Bogost, Radical Empathy, the game Everything

I found this really helpful in understanding Bogost after reading his Alien Phenomenology, Or What It’s Like to be a Thing.

PBS’s How is everything interconnected was also helpful in explaining it in very simple terms. I like that it also went into radical empathy! Radical empathy for all things - feel for things even when we are inundated with things. If we are connected then radical empathy is useful to correct the way we have treated other groups of ppl, other species, nature, things. 

Yes, the whole idea behind building these anthropomorphized objects that make sounds and act like a living system is to create an opportunity to look at objects - new objects - closely (the way we don’t look at familiar objects anymore because we have become desensitized by their quantity), to learn what they are, to use them to one’s satisfaction while reflecting on how one relates to other things and species. In a way, I’m creating in physical space what Bogost creates in virtual spaces. Or at least that’s the goal.

If stopping to pay attention and be delighted can help, then let’s keep making these exercises and make radical empathy a practice that our culture can benefit from, especially in the current rise of fascism and the continual decline of biodiversity.

Here is the full Atlantic Article about the game Everything, which the PBS program mentioned above goes into.

Characteristics of the Everything video game that overlap with my project:

  • Enjoyment in structured constraint

  • Uncovering novelty

  • Observe, learn what they are make use of them in gratifying ways

  • Think with things and as them