In the first chapter of Alexander Galloway’s book, the connection between culture and gaming is discussed over several pages. Galloway claims that “play is a cultural phenomenon that has meaning” and that “play is a symbolic action for larger cultural issues.” These statements, along with hinting that games indirectly let the player interact with social realities, are agreeable and understandable. However, Galloway’s first mention of culture is not as relatable:
“In the essay, ‘Deep Play: Notes on the Baliese Cockfight, ‘Geerts offers a fantastically evocative phrase: ‘cultre, this acted document.’ There are three interlocked ideas here: There is culture, but culture is a document, a text that follows the various logics of a semiotic system, and finally it is an acted document….(…Geertz’s observation, then, is not to say that culture is a text but to say that action is a text…) (14).
After reading (and failing to understand) the above passage, I continued to search out all of Galloway’s cultural references. I found myself not only understanding these future references, but also agreeing with them. However, I was unable to find either an explanation or reference back to this passage. I don’t understand how culture can be defined in a document. Furthermore, I don’t understand the connection between video games and culture as a document.