Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
- PublicationWhat is theory if theorizing is a game?The purpose of this paper is to explore what we mean by theory, by looking at theory through a game lens. In comparing and contrasting the two phenomena of games and theory, we seek to better understand what theory is and is not, how theory is distinguished from theorizing, what constitutes a theoretical contribution, how theory and practice are linked, and the nature of academic work. The paper is structured as follows. We begin by discussing what is meant by a game, and, notwithstanding the difficulties of defining what constitutes a game, we outline four characteristics of games, and identify four basic roles in game activity. In the next section, we discuss the similarities between games and what is commonly understood as theory. We then proceed to describe how a game perspective can add to our understanding of theorizing. The paper’s final section then builds on this to consider the implications of thinking about theorizing as a form of game-playing. This exercise in comparing and contrasting theory leads, ultimately, to recognising the importance of phrónēsis in games, and its relatively marginal position (until recently) in theory and theorizing.
- PublicationFollowing Maslow - an outline theory of motivation for the individual firmBakan (2004) likens the characteristics of a corporation to those of a psychopathic human being. This idea of comparing the corporate entity to a human individual recognises the progression of the corporate form from Thoreau's 'conscientious men' in 1849 to a single legal persona 50 years later. The legal doctrine of corporate personality was established through a series of decisions including Pembina Consolidated Silver Mining (1888) and Salomon (1897). This status has been reaffirmed by the application of the First Amendment to defend the rights of the corporation to make political donations (Schiff 2012). Our new quasi-human companion is a kind of clumsy monstrous child, operating on an equal legal footing alongside human creatures of a vastly inferior size and power.
- PublicationMe and my Avatar: acquiring actorial identityMasks have become a ubiquitous feature of political protest, but they drew widespread media attention in November 2015 when some individuals attending a masked protest in London refused to give police their names. The police initially brought criminal charges, but these were subsequently dropped as they were apparently unable to identify the legal persons involved (Greenwood and Hughes, 2015; Allen and Ledwith, 2015). This is but one instance of what Pilcher (2015) refers to as the ‘nameless body identity problem’ and well illustrates how there can be a separation between the physical body of a man or woman and that individual’s representation, the legal person. This incident, at a masked demonstration, is not without irony in that the origin of the word ‘persons’ derives from masks; specifically, those worn by actors in ancient Greek and Roman theatre. Adopted into legal practice, the word persona originally referenced artificial beings, and a man’s rank or status; not the man himself, but ‘ ... the state of the man [sic], the part he plays in society, abstractly, without considering the individual.’ (Andrews, 1910 p.157, 159160).
- Publication'These our actors': the representation of players in the legal gameRecent trends in litigation, corporate structuring and technological innovation have highlighted core dynamics concerning identities generally, and legal personhood in particular. This paper seeks to explore and question the concept of the legal person, itself, as an actor, and its construction through quasi-juridical systems of power. We argue that there is an ontological separation between living men and women and their legal representations, and propose a conceptual schema based in part on the games studies literature, wherein actorial identities known as 'Avatars' are created by performative declarations (Searle, 2006), and act within a bounded Framework. This schema is employed to distinguish corporations from individuals, to model the use of legal ‘Avatars’ by Apple Inc. and show unique properties of Bitcoin technology as well as the novelty of decentralized autonomous organizations such as zeromember LLCs (Bayern, 2014).
- PublicationExploring the job/game boundary: the Klein bottle gameGames are often characterised as closed or autotelic, a term coined by Csikszentmihalyi (1990) to describe a state of ‘flow’ or ‘optimal experience’ for the player. But a player may be any problem solver where the solution of the problem is the end, if not the obsession. In this paper we interrogate a common perception of a game as dichotomous with job. The image of a boundary between game and job is an artificial construct, owing much to history and ideology. To query the validity of the boundary construct we propose the analogy of an all embracing game, the Klein bottle game, that makes use of the mathematical description of a boundaryless topological space.
- PublicationTheory GamesThis paper examines the remarkable and unexplored correspondence between games (and board games in particular) and what is commonly understood as theory in the social sciences. It argues that games exhibit many if not most of the attributes of theory, but that theory is missing some of the features of games. As such, game provide a way of rethinking what we mean by theory and theorizing. Specifically, games and their relationship with the ¿real¿ world, provide a way of thinking about theory and theorizing that is consistent with recent calls to frame social inquiry around the concept of phrónēsis.