Bogost on SimCity and Games About Systems

A new essay by Bogost just appeared on The Atlantic’s website.  The gist, as I understand it, is that games about systems, like SimCity, could, and should, have been more important than they are.

The argument that appears in the essay’s title is “Video Games Are Better Without Characters,” and Bogost writes that video games giving us personal identification made us think less about the larger systems within which we live.  He has an interesting idea that one solution to the diversity gap in games could be to return to a model of gaming like this, one that removes the individual rather than just representing a wider range of individuals (which isn’t to say he thinks that’s a bad solution; he just thinks zooming out would be a more reliable one).

EDIT: Apparently Bogost has a follow-up to How to Do Things With Video Games coming out in fall: How to Talk About Video Games.

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