I continue my discussion on the theme of last 2 days post…Deleuze and Guattari speaks of 3 stages that can be associated with a game. This article is a little more technical. I hope I could make it clear.

  1. Connective Synthesis: It creates an encounter between the player and virtual reality or the items of the game resulting in playing the game.
  2. Disjunctive Synthesis: Here we create the rules of the game based on the past and present experiences, which is not an easy process.
  3. Conjunctive Synthesis: In the third process, play becomes further productive by engaging with other machines. (A simple example is the use of games like America’s army as a recruitment tool for the US armed forces)

The connection created(1) →a recording that remembers the flow(2) →use of the flow in other machines to become productive(3). All the three could be used legitimately and illegitimately. It is possible to judge a game based on the outputs after each stage of the syntheses.

I know syntheses might not be extremely clear; I hope to give a little more clarity with two examples, one for the legitimate use and one for illegitimate use;

  1. Gamergate is a protest movement against the inclusion of women in gaming communities. They display illegitimate characteristics in all the 3 stages. A) They form exclusive communities (excluding women here). B)They form the rules based on the past and present (not ready to challenge that system… women are not elligible or capable for it) C)They adopt this game to other machines or other areas of their life where they become misogynstic.
  2. On the other side, I remember an example adopted by a person in Karnataka. He started some cricket tournaments, where the teams should include Hindu and Muslim, which was an attempt to fight the communal tensions. A) They form inclusive playing communities; B)The rules were formed not replicating the past, but challenging it too. C) It is a hope that the people would start applying it in other fields.

So this understanding of syntheses could also help us to look at different aspects

  1. I admire the strategy of Salesians in giving extreme importance for Sports for the formation of children studying in their schools. Thus they understood that building character and inclusiveness through games can be help these values migrate to other areas of life.
  2. When they use it in a positive way, many others apply the same principle in a negative way. You help people play and help them to create the rules you want; slowly the rules migrate to other games and other areas of life. (In a subtle way, this is one of the perfect ways of indoctrination). If the teachers or people who have influenced you have been liberal and encouraged you to think the rules for the games or to challenge the rules, there is a less chance of that person being indoctrinated by any sort of game/ideology.
  3. Riots/violences in the name of religion can be created by different groups which are another good example of games. When some are directly playing the game (being involved in it), others are indirectly participating. Then the participants (direct & indirect) are encouraged to form the rules/norms of the game (hatred towards other religions/cultures), which would migrate beyond this riot (game) to other areas of life and thus becoming part of him/her.

Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy can remind us… a revolution of tenderness, positivity,love, compassion could be started with a game (game needn’t be limited to traditional games; the same could be applied to culture, tradition, religion)…. a revolution of hatred, violence too

A Jesuit interested to think and write; Loves philosophy, spirituality, politics…. Believes in God & well-being of all humans… Open to difference & newness..

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