Being human

Publicado: febrero 26, 2013 en Juego crítico
Etiquetas:, , ,

We are going to analyze what being human means. I propose you a journey through one of my favorite media: video games. I pose some questions to you here and I encourage you to try to answer them by playing these video games, where we may find some answers, or maybe more questions…



We think we can find out the answer to the question “what does being human mean?” through our senses and our reason, but… can we trust our senses? can we trust what we know? can we trust even ourselves? This game is some kind of Cartesian experience: you can neither trust your senses, nor your reason, nor yourself to get to the finish and you have to forget all you know about video games to succeed. Play “Depict1” to answer this questions or… to get even more questions!

depict1“No conclusions can be more agreeable to scepticism than such as make discoveries concerning the weakness and narrow limits of human reason and capacity” David Hume


Our past has a relevant meaning for us, so some people think they are their memories: people they knew, places they visited, important events of their life… But, are we really our memories? which role does our past play in our identity as human beings? Try “But that was yesterday” to find out how our past influences our identity.

btwy6-1291078380“As far as a consciousness can be extended backwards to any past action or thought, so far reaches the identity of that person; it is the same self now as it was then; and it is by the same self with this present one that now reflects on it, that that action was done (…) in all these cases, our consciousness being interrupted, and we losing sight of our past selves, doubts are raised whether we are the same thinking thing” John Locke


Maybe you consider yourself as “an American”, or “a Spaniard”, or “English” or any other nationality. Maybe you think that your religion is a very solid part of who you are. But, what happens if you have to move abroad in order to survive? what happens if you have to refuse your religion? are you losing  yourself somehow then? are you losing your humanity? Play this game and think “are our nationality, religion or our customs SO important? are we still human beings if we lose them?”


“He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god” Aristotle


Congratulations! You get an extra life! enjoy it!

the-company-of-myself“Death is not something not yet present-at-hand, nor is it that which is ultimately still outstanding… Death is something that stands before us—something impending” Heidegger

Sometimes it isn’t too bad to die and have another opportunity, is it? Some philosophers regard death as something that defines human beings, is that true? are we still human beings if we can’t die? are all our actions aimed at death? how many times do you die? only in the end? or do we die several times during our lives?


Certain political tendency maintains that humans define themselves by their labour condition. What does it mean? Does it mean that we can’t survive without a job? I don’t think so… Play “SPENT” before you answer.


“The first premise of all human history is, of course, the existence of living human individuals. Thus the first fact to be established is the physical organisation of these individuals and their consequent relation to the rest of nature….Men can be distinguished from animals by consciousness, by religion or anything else you like. They themselves begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence, a step which is conditioned by their physical organisation. By producing their means of subsistence men are indirectly producing their actual material life.” Karl Marx

I propose you another game to discover another perspective: “Everyday the same dream”. Remember: be creative!

everyday-the-same-dream“Courage consists, however, in agreeing to flee rather than live tranquilly and hypocritically in false refuges. Values, morals, homelands, religions, and these private certitudes that our vanity and our complacency bestow generously on us, have many deceptive sojourns as the world arranges for those who think they are standing straight and at ease, among stable things” Gilles Deleuze


Of course, you surely think gender is very important for human beings. We are a man or a woman and nothing else and that is something you can neither choose nor change. This video game could change your mind… “Queer power”

queer1Gender is always a relationship, not a preformed category of beings or a possession that one can have. Gender does not pertain more to women than to men. Gender is the relation between variously constituted categories of men and women (and variously arrayed tropes), differentiated by nation, generation, class, lineage, color, and much else. Donna Haraway.

And this videogame can give you some ideas about how we can change it! Play “dys4ria”:

tumblr_m2su68HVhC1qghfy5o1_500“The modern subject has no body. It is a somateque: a dense, somatic, stratified, organ-saturated apparatus managed by different biopolitical regimes that establish spaces for action that are hierarchized according to class, race, gender or sexual difference.” Beatriz Preciado


Well… it is difficult to describe what being human means. We are a multiplicity, yet we are a singularity. We have a lot of dimensions and, somehow, we are multiple in ourselves. “Cursor10” teachs us how to take advantage of that:


If after playing and thinking a lot you realize that you don’t like what you are, you can always kill yourself. You have 5 minutes to do that, so… hurry up! “5 minutes to kill yourself”

5-Minutes-to-Kill-Yourself1“The obsession with suicide is characteristic of the man who can neither live nor die, and whose attention never swerves from this double impossibility.” Emile M. Cioran

This post has been created to the “E-learning and Digital Cultures” course by María Rubio Méndez.

If you love thinking through videogames and you want more, you can read this:

Licencia de Creative Commons
Este obra cuyo autor es María Rubio Méndez está bajo una licencia de Reconocimiento-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional de Creative Commons.



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