Bernard Suits' Utopia of Gameplay: A Critical Analysis

Yorke, Christopher C. (2019). Bernard Suits' Utopia of Gameplay: A Critical Analysis. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000e617

Abstract

In this dissertation, I integrate the published and newly available unpublished works of Bernard Suits to arrive at an original, holistic interpretation of his corpus. I identify, analyze, and resolve inconsistencies in his position which have not been previously critiqued in depth. Centrally, I provide a critical analysis of Suits’ relatively obscure utopian thesis: his argument that the ‘ideal of existence’ for humankind is a utopia of gameplay.

More specifically, I demonstrate that Suits’ utopian thesis fails on its own grounds because his utopian vision—the thought experiment upon which his utopian thesis rests for its plausibility—requires that humanity enter a post-instrumental phase of culture unimaginable from our current species-perspective. The nature of utopian gameplay is obscured behind this cultural gap, and thus we pre-utopians have no rational reason to accept Suits’ assertion that it instantiates the ideal of existence. Finally, I sympathetically rehabilitate Suits’ utopian thesis along perfectionist lines as the utopian game design thesis, and show that its main value lies in its role as a regulative ideal, offering a unique set of normative recommendations for our current gaming practices.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Metrics

Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions

Export

About

Recommendations