One of the most exhilarating and interesting events in games is when you have to improvise. You aren’t executing a rote formula for success, and you aren’t bumbling around randomly, but recombining knowledge to create a new strategy, tailor-made to the situation at hand. Games with procedural generation and complex systems can often create situations where necessity is the mother of invention, and player of roguelikes and emergent sandbox games will tell you how much fun that can be. But what is actually happening? And can you get better at adaptation through practice?
Why do players act crazy?
Have you ever seen people play games like Garry’s Mod, Black & White, or GTA? I have been trying to figure out the purpose of the most purposeless play I have seen in games. That is the non-sequitur exploratory play found in simulation sandbox games.
There is a strong association between belief in conspiracy theories generally, and denial of scientific facts. But does that mean anti-vaccination, climate change denial, anti-GMO and creationism are just different forms of conspiracy theories? There are three possibilities I can think of: Conspiracy, incompetence, and conformity.
Most people, especially in academic and scientific institutions, regard belief in conspiracy theories as unjustified (or to put it another way: crazy and paranoid). But they accept that conspiracies can occur, as evidenced by Watergate and other exposed scandals. But they regard most popular conspiracy theories as unlikely. Why is that? This can be called ‘default scepticism’, and it has several components.
Why do people believe conspiracy theories? The same reasons anyone subscribes to any ideologically-charged belief. If you were looking for differences in cognition, IQ, psychosis, paranoia, susceptibility to certain biases or persuasive methods, then you would be disappointed. One study included in its predictive profile of a conspiracy theorist the tendency to leap to conclusions from scant evidence. But this was just one component among many such as mistrust of others, dislike of authority and alienation from society. The tendency to leap to conclusions is neither sufficient nor necessary to predict if someone is a conspiracy theorist.
“Eugenics is the only reasonable strategy available to us, given the fact of evolution.
Humans are not static. Evolution is an ongoing process. Humans will inevitably change over time from various selective pressures on survival and reproduction. That much is certain. Equally certain is the fact that the individual and collective decisions of humans will have various direct and indirect effects on this gradual change. The only question that remains is to decide whether we wish for our influence on our continued evolution to be random, disorganised and entirely unintentional (remaining in denial of the facts due to the stigma on eugenics), or to make our influence very deliberate, careful and calculated. The fact is that (whether we like it or not) we are faced with the question of how we want to change our species, and denial of this will only mean that we leave the destination of our species to pure chance, which doesn’t seem like a very responsible or intelligent response to me.”
I bristle with irritation at the “artist” who thoughtlessly drops a splat of paint on a canvas, which is found interesting by only 3 people out of 7 billion. Why does this provoke the contempt of myself and many others? How can I defend my annoyance at rubbish “art” while playing and designing video games?