The Major – General draft of my comp is coming along. The goal is to display an understanding and knowledge of the overall domain within which my research will focus on.

The primary topics of disscusion have been the noosphere and the Anthropocene. They are presented as two sides of the same coin. Both revolve around the human impact on the planet, yet offering contrasting aspects in regards to the human interaction within these paradigms. Whereas the noosphere, especially the version proposed by Teilhard de Chardin, presents and optimistic, idealized vision of the human potential to shape the planet’s future consciously and ethically, the Anthropocene frames human agency as a destabilizing force.

What I find fascinating, especially with the noosphere, is that it is such an abstract – almost naive – concept, seemingly better relegated to New Age mysticisim. The notion can be conceptualized as a metaphorical layer of collective human thought (nous, νόος in Greek) and consciousness that envelops the earth. In his book, Le Phenomene Humain, Teilhard aludes that the ultimate culmination of the noosphere is the release of spiritual energy forming the creation of an all-embracing awareness defined as the Omega Point.

Yet, upon further introspection, one begins to realize that this abstract notion was actually prophetic in describing the internet, and the way social media and interconnectivity have shaped human thought, biases, and percepetions.

My research aims to find a way to relate and intersect between the idea of the noosphere, while tackling very real issues framed within the impact of the Anthropocene. As a Digital Media student, with a focus on Computational Art, I’m proposing to use a game engine to do so.

[from my comp conclusion:]

The potential of games to transcend beyond an entertainment platform, positions them as a powerful medium for philosophical exploration and societal reflection. This is especially true in our current times, where ideas, thoughts, propaganda, and ideologies are propagated to a global audience at the click of a button. By incorporating the concepts of the noosphere and the Anthropocene within the game mechanics and narrative frameworks of games, particularly within the roguelike genre, game designers can create experiences that cause players to reflect on the intersection – and interconnectedness – of human consciousness, technology, society, and the environment. The use of semiotics further enriches this dynamic, allowing complex narratives and themes through symbols and signs, thus facilitating a deeper engagement with the game’s underlying messages (Bogost 2007).

The evolving role of game design presents a promising opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration, merging insights from philosophy, environmental science, and digital humanities to create gaming experiences that not only entertain, but also educate and inspire. As this field continues to mature, it holds the potential to significantly influence societal perspectives and behaviors. Wide exposure and accessibility to the tools used to create video games, alongside the rapid development of integrated creative machine-learning workflows, mark a pivotal step on the road to address the pressing issues and challenges of our times through the lens of interactive media.