In beginning Galloway’s, “Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture,” he talks immensely about “the machine” verses “the operator.” I think that he brought up a very interesting concept that people do not necessarily consider when playing video games. Yes, to be able to succeed in a video game you have to do your part and know how to operate the game to reach that final goal. But what is often times failed to be acknowledged is that when playing a video game it is not just you as the operator that has to put in the work. The machine does half of the work for you, as Galloway gives the example with Super Mario Bros on page 5 when he says, “Locating a power-up in Super Mario Bros is an operator act, but the power-up actually boosting the player character’s health is a machine act.” So in reading this, I realized that this was something that I did not even think about. Often times people will get frustrated with a game and think that it is solely their fault if they are losing, but maybe they should consider that it is maybe due to them not directing the machine to do its part correctly, of course in accumulation with knowing how to actually play the game.
This chapter also led me to wonder, since I do not know much about video games, if there are games that do not have that balance between “operator” and “machine?” Are there video games that are solely machine operated or vise versa? Are there games where the percentage of involvement between the two forces is not equal?