A game serves as a panoptic mirror, giving us an insight into the past that almost no other artifact can give us. An insight into how people played their games and how they had fun tells us a great deal about that particular group of people. During the 60s and 70s as the nation was reeling from political turmoil of the Vietnam War the nature of the games during this era shifted drastically to reflect his change. Born out of this was a movement was a series of games referred to as the “New Games.” Heavily influenced by the fluxus ideas of accessibility, they were designed to remove the competitive, and more warlike, aspects of games and enforce the ideas of cooperation and teamwork. This falls closer in line with DeKoven’s idea of a “fun community” where the members work willingly towards a mutual goal with a bond of trust to arrive at some sort of shared fun. A great example of this is the “sitting game” where a large group would form a circle and at the same time slowly lower themselves into a sitting position where each person places a portion of their weight on the person behind so that no one falls. It places a great deal of emphasis on the trust that generation had with one another and not only in their “fun community” but also within the generation itself.
The Human Knot is another example of a fluxus game that requires participants to work together towards some sort of communal goal. Players must place their hands into the center of the group and take hands with two random people, the result being that there is now a huge knot of hands in the center. The object of the game is for these players to unravel themselves so that they are no longer knotted without separating their hands. The idea that this represents is that no matter what mess the world is in, it can be sorted out and that despite everything we are all united by our common humanity in our global community.
A contemporary example of a game that has this sort of collectivist idea is the game “Super Smash Bros. Brawl.” As a fighting game, one might think that it tosses out DeKoven’s idea that a well played game is one where players can enjoy the game without the concern of who will win and who will lose, it does not necessarily do so. While it can be played as such, the game was designed with specific random events and outrageous items and familiar pop-culture characters so that players will be removed from competitive play and focus on the actual experience of play with one another. Being a console game, it does not allow for the level of modding that most PC games offer, but the community that surrounds this game has found, very much in the fluxus tradition, ways to “hack” this game’s engine to create play styles never envisioned by the game’s designers.