I've always been interested by computers and technology, and am passionate about how both can act as mediums to change peoples' thoughts, perceptions, or lives. My endeavor to learn with and about computers comes in part from wanting to fulfill this goal. While innovative web apps may encourage creativity and productivity, it is through meaningful play and through entering into a state of acceptance of arbitrariness, often provoked (or attempted) by experimental (often digital) games, that encourages this self-reflection. *
* a quick aside:
Another area that interests me is the separation between users (us) and machines. Similarly, there presently exists a disconnect between computers themselves and that which runs on them – a yawning gap bridged by directed explorations such as glitch art, artware, and experimental video games. Remember: the cloud is other peoples' computers.
I do believe it's important to note that games are not, and should not, (and perhaps can not,) always be life-altering or have such a profound impact. In some cases, and at their core, games should should just be fun. Eric Zimmerman makes a good point in regards to this:
The idea that games are just there to educate people or change the world can cheapen them and instrumentalize them [...] if we say games are only valuable because they educate you to become a better person, because they're going to change the world, the danger is that we cheapen games. And if we want to think about games as an art form – as a form of entertainment, media, culture – that's sophisticated, then I think that we want to be able to just appreciate their beauty. Source.
Frank Lantz, director of the NYU Game Center, asks: