Tag Archives: ludic history

How the Gamer got their Spots: A brief history of the public perception of gaming.

Australian game designer Stefan Barton-Ross shows us that, historically, gaming, games and play are the norm.

MAKE A GAME OF THAT

This weekend I attended PAX, which was mindblowing in many ways. While there I attended several panels, one of which inspired me to write this. It’s something I’ve been aware of and thought about for some time, but never really had the space to talk about. Now I do. So here we go.

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This is something I heard at PAX a lot: ‘what will it take for gamers to get out of being a niche culture and be accepted into the mainstream socially and politically like, say, film or music are?’. It was the overarching question and theme on a panel hosted by various industry and journalist luminaries. To me it sounds odd.

On one level I identify with the sentiment deeply. I love videogames, tabletop games, card games, roleplay, pretty much anything ludic. Another common comment was on how gamers made being a minority part of their identity…

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LVDITE SECVRI

A while back, I read this article about a hill-fort on the edge of a weakening Roman Empire in Britain; an important architectural find, emblematic of the turbulence of the era. In it, I came across a lovely phrase in their translation of a Latin inscription on the famous Vettweiss-Froitzheim Dice Tower.

Vettweiss-Froitzheim Dice Tower. Roman, fourth century AD. (Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn). Image: Wikimedia

PICTOS VICTOS – HOSTIS DELETA – LVDITE SECVRI, which they translate as, “The Picts defeated – the enemy wiped out – play without fear”

Lvdite Secvri – Play Without Fear. In the context of a dying empire harried by enemy invaders, it has a powerful implication.

Ludite Securi – Play Without Fear. It could be a motto for our Ludic Century, as well. It should resonate for all advocates of play. I know it resonates for me.


 

post adapted from earlier tweets