[rohrpost] A Brave New Pong / monochrom

Andreas Lange lange at computerspielemuseum.de
Don Aug 16 14:35:06 CEST 2007

sehr charmant.
apropos: pong.mythos hat heute abend eroeffnung im Kornhausforum in Bern 
und laeuft hier noch bis zum 16.9.2007 (leider noch ohne A BRAVE NEW PONG)

 > mehr: pong-mythos.net

viele Gruesse aus der Schweiz,


Andreas Lange
Computerspiele Museum (Berlin)

das ende der nahrungskette schrieb:
> monochrom:
> ---> http://www.monochrom.at/pong/
> The age of competition
> Through the dark and not so dark millennia of human history, we have 
> organized ourselves into adversarial cliques, communities, and nations. 
> World events were like deadly pong balls hurdling towards us, and these 
> groups were the paddles who's goal it was to knock the ball into someone 
> else's court. Add military might as the means of wealth distribution to 
> an inefficient system which eats surplus wealth to sustain itself, and 
> competition became the fabric of everyday life. The technology necessary 
> for global cooperation did not exist.
> Competition was thus established as the default way of interacting with 
> the world. In its genteel form competition meant games where nobody got 
> killed. Gladiators turned to soccer turned to table tennis. By 1972 
> computers became advanced enough to simulate competitive games, and Pong 
> was born.
> Pong is a vestigial trace of our competitive nature. If we don't want 
> the pong ball to go off the table, we can program the computer to 
> control the paddles better than any human can. Our desire to play 
> competitive pong versus other humans through obsolete hand operation is 
> nothing but a vain show of relative one-upmanship. There is no point to 
> competitive gaming in the computer age.
> The technology pill
> Technology could save us if we'd let it. There is enough material wealth 
> for everyone on the planet to have a sturdy home and a steady food 
> supply, if we stop competing and use our global communication and 
> computation capabilities to level the playing field.
> In the brave new version of Pong, there is no need to try to hit the 
> ball into someone else's court. Relax. Move the ball wherever you want 
> and the computer will make sure it doesn't fall off the table.
> What is good about competition?
> Competitive systems such as evolution and capitalism are terrific at 
> creating unpredictable change very quickly. It's the trial-by-error 
> system. If you're looking for a wide variety of output, competitive 
> systems are the best. Not only will the product of such systems tend to 
> improve over time, they'll fill just about any niche available to them.
> Competition can be a great inspiration to develop skills related to the 
> goal, which is great if inspiration is needed and the skills are useful 
> ones. In a system like pong however, you just wind up getting better at 
> playing pong.
> A competitive system also is great for ensuring that people who are 
> ahead in the game get exactly what they want when they want it, like the 
> hawk who uses highly evolved vision to catch it's prey, or like 
> first-worlders who use their superior buying power to get iPods.
> Why is competition an outdated ideal?
> Although competitive systems produce such good things as human beings 
> and diet cola, we also wind up with such things as wooly mammoths and 
> guided missiles.
> It's a horribly inefficient way of producing things people truly need. 
> Most energy in a competitive system is spent not in producing a product, 
> but in staying competitive.
> In evolution this manifests in a less than desirable cycle of 
> predator-prey adaptation escalation, where more energies are spent 
> surviving than enjoying life.
> In capitalism it results the same sort of relationship, except between 
> those with capital value and those without. People who don't have 
> capital value are trapped working for those who do, and their energies 
> are directed towards keeping their team competitive.
> A waste of resources.
> In our competitive system, most of our energies are redundant and 
> wasteful. Redundancy is the result of the wasted overhead when multiple 
> people are working on the same problem in different "teams". Team Coke 
> and Team Pepsi are both working on the cola problem, but each spends 
> huge amounts of resources battling the other.
> Even within a supposedly cooperative society, most businesses exist in 
> order to support other businesses. How much would the production of our 
> essential goods decrease if we laid off our accountants, and all the 
> people who supply computers to them, and all the people who print 
> brochures for the computer salesman, and the people who produce the ink 
> for those brochures, and the people who make packaged food for the 
> truckers who drive those materials around.
> Think of the construction workers who build our office towers, and the 
> companies that supply raw materials, and the miners who dig them out of 
> the earth, and the manufactures of processed food, since everyone 
> involved is too busy to feed themselves. This is all within the same 
> nation-system, where we supposedly share a common goal!
> In pong, the fact that your opponent keeps hitting the ball at you means 
> you must spend your resources defending your goal instead of using your 
> time for more noble endeavors.
> So while we're at it, let's get rid of the patent office and all 
> advertising everywhere. How much effort goes into staying ahead of the 
> game! Most of our jobs are not directly responsible for producing the 
> things we need as a society, so imagine how much manpower could be freed 
> to work on other things.
> A Brave New Pong
> Evolution and capitalism have brought us to the point where it's 
> possible to propel ourselves out our current state of affairs. We're 
> intelligent enough now that we don't need the randomness of a 
> competitive system. We can program randomness.
> Things that used to be competitive games should now be cooperative 
> games, or even non-games.
> The world is no longer made up of unpredictable systems separated by 
> incommunicable distances. By using computer models to produce what we 
> want and distribute it fairly, the age old game of producing for 
> production's sake can come to an end. Humans have tried organizing 
> themselves in more equitable arrangements in the past, but these systems 
> were ultimately run by other humans. In the new world we will be able to 
> relax and let technology do the job. The pong ball will never fall off 
> the table again!
> ---> http://www.monochrom.at/pong/