Today’s blockbuster video games—and their never-ending sequels, sagas, and reboots—provide plenty of excitement in high-resolution but for the most part fail to engage a player’s moral imagination. In Beyond Choices, Miguel Sicart calls for a new generation of video and computer games that are ethically relevant by design. In the 1970s, mainstream films—including The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Raging Bull, and Taxi Driver—filled theaters but also treated their audiences as thinking beings. Why can’t mainstream video games have the same moral and aesthetic impact? Sicart argues that it is time for games to claim their place in the cultural landscape as vehicles for ethical reflection.
One major fault line in foundational theories of cognition is between the so-called “representational” and “non-representational” theories. Is it possible to formulate an intermediate approach for a foundational theory of cognition by defining a conception of representation that may bridge the fault line? Such an account of representation, as well as an account of correspondence semantics, is offered here. The account extends previously developed agent-based pragmatic theories of semantic information, where meaning of an information state is defined by its interface role, to a theory that accommodates a notion of representation and correspondence semantics. It is argued that the account can be used to develop an intermediate approach to cognition, by showing that the major sources of tension between “representational” and “non-representational” theories may be eased.
I’m David McCandless, a London-based author, writer and designer. I’ve written for The Guardian, Wired and others. I’m into anything strange and interesting. These days I’m an independent data journalist and information designer. A passion of mine is visualizing information – facts, data, ideas, subjects, issues, statistics, questions – all with the minimum of words. I’m interested in how designed information can help us understand the world, cut through BS and reveal the hidden connections, patterns and stories underneath. Or, failing that, it can just look cool!