What's truly inflammatory in 2013 is Infinite as a collaborative work with millions upon millions of dollars and man-hours put into it, couldn't bother, apparently, to hire a non-white writer to put some proper perspective into the use of racism to justify a white man's murderous romp through a floating city in the sky. The use of the (mostly non-white) Vox Populi and (black) Daisy Fitzroy as an enemy for the (white) player character to mow down and brutally murder is utterly idiotic [sic], unjustified, and completely insulting. Inflammatory.
seriously? you make racism against blacks germaine to the plot of your storyline, but you don't even do any research to find out what else blacks were up to in 1912, and then you bury our ACTUAL struggle against racism in a hippie dippy "we're all human" resistance movement turned sour. seriously?
do you know why you did this? because the black people in this storyline aren't fucking people. they're props. literally. they are props. and that's what i find so fucking offensive about bioshock infinite, is that it makes black people props in a storyline in which white people get to revise white history through all kinds of fanciful sci fi wizardry in order to make themselves feel better while STILL excluding and marginalizing black people, and we're supposed to be happy about it.
[T]his is nothing more than a control grab by game manufacturers, an attempt to force us to their door so that we can pay for a game like it was a product, but use it only at their discretion as if it was a service. It's the best of both worlds as a publisher, and the worst of both worlds as a consumer.
Returning to the question [raised by Raph Koster], "Is the only moral move (of Train) not to play?", my answer is: no. It's not just no, it's a hell no. Why? Train is about providing the player a sense, terrible as it is, of the sort of grotesque, normalizing effects that focusing on transporting Jews to concentration camps presents to those attempting to maximize and make efficient such transportation. Playing Train isn't supposed to be pretty, or even fun. It's meant to be torturous, it's meant to make you ask and question the source of your own humanity.
Did you take glee, ignorantly, of moving the most amount of people to the end of the line? Probably. And when you discovered the true purpose of the game- moving representative figures to their representative death- did you recoil and become sick at the idea? The ethical answer is yes. But would you have encountered this full range of quandary, of questioning your own humanity, if you simply refused to play the game out of moral concerns?
Is there a definition of "game" that we can all agree on and hold up to evaluate the quality of the things that fall into our orbit as games so that "all relativities and contradictions would be either resolved or beside the point?" Is it important that we determine this now, for once and for all?
I say no. It's a trap!
To ask whether something is a game (or whether it has 'gameness') is the same kind of question as whether something is art or not.
Ultimately whether this thing is a game or that thing is art is determined by its context and community of practice.
This idea, that games have a purest nature and that we need to strive to make games that represent this limits what we can do with games.