Blogs

blog

It's beginning to look like a lot like MLA

What Gameology folks are going to the MLA Convention this year (Chicago, 27-30 December 2007)? I'm not, but I'm still curious to know if there are any particular Gameology or game studies meet-ups planned or if anyone be sharing news of the convention through Gameology?

I'm wondering how the growth in game studies and related positions is growing and curious as to whether how it's growing within MLA, outside of, and overall. Depending on how busy the folks are who are going to MLA, it'd be great to have a conference report on exciting MLA happenings!

blog

Best Options for Easy (Meaning Fast and Extensible) Game Creation?

I'm working on a grant application to digitize archival materials and then make a game from them (and do lots of cool stuff with the digital archives with full text searching and georeferencing to make them more useful artifacts-into-data sets and such). I think the game will be a selling point of the project because it will be a pretty and "easy" way to see what the infrastructure for the digitized artifacts can do. In order to make the game work as part of the project, I've been looking at toolkits and builders for making games and the two that seem best are the Torque Game Builder and Neverwinter Nights Aurora Toolkit. While my project, like so many others, could use Flash, Flash doesn't migrate forward as nicely as I'd like it to and it can be cumbersome to create longer games. Something like OpenLaszlo that allows for the simultaneous creation of a Flash SWF and DHTML file that backends to a database would work, but I think the development time would still be a problem.

Continue reading ...

blog

DiGRA Hardcore 18: Diane Carr on Textual Analysis

In the latest installment of the DiGRA Hardcore Column, Diane Carr discusses the role textual analysis can and should play in the study of videogames. Her column, "Un-Situated Play? Textual Analysis and Digital Games," responds specifically to some implications of the DiGRA 2007 call for papers and more generally to the emphasis on structuralist approaches within the field. The value of textual analysis is something that I, as a grad student in an English department, have long taken for granted, so it is refreshing to read Carr's succinct and compelling argument in its favor. In a nutshell, Carr is arguing that we should not dismiss textual analysis for its shortcomings, but rather embrace the strengths that it does offer for understanding games as sites of meaning production.

Continue reading ...

blog

Elizabeth Losh on the Sonicjihad Debacle

M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture just published their most recent issue, "Error," which contains an excellent article by Elizabeth Losh on the whole SonicJihad episode. This was the snafu in which the highly paid consultant firm SAIC testified before congress about Islamist's use of the internet for recruiting, in which they provided evidence that the terrorists were modding videogames for training purposes. The "evidence" (video after the jump) turned out to be a fan-made video of Battlefield 2 with dialog taken from Team America: World Police. You may recall that Ian and Gonzalo at Water Cooler Games did much of the detective work that brought the real story to light.

Continue reading ...

blog

Visualizing Text Adventures

thy dungeonman screenshot

I used to be a regular viewer of Homestarrunner -- my wife and I faithfully watched each new Strongbad Email the moment it went up on the site -- but for whatever reason, as with most things, I gradually lost interest and found my way into new habits. On a whim, I checked up on Strongbad today, and was pleasantly surprised to find a good Strongbad Email that also gives me an excuse to write a blog on the dissertation chapter I'm currently working on.

The SBEmail itself is a riff on web comics, and Strongbad take shots at Penny Arcade, 8-Bit Theatre, and other. What got me interested, though, was his presentation of Saturday morning cartoons based on videogames. The premise is that all web comics are about video games, but videogames have historically suffered worse fates in the form of crappy cartoons. Especially in light of our recent conversation on abstraction, it's interesting to see how the challenges of negotiating abstraction through an adaptation are deployed for the purposes of humor -- especially the cartoon adaptation of the text adventure Thy Dungeonman.

Continue reading ...

blog

Games, History, and Emotion

Ian Bogost gave a thought provoking speech at the Southern Interactive Entertainment and Game Expo recently which has been reproduced on his website. The title is “Videogames: Can They Be Important?” and in the speech he considers how videogames might be recognized as a form of expression capable of mattering on the level of literature or film.

Bogost does not explicitly say that videogames matter; instead his perspective seems to be that it will only really be known if they have impact until after we are dead, as people in the future experience the games. Thus, his recommendation is for designers to not “will” videogames to be artful, but to “live as people, as flawed, confused, aggrieved, dismayed joyful, surprised, hopeful people” and to “record those flaws, confusions, grievances, shocks, joys, surprises, and hopes.”

Continue reading ...

blog

Kwari

From today's Age newspaper:

Quote:
In development at Canberra's Micro Forte studio, Kwari lets players earn cash for kills.

This is not just a regular first-person shooting game with a prize for the winner - every element has been designed with cash in mind, which should radically change the way users play.

Every time you shoot another you make money and every time you are felled you lose money.

Here's the story. I wonder how the economics of this game will compare with the more established economies of games like World of Warcraft? Will there be 'Frag sweatshops' springing up in certain parts of the world? Perhaps an experiment worth keeping an eye on.

blog

Vectors Difference issue now online!

Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular is pleased to announce the launch of its new issue devoted to the theme of Difference: http://www.vectorsjournal.org

The fifth issue of Vectors stages multiple examinations of the notion of difference as it plays out in a variety of spheres, discourses and practices, while also privileging race and ethnicity as a central through-line of digital culture, a recurring ghost in our networked machines.. Featured scholars include David Theo Goldberg/Stefka Hristova, Wendy Chun, Mark Kann, Jon Ippolito, Minoo Moallem, Jennifer Terry and Christian Sandvig. Vectors is produced by editors Tara McPherson and Steve Anderson, co-creative directors Erik Loyer and Raegan Kelly, and programmer Craig Dietrich with additional design by Alex Ceglia.

Continue reading ...

blog

IBM and Universal Avatars

Today, the BBC news, technology section, released an article entitled Universal avatars bestride worlds" It seems that IBM and Linden Lab are working on a way to allow avatars created in one virtual word to travel to another virtual world.

Quote:
It is going to happen anyway," said Colin Parris, IBM vice president of digital convergence in a statement. "If you think you are walled and secure, somebody will create something that's open and then people will drain themselves away as fast as possible," he told the Reuters news agency.

I’d have to say that although I don’t care for Mr. Parris’ drain analogy, I do believe he’s correct in that it’s necessary for both game design and academic communities to continually challenge assumptions about the way virtual worlds are created. However, it’s important not to forget some of the interesting work Psychology and Sociology has done in the study of how we create virtual identities.

Continue reading ...

blog

What does it mean to write "I be a Troll in RL, Mon"?

I'm writing my dissertation on WoW, and my recent work has been on race in this game: both the ways the game's design depicts race, and the ways that players respond to that design. Right now I'm working on the latter, and I've noticed a funny trend in the way that WoW players talk about race: when they're talking about their own racial identities and bigotries, they tend to substitute in-game races for real-life races. Here are a couple of examples.

About a year ago, I witnessed the following conversation between two members of my guild:

Quote:
Mehet: YOU dont EvEN know who I be
Killa: nope, u don't know who i be
Mehet: I KNOW who u be
Killa: who do I be?
Mehet: Zingo [the name of Killa's main character]

Continue reading ...
Syndicate content

Recent comments

CFPs

There are no CFPs with future deadlines in our current database. All past CFPs are archived.