Emergence Chapter Summary

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Esther Triana Professor Leach Architecture Theories 2 20 October 2016 Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software In Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software by Steven Johnson, it explains how people can act on their own by following a set of rules and from that a collection of individuals form a system which can provide behavior, relationships and resources that would be hard for someone to achieve if they were acting on their own. Johnson used different examples to explain these points in his books such as the internet, ants, cities and software. Emergence is viewed as a characteristic which is a self-organizing and a decentralized system. This book is an explanation on how these systems …show more content…

StarLogo is a visualizing self-organizing system and allows the user to model emergent behavior using simple commands. Users can write simple rules for thousands of objects, then observe the patterns that arise from the interactions. In doing so, users develop new ways of thinking about decentralized systems. On screen, they’re are bright reds pixels with a faint trail of green that dance around. The movements look random because the way they dart back and forth. When the red dots gather together in the green ring it will continue to grow when more red dots collide with it and when it gets to a certain size the user will notice that it would form a digital blob. Starlogo is a tool for thinking about bottom-up systems and of course, this was designed to helps kids and grownups create phenomenon they might observe in the real world. The core of StarLogo is for it to optimize modeling for emergent systems. “Local …show more content…

He uses the examples of different successful titles and one of them is called Zelda: Ocarina of Time. With hundreds of goals and puzzles dispersed throughout the game’s virtual world as a control system it’s considered a complex structure. Moving the character around is simple but figuring out what you need to do would take trial and error. If the user and player would go by the usability standard for the game, then it would be considered a mess where you would need a guidebook to see what the rules are but if you were to see it as art the experience would change. “You’re exploring the world of the game and the rules of the game at the same time” (p. 176). One of the things that makes games so engaging is that it has rules. “Without rules, you have something closer too pure improv theater.... Rules give games their structure, and without that structure, there’s no game.” (p. 181). Another example Johnson talks about is SimCity. It very closely parallels real urban development. The user has only indirect control of what happens in a city, the rest being determined by lower-level parameters in the game. The user decides whether they want to build a megalopolis or a farming community. Depending on the choices selected it will still be hard to achieve the goals to build the city but because the goals aren't part of the games reals then you wouldn't feel stuck like

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