A game concept I came across today

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Hi all,, while preparing a blog article I came across a game concept being prepared by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Queen Mary University of London) and digital media studio Monkeystack. It is currently at alpha release stage, but is intended to help users explore emotions and their expression through history.
Their starting point is "Central to this research is the idea that emotions are not a fixed human experience, the same for everyone in all times and places. Once, it was assumed that emotions were constant through history: that while the scenery changed, the people on stage were always the same. Instead, we now say that emotions are a product of history: the way we feel, and the way we express our feelings, depends on who we are, and when, and where".
They summarise with "The Vault game is a journey into history, an immersion into the experiences and emotions of those whose lives were very different from our own. There, we discover unfamiliar feelings, uncanny characters who are like us and yet unlike. It is also a journey into the human condition, into a metaphoric space in which being truly, richly human is the only way to survive-provoking us to consider not only our past but our future."
Web site at http://thevaultgame.com/
Direct link to Vimeo trailer at https://fpdl.vimeocdn.com/vimeo-prod-skyfire-std-us/01/1436/11/282184420/1122297246.mp4?token=1550082334-0x20b0cb5644a81cad743dc9f9fb63ba1d47746696

Comments

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    Hmmm, the direct vimeo link seems only to work for a short time - I guess the token expires after a while. You can still get to it via the main web site though. Sorry about that.

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    One of the reasons I don't do pre-modern games is I don't think in the least like a pre-modern human. I can't understand someone from a pre-renaissance culture. I know this. I mean it's not like BAM everything is just like us, but there are enough similarities that I can mostly understand the culture.

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    edited February 16

    I mean it's not like BAM everything is just like us, but there are enough similarities that I can mostly understand the culture.

    Actually, that is what it's like.

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    ...And those two comments neatly summarise the entire debate...
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    When I mentioned understanding the culture, I meant Renaissance+ culture. Anything before that is pretty much alien. I still struggle a bit with understanding Renaissance people, but I am ultimately rewarded.

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    I'm a bit unclear as to what is meant by emotions not being a fixed human experience. Do they mean that people in the past experienced different emotions in times of stress than we do. I think this is a given. Do they mean that we experienced the same emotions, but described them differently? I can see that as something that has changed over time. Or do they mean we experienced different emotions entirely - meaning that we experience emotions now that we didn't then, and vice versa. This one I struggle with. Emotions like fear and love seem universal, and largely because they've evolved as we have. Fear is certainly an evolved emotion. Which means it can't have changed over the period of human history - evolution just doesn't work that fast.

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    @Apocryphal - I think Fear is not an evolved emotion but an emotion that facilitates a particular response to fight or flight. Similarly, love is an emotion that facilitates a particular response to several stimuli, among them mating lust and birth. Both are cultural in nature, learned as we learn language, not instinctual.

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    @clash_bowley said:
    @Apocryphal - I think Fear is not an evolved emotion but an emotion that facilitates a particular response to fight or flight. Similarly, love is an emotion that facilitates a particular response to several stimuli, among them mating lust and birth. Both are cultural in nature, learned as we learn language, not instinctual.

    Culture is, itself, evolved. But if fear is cultural and not biological, why do babies cry when exposed to angry people? Why do dogs lick your face or cower under the bed?

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    Maybe the shouting hurts the baby's ears? It has no option but to shout back... no ability to fight or fly, though the urge is there. I assume dogs learn just like we do. They are very smart animals, with loads of learned behaviors! So that would still be cultural.

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    @clash_bowley said:
    Maybe the shouting hurts the baby's ears? It has no option but to shout back... no ability to fight or fly, though the urge is there. I assume dogs learn just like we do. They are very smart animals, with loads of learned behaviors! So that would still be cultural.

    I'm unconvinced. If the urge is there, the fear is there, surely. It's not just dogs, but wild animals, too, that seem to express fear. It's true we don't know exactly what animals and babies are feeling so there's no way to know for sure, but occam's razor leads me back to nature over nurture every time on this one. If fear is only arrived at because it's taught, who taught the first person to fear?

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    > @clash_bowley said:
    > Experience. :wink:

    I guess it's the old story - the ones who learned fear and ran away survived... the ones who didn't got eaten by sabre tigers or whatever...
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    Absolutement, mon ami!

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