July 2015: ‘Pure Fun’

Hello, my friends! I have missed you! With my PhD qualifying exams nearly over, I am clearing out my mental cobwebs and attempting to rejoin pleasant society. I want to take this moment to thank the entire Critical-Distance team for their support while I was preparing and testing. Special thanks to Mark Filipowich for being the sole caregiver to BoRT over the last few months.

Given how un-fun the exam process can be, I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few months daydreaming about fun and trying to remember what it felt like. Then, Nicholas Hanford, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Games Criticism, took to twitter to ask a great question about fun and its ability to exist purely. So without further ado, let me share his question with you and our theme for the month, ‘Pure Fun’:

Nicholas Hanford posed the question “Is fun meaningful? Is the creation of fun equal to the creation of meaning? Or does something always have to tag along with fun for meaning?” I think these questions resonate loudly, whether we consciously address them or not, in the discussion of videogames. What’s your take? Have you experienced pure fun while playing, or is fun tied to the meaning of the experience? Does a player bring fun to the game, or the reverse? Is it reciprocal? Is fun more accessible in some games than others, and if so, why? This month, I want to hear your thoughts on fun, meaning making, and where the two meet.

We’ll be taking your submissions till July 31st. You can see your submissions here:

Use this code to embed the links in your blog, if your publishing platform allows iframes:

<iframe type="text/html" width="600" height="20" src="http://www.tinysubversions.com/bort.html?month=July15" frameborder="0"></iframe>
Please email us your submissions or tweet them to @thejoycean or @critdistance with the #BoRT hashtag. Happy blogging!

Rules of the Round Table

  • Blogs of the Round Table is not curated. If you write it, we’ll publish it, as long as it’s connected to the topic and has been written specially for BoRT or up to one month prior.
  • This BoRT post is the home of the discussion: as I receive new submission blogs, we’ll update the ‘BoRT Linkomatic’ so new blogs are reflected on this page immediately. We’ll also use the @critdistance Twitter account to post regular updates, so follow us!
  • Your duty as a knight of the round table is to leave a comment on a blog to which you respond with a link to the response piece, to give them a ‘right of reply’. Keep the conversation going.
  • If your work contains potentially disturbing content, please include a suitable warning at the start. Use your common sense.
  • You can submit as many articles as you like throughout the month, and it doesn’t matter if they are commercially published, paywalled or available for free. We will need a transcript for paywalled content to be approved.