Integral Plays Video Games


I recompiled this list into a YouTube playlist, and thought I would share here for anyone interested. Such a fun discussion :slight_smile:

Ryan Oelke and I take a look at the major stages of human development, using a series of 33 video games in order to illustrate the qualities and characteristics of each stage.

All of this allows you to not only observe these stages within you, but to actively inhabit, engage, and play with them as well.

In these clips we take a look at three primary characteristics for each game — the game’s content (what actually appears on the screen), the game’s theme (the perspective the story is being told from), and the actual gameplay mechanics themselves — each of which can come from a different developmental stage, as you will see in this series of videos.



The “survival” genre of video games typically features Crimson qualities. However, because most of these games tend to focus on content and themes from later stages, we decided not to include them in this segment. Instead, Corey deVos and Ryan Oelke use two other games to illustrate the Crimson stage — a neolithic city-builder called Dawn of Man, as well as the original game about food and survival: Pac-Man.



Fantasy-based role-playing games and superhero-themed games often include qualities from the Magenta stage. Watch as Corey and Ryan take a look at some of these games, including Spider-Man: Miles Morales, The Witcher 3, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Divinity: Original Sin, Pools of Radiance, and Wizard’s Crown.



First-person shooters are often associated with the Red stage, where the primary goal is to dominate anything and everything on the screen. Watch as Ryan and Corey look at several examples of Red video games, including Fortnite, Wolfenstein, the Grand Theft Auto series, Assassin’s Creed, and the game that kicked off the genre, Doom.



The Amber stage is often the home of team-based multiplayer games such as Battlefield 5 and Destiny 2, as well as some historic-based games such as the “feudalism simulator” Crusader Kings 3. The Amber stage is also associated with concrete-operational thinking, embodied by the classic game Tetris, as Ryan and Corey discuss here.



Strategy, simulation, and sandbox games are typically associated with the Orange stage of development, and often emphasize a “self-authoring” play style where the goals and win conditions are determined entirely by the player. Watch as Corey and Ryan discuss over a half dozen of these games, including Minecraft, Factorio, Kerbal Space Program, The Sims, SimCity, City Skylines, the Civilization series, and No Man’s Sky.



Interestingly, unlike most of the earlier stages, there do not seem to be any specific game genres that are strongly associated with the Green altitude. However, Green content and themes are very common in many of today’s games. Watch as Corey and Ryan discuss some of these games: Animal Crossing, BioShock, Disco Elysium, and what was perhaps the prototypical postmodern game, Metal Gear Solid 2.



Teal games, at this point, are a bit hard to define, largely because it is still a newly emerging creative space. However, Corey and Ryan identify a couple qualities they look for at this stage — games that emphasize “emergent gameplay”, and games that consciously play with perspectives. Watch as we discuss some of the games that we enact and experience as Teal: Dwarf Fortress, Rimworld, and the classic Alpha Centauri.



Turquoise games are almost impossible to find. But we did find one that we think would qualify — an experimental game appropriately titled Everything. Featuring multiple pointing-out instructions by Alan Watts, Everything is a deeply meditative game where perspective-taking is itself the central gameplay mechanic. The game allows you to inhabit the 1st-person perspective of just about everything in the universe, from subatomic particles to subtle spiritual archetypes, producing all sorts of interesting reflections and state experiences for the player.


I think I might try Alpha Centauri.

What I’ve noticed is that a lot of games allow a variety of play styles, especially when it’s player vs player. It’s just not possible to win by being “just” Red or Orange, and definitely not by being Green, lol. Most games require some degree of gong up and down to some degree. The more live players, the more it’s necessary to go up and down as needed. It’s also important to be able to “teach” other players how to get to the next tier without them knowing they are being “taught” lol.

I might try Alpha Centarui.
I was on the fence with “Everything” until you said Alan Watts, lol. It’s cheap so might check it out.
What would really take that game to the next level would be to make it multiplayer, but without any text or voice - just you are experiencing it and know there are also other consciousnesses participating.


After a great deal of thought, I am considering revising these videos and making Disco Elysium an example of a Teal game, and take it out of the Green bucket.

So this game would be described as:



GAMEPLAY: Green/Teal (driven by dialogue and introspection)

I think the game accurately makes the postmodern subject into object, and adds some interesting integral ideas (such as talking to parts of your own mind, including the “visual calculus” skill, which sounds suspiciously like “vision logic” :wink: )

Otherwise, what do you guys think of the game selections? Do you agree with my selections for Teal/Turquoise games?