In the most recent issue of the delightful gamer nerd magazine Kill Screen, Erik Fredner and I discuss…
- The sci-fi constraint I indentified called What You Know Plus One
- Problem closure
- The “Black light poster rendered on a Mac Classic” that is the virtual reality sequences of The Lawnmower Man.
It’s not online, so head to their website to find out the closest place to get your hands on some of that goodness yourself.
Poached from information science, the term “problem closure” means that the way a question is asked limits how we might answer it. In other words, it’s that box we’re always trying to think outside of. But, like What You Know Plus One, problem closure has a social dynamic to it. Valid answers to questions may not be recognized as good answers if they venture too far outside of said box. Videogames like Rez drew against the image of virtual reality Lawnmower Man helped create precisely because of the way movies had already framed the question of what virtual space should look like. Usually games have to work with what we already know to teach us something we don’t.