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First of all, Matt, nice lead-in with the joke. Here's another one: A Rabbi, a Priest and a Guru walk into a bar, and the bartender says "What is this? A joke?"

What is really great about this article is something that I've been trying to drill into your brains all semester, and evidently it's working: CULTURAL CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING. Your point here is very well taken...these groups are essentially "playing" in the same space, they are just very different groups with very different frames of reference and intentions. This is one of the reasons I have said: think about WHO is playing your game. Fun is not the same for everyone. Stewart Brand is not going to consider Counter-Strike to be fun. The other thing I think your essay highlights is that for each of these groups, the PROCESS OF MAKING THE GAME is part of the fun; there is a great deal of focus on the creation of the game itself, and that is, in a sense, part of the game. It is interesting to note that Counter-Strike was developed by a distributed team. Whereas the "basement" culture was a bunch of guys co-conspiring together to transform a sci-fi novel into a computer program. Anyway, good work.

Oh by the way, I think in the third paragraph you might be mixing up Brand and Suits...I don't think Suits wrote about the Mother Earth game, but I could be mistaken.

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