Katamari Damacy, Marx, collecting stuff and location-based applications
People interested in curious cultural mash-up might have a look at this critique Katamary Damacy using Marxist, Structural, and Jungian schools of criticism by Ryan Stancl. I was intrigued by the critique of stuff collection:
But why is there all this emphasis on collecting in Katamari Damacy?
Ignoring the surface fact that it extends gameplay, collecting stuff is something that is integral to people, especially children, especially this day and age. (...) Collecting is something that is innate in people, something that lasts an entire lifetime. It’s about the above, but also about having to gather together everything in one’s life, catalogue it, and organize it neatly, for in a world that is so chaotic, some order is welcome. Also, lately it’s about just hitting the right buttons in marketing to the consumer, hitting on that need to have everything, to ‘collect it all.’ (...) Whatever it is, this collecting facet in Katamari Damacy says a lot about our culture, which is what Marxists look for when interpreting a work of art.
Why do I blog this? collecting and finding stuff seems to be a recurent pattern in game-design; both in video games but also in pervasive games in which collection has been used to make people wander around in the physical environment (promising potential virtues like... meeting new people or discovering new places; unfortunately this failed but that's another story). The reason why I am blogging this is that I am always wondering about how to go beyond collecting (I'm tired of collective treasure hunts in location-based games), there must be a more original paradigm.