On the Manifesto for a Ludic Century
My full response to Eric Zimmerman
September 11, 2013
The game designer Eric Zimmerman just published a "Manifesto for the Ludic Century," and several folks were invited to write responses to it, including me.
You should click through and read both of those links because this post won't make any sense if you don't. When you do, you'll notice that Heather Chaplin commented "I don't know exactly what he's talking about" in response to my response. But! She also only excerpted about a third of it, so, I thought I'd post the whole thing here:
When you think about it, it's curious to pen a manifesto for a ludic century to come in the twenty-first century, when the manifesto itself was such a staple of twentieth-century thought. The term was certainly in use before then, but the modern manifesto as a written prescription that makes manifest certain principles really starts with the political manifestos of Marx, Engels, Bellegarrigue, and others in the mid-19th century. The artistic manifestos of Symbolism, Futurism, Dadaism, Surrealism, and others followed this lead, proclaiming clear, direct, and unyielding principles for creative practice. So, perhaps there is one fundamental challenge for the Manifesto for a Ludic Century: would a truly ludic century be a century of manifestos? Of declaring simple principles rather than embracing systems? Or, is the Ludic Manifesto meant to be the last manifesto, the manifesto to end manifestos, replacing simple answers with the complexity of "information at play?"