Serious Games and the Study of Society
The basic notion of a theory of serious games is that culture as an object of study can be described as a set of serious and non-serious games which involve its members in rule-governed and rule creating actions. The notion of “culture as serious game” is not presented as the ultimate explanatory tool, but rather as a description perhaps more apt than “culture as text” or “culture as drama.” Similarly, members of a culture can perhaps be better described as “players,” and “pawns” rather than as “agents” or “actors.” This brings to the fore the performative aspect of culture. The actual serious games that envelope us, the culture we belong to and others we encounter as “strangers,” are not strongly delimited by the theory of serious games. This theory provides the barest of form, a basis upon which any number of serious games, fantastic or not, can be (and have been) fashioned.