One issue I take with the majority of early readings, callois and dekoven especially, is that games do have impact on our lives. They do create product, unlike what callois says, typically in the form or credibility or bragging rights, and can even construct the social order of a group. Although possibly unfair, this credibility bears impact on business opportunites, relationships, and many other aspects of life. These products both shape and respond to the values of the players. I've found myself pondering in class about the next game of Super Smash Bros. that my roommates would undoubtedly be playing when i arrived home, and how i would need to crush them. In contrast, I've had games of killer hack with the same room mates where all that was important was improvising impressive feats, not individual success. Here we see that obsessive commitment to individual victory is accepted in smash bros yet not as desirable in killer hack. clearly, values can be intrinsic to a game, yet these will clash with that of the players. The versatility of games demonstrates this, from the fairness centered gym-class game of basketball to the bloodthirsty, swagger-filled professional game. Cheating is another example of how one's personal values transcend those of the game. Still, games can possess a value, purpose, and lesson.
In class we played several "new games." Knots, rock/paper/scizzors tag, and parachutes clearly held a common theme in their interactions. These all require heavy amounts of communication to progress. In our sessions, we found central leadership arise in one player that was very sensitive to the other players, allowing for speedier victory. This was true for both knots and tag; parachutes allowed for a much more ad-hoc system of play, but still cooperation and listening. These games also employed touch, from the binding of knots to the huddling and contact of tag. Knots did this particularly by needing players to contort themselves to victory. This, like the communication, sought to get players to drop their boundaries and connect to eachother. Parachutes rarely had contact, but we did sometimes run into eachother underneath. It was unique in using an absence of rules to enforce this same principle, needing others to come together to cooperate. These interactions directly challenge the jaded feelings of urban life. The apathy towards and shutting out of others cannot be carried into these games if one is to play them well, as dekoven would observe. Still, they could be, and the game would fall victim to its players, but that doesn't negate the values intrinsic to games.
As side comments relative to the reading, I was intrigued to discover space war's use as an educational practice in computing; it's therefor interesting that an iteration of its source code is packaged with Microsoft's XNA platform as Space War Evolved for educational purposes. Also, principals detailed in the Well Played Game stand in parallel to the Positive Coaching Alliance, an organization that encourages athletes to reach their personal best in every competition, completely removing the emphasis on winning.