive.” So if a kid has to pick up a controller and hit the B button — over and over again until he starts to get thumb arthritis — to kill a person in a video game, that’s different from reading about a similar murder, the state said.
Many of these statements in Kafka’s notebooks were later published posthumously in Parables and Paradoxes (1946), and The Blue Octavo Notebooks (1954) as translated by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, Original German text
From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.
There is a goal, but no way; what we call a way is hesitation.
The animal wrests the whip from its master and whips itself in order to become master, not knowing that this is only a fantasy produced by a new knot in the master’s whiplash.
In the struggle between yourself and the world, back the world.
In the struggle between yourself and the world, side with the world.
In the fight between you and the world, back the world.
One can disintegrate the world by means of very strong light. For weak eyes the world becomes solid, for still weaker eyes it seems to develop fists, for eyes weaker still it becomes shamefaced and smashes anyone who dares to gaze upon it.
The expulsion from Paradise is in its main significance eternal:
Consequently the expulsion from Paradise is final, and life in this world irrevocable, but the eternal nature of the occurrence (or, temporally expressed, the eternal recapitulation of the occurrence) makes it nevertheless possible that not only could we live continuously in Paradise, but that we are continuously there in actual fact, no matter whether we know it here or not.
Why do we lament over the fall of man? We were not driven out of Paradise because of it, but because of the Tree of Life, that we might not eat of it.
We are sinful not merely because we have eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, but also because we have not yet eaten of the Tree of Life. The state in which we find ourselves is sinful, quite independent of guilt.
There is no need for you to leave the house. Stay at your table and listen. Don’t even listen, just wait. Don’t even wait, be completely quiet and alone. The world will offer itself to you to be unmasked; it can’t do otherwise; in raptures it will writhe before you.
You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
Jonathan Blow (born 1971) is an American independent video game developer. He is best known for his game Braid, which won the “Game Design” award at the Independent Games Festival in 2006. He is currently developing The Witness, to be released in 2012.
For many years Blow wrote the Inner Product column for Game Developer Magazine. He is the primary host of the Experimental Gameplay Workshop each March at the Game Developers Conference, which has become a premier showcase for new ideas in video games. In addition, Blow is a regular participant in the Indie Game Jam.
In a speech at the Free Play conference in Australia in September 2007, Blow suggested games were approaching the level of societal influence of other forms of art, such as films and novels. One example that Blow cites is World of Warcraft, which he labels “unethical”, stating that such games exploit players by using a simple reward-for-suffering scheme to keep them in front of their computer. In his view, developers need to think about what reinforcement the games are providing players when they reward them for performing certain actions. He emphasized the need for developers to design inspiring new games using “innovative, ethical and personal art.”
In an interview with Jeff Glor CBS This Morning, Blow noted that games could have a “much bigger role” in culture in the future, but current game development does not address this potential, instead aiming for low-risk, high-profit titles.
Indie Game: The Movie is the first feature documentary film about making video games. It looks specifically at the underdogs of the video game industry, indie game developers, who sacrifice money, health and sanity to realize their lifelong dreams of sharing their visions with the world.
After two years of painstaking work, designer Edmund McMillen and programmer Tommy Refenes await the release of their first major game for Xbox, Super Meat Boy—the adventures of a skinless boy in search of his girlfriend, who is made of bandages. At PAX, a major video-game expo, developer Phil Fish unveils his highly anticipated, four-years-in-the-making FEZ. Jonathan Blow considers beginning a new game after creating Braid, one of the highest-rated games of all time. Four developers, three games, and one ultimate goal— to express oneself through a video game.
Indie Game: The Movie is about the creative process and putting yourself out there through your work. It’s a journey many filmmakers, creators, artists, entrepreneurs – many people, can relate to in the digital era.
It’s available on Netflix and probably easily obtainable for free illegally on the web.
This man… nobody even compares to his 16-bit era musical genius. No contest. Period.