I find Flanagan’s proposition 2 and 3 equally compelling and relevant to my own creative goals. My work connects to proposition 3 in that it strives to create new types of engagement that challenges our everyday unconscious, reflexive ways of engaging and interacting with our physical and digital environment. It is not so dependent on prior knowledge and mechanism of popular mobile/PC/console games in particular. The challenge is to get people to deeply engage with the work to go beyond the superficial attractions of novelty and create an opportunity for critical reflection as opposed to instantaneous forgetful entertainment.
I am also inspired by the ideas that drive proposition 2 – it lowers the barriers for engagement, in that people can be drawn to readily engage with your virtual creations through familiar mechanisms of play. In games there is a natural race toward the finish line, and people are naturally curious to find out what happens next and stay engaged to a certain level given sufficient incentive. As long as it adheres to a basic structure, I am free to imbue meaning into anything I want – make it the ultimate end goal for the main character to die, promote all kinds of strange or unethical behavior to progress to the next level, open portals to new narratives, etc. Through this framework, I can get people to do the most absurd, nonsensical things, subvert expectations, and in doing so encourage people to think more deeply about things they wouldn’t otherwise. The challenge here would also be to go beyond ephemeral, lukewarm engagement. Critical reflection demands time, which is why it is important to keep people engaged long and deeply enough for that to happen.