Humans have code. Some people’s code is more complex than others, but essentially we all have things we ‘believe’ are valuable and more importantly, they contribute to our self-identity, who we ‘believe’ we are and how we ‘believe’ we project these values though our communication and character. In games, these things are not removed, despite the hype around our “Second Life”. We don’t inhabit an alter-ego, but use the neoevolutionary phenomenon of the media to become “the greatest sword fighter in all the world” – if we want. It’s one reason I believe games (in moderation) are good for kids – they get to try this out in a third-space.
I have some non-negotiable values: Equity (I dislike situations where people are out-grouped, excluded or made to fell less than anyone else). This is really problematic as the world is populated by people who don’t consider or share this ‘world-view’ in favour of direct ‘dog eat dog’ or the unforgivable ‘silent assassin’ behaviour. Effort. I like work and want to make everything I work on or at better. Heritage. Nothing is here now without a past and nothing stays here without the generosity and kindness of other people (many of whom I will never meet). I reject the throw-away media cycle and always look to a persons ‘digital heritage’ to try and gauge the path they have taken, and take time to appreciate their struggles and contributions to the world I experience. For example: if I buy a ‘new’ car, it’s going to have digital-heritage and probably will require effort to maintain it (and drive it). Of course, this is often mis-understood by people around me. That leads me to the last one – uniqueness. Everyone is unique and can only be the person they are, not something else. That is amazing and beautiful at the same time. I tend to pay far more attention to the uniqueness of people and avoid spending too much time with people who are working on hiding it. There are plenty of those people out there and I appreciate they are all dealing with ‘stuff’ which I can’t begin to fathom anymore than they can know me right here, right now.
While I don’t pretend this in exhaustive list, these things matter most to me. It’s one reason I find games an ‘escape’ from reality as I think the games I like to play contain these values as (more or less) rules (ludic and passive). So if we meet one day, you’ll know what I’m about … and I really don’t mind if you agree with me or not – just be aware that the hamster ball I roll around in is powered by this.