Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Transparent runner on the second base!

Many people have said various things about video games. Although there are many pros and cons, one thing is strangely missing from the current video games. A huge deficit of functionality, seeded in the game and then required for the human to conform, is apparent if you once notice it. Let's call that functionality "meta-cognition for rule-making" What does the meta-cognition signify here? Let me explain.
When I was a kid, I used to play the baseball a lot. The reality of suburban Japan at that time was that you wouldn't play in a proper baseball field. You had to make do with what vacant space there happened to be, either in the small playgrounds or chunks of land being vacant temporarily before the construction began. You sometimes chose to play with "triangular base", instead of the regular "diamond". You discussed with your friends whether there should be a catcher. The "strike" and "ball" counts were also optional. Stealing the base was seldom allowed. All these things had to be negotiated before the actual game started. You also had to decide what handicaps needed to be allowed for the weak and unskilled. All these negotiations were aimed, with the benefit of hindsight, at making the game the most enjoyable possible. You didn't simply play the game, you had to make all these rules. That's what I call meta-cognition. Standing out of the gaming itself, and observing it with the eye of an outsider.
There were even times when you had to resort to exotic rules. Like when there were only insufficient number of players, and you had to declare that a "transparent runner" was on the base. That happened when a player on the base had to be the next batter. He would then shout "transparent runner on the second base", and run to the batter's box.
All these meta-cognitive functions are lacking in today's video games. You don't make the rules, the computers make the rules. You simply try to maximize your performance under the dictatorship of the computer. Thus a whole area of human capabilities is forced to be dormant.
When you observe small kids playing, you would often notice that they are making their own rules. Like granting handicaps for the small and weak. The meta-cognition comes so naturally to children. It is a grand challenge for makers of video games to install that functionality. It is certainly a tall order.



A triangular base game. Everything so free and chaotic. You have to make your own rules.

33 comments:

risa said...

yes,sir!

Taku said...

"Transparent runner"!!
Mr.Mogi, your words suddenly brought me back to my childhood which has been long forgotten. (Though I'm still very young...)

Indeed I did have a transparent runner with my good friends in my good old childhood days, every time we played baseball. We were truely free to do anything then.

As a design student, your post reminded me of what not to forget and to be considered in creative activities. I'd like to thank you for a nice little insight.

Anonymous said...

大平貴之氏のメガスターはすばらしいですね。
このプラネタリュウムが双眼鏡を使わないと、もう全部は見れないとは。
このクオリは何処からくるのでしょう。
このプラネタリュウムを誰もが、恋人と見たいと思うでしょう。
それと共に、誰もが、子供達にも見せてやりたいと思うでしょう。
これは、何を意味しているのでしょうか?
私達は分かってるんでしょうね。
子供達が、このすばらしい体験を感じ取れるということを、
そのことを私達が知っている、まがい無い、何よりの証でしょう。

われわれが進もうとしている道が正しいかどうかを、神は前もって教えてはくれない。
学校で学んだことを一切忘れてしまった時になお残っているもの、それこそ教育だ。
空想は知識より重要である。知識には限界がある。想像力は世界を包み込む。
私は天才ではありません。ただ、人より長く一つのことと付き合っていただけです。
100年たっても、本物には、思い知らされます。

基本は大事です。
幾ら、高い構造物を作ろうが、全ては土台の基礎部分に圧し掛かる。
基本をないがしろにして、成り立つ物創りはあり得ない。

ハプテックは物創りの基本です。
ミツトヨの直線基準器は、人の触覚を使ってでしか、創りあげる事はできません。
光を使った視覚をもってしても、人の触覚には敵わないのです。
私達はその感覚を持って、日ごろ感じているのは明らかです。

百聞は一見に如かず、百見は一触に如かず。

Petrusa de Koker said...

Who made the colour drawing?

jon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ken Mogi said...

Dear, Petrusa.
Sorry for my late reply.

The drawing is in the "public domain".
I don't know who made it. I found it and brought it onto my blog.

How is everything in SA?
Here, autumn is just beautiful.

Petrusa de Koker said...

It is, of course, Spring on this side of the world. We had good rains this winter and Cape Town looks great - blue skies and trees budding and everything. When I drive on the freeway towards work in the morning, I get this lovely view of Cape Town with Table Mountain in the back. Sunrise is getting earlier and earlier - don't have to drive to work in the dark any more and there is the most amazing touch of sunlight on Table Mountain these mornings.
Wish you all the Best and go well.

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