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Title: - Video Game Theory and Criticism  •  Size: 58052

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Friday 03-Mar
  • EA's "Black" opens like a film. So why doesn't it feel like one? (16)

  • Thursday 02-Mar
  • Considering Gravity (7)

  • Monday 13-Feb
  • The Medium Is Not The Message (21)

  • Thursday 19-Jan
  • All Your Readers Belong To Us (10)

  • Friday 13-Jan
  • Censorless Violence (12)

  • Tuesday 10-Jan
  • Disneyfied (Disney Fried?) (20)

  • Friday 30-Dec
  • The Escape from Xmas (14)
  • Videogames: Closing the Annoying Gap (24)

  • Tuesday 15-Nov
  • Gerbils (19)

  • Thursday 13-Oct
  • Suddenly Serious about Games (12)

  •    What is Architecture? Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 01:44 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    "If architecture is frozen music, then a videogame is liquid architecture." -- Steven Poole, Trigger Happy p.226.

    I've always like the provacative connotation of this quote--that videogames were connected more firmly to the classic traditions that people were often willing to give it credit. The notion of "architecture as frozen music" is often attributed to Goethe so the idea has been around for a while. And Poole puts it into an entirely new light.

    Now this particular quote takes on new meaning for me because I've recently been accepted into the Ph.D. program in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado at Denver. So, I'll be spending a lot more time thinking about the nature of architecutre and planning. And, of course, videogames!

    I plan on working in the areas of leisure spaces, virtual places and model building. What connects a playground, Disneyland, an architectural model and a videogame? Well, that's one way of asking the question I'm working on solving.

    The good new is, videogames look to factor pretty heavily into my research area. So, I'll be able to continue to work inside the field of ludology.

    No matter what, it should be an interesting and challenging couple of years coming up. Consider this:

    One of the professors in the department, who I have a lot of respect for, told me, "This architecture as frozen music is a stupid idea."

    Most Recent Post: 04/24 03:31AM by gjbloom


       Press Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 08:06 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    I got a call a couple of weeks ago from a reporter who was working on a story about massively multiplayer online addiction.

    After pointing him to people that I thought could really help him develop an understanding of what is going on in the MMOG world, I agreed to have him over to chat.

    After spending a couple of hours talking, and a bit of time kicking around in Second Life, I think he started to see something beyond the "games are hurting us" hook he started with.

    So, I was happy to see the final piece:

    I think it's an interesting summary of the online gaming phenomenon from an outside point of view.

    Most Recent Post: 08/28 01:32AM by Anonymous


       PSP: Out of Focus Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Wednesday, March 30 2005 @ 11:35 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    I saw an interesting sign on my way home yesterday:

    Denver Bookbinding Company: We do more than just bind books!

    This reminded me of the PSP. Here’s why:

    read more (1095 words)

    Most Recent Post: 08/28 01:46AM by Anonymous


       Alas, GDC At Last Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Tuesday, March 22 2005 @ 08:11 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    Excuses, excuses, excuses.

    And with that, I'll move on to some belated GDC stuff.

    First off, check the pix. As usual, it's a pretty random collection of stuff. But, somehow, this is what GDC is like for me--a random collection of stuff.

    Highlights: Meeting Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi and getting my picture taken. Richard Bartle's acceptance oratory for his First Penguin Award. Eugene Jarvis' acceptance speech for his lifetime acheivement award, the Emily Dickinson game design challenge, the journalists group gathering, Frans Mayra's new dredlocks and hanging out with friends new and old.

    Lowlights: Katamari not winning the Game Developer's choice award for game of the year (much more on that here), Bartle getting cut off for time, missing the Burning Down the House session, missing Will Wright's Spore demo, missing Takahashi's sessions.

    Most Recent Post: 08/25 05:47PM by Anonymous


       Mirror, Mirror Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Thursday, March 17 2005 @ 09:51 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    All the conversation about “photorealistic” graphics and the immersive qualities of such a thing seems to miss one obvious point. We already have a perfect, real time, interactive, 3-D representation of the world presented on a 2-D surface. It’s called a mirror.

    read more (361 words)

    Most Recent Post: 08/28 03:57PM by Anonymous


       Game Comix Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Monday, March 14 2005 @ 06:55 PM UTC
    Contributed by: gamicsdotcom

    A little plug for the work over at Looks like an interesting form of metamedia for the metamedia of videogames! -- David

    For generations Comic books have captivated the imaginations of untold numbers of children and adults alike. Similarly Video Games have easily become the new arena of creativity and enjoyment for all ages. So it should come as no surprise that the next evolution of graphic storytelling would come with the seamless integration of these two mediums, hence the origin of Gamics! Gamics, or "game-icks", are GameComics which use game screenshots and comic book layout style to create something familiar yet completely original.

    Nathan Ciprick, the founder of, has been creating Gamics for nearly two years now, and it all began as a Sunday afternoon hobby to showcase his love of LucasArts' MMO "Star Wars Galaxies". His epic ongoing Gamic called "Path to the Force" updates every week and is now over 150 pages long! The story chronicles the adventures of his Wookiee character E'nac as he travels the Galaxy finding peril at every turn.

    Ciprick has created over a dozen different Gamics for games such as EverQuest 2, Grand Theft Auto 3 & Vice City, Matrix Online, Doom 3, and more. The site also welcomes reader submitted Gamics with several fan-created Gamics in regular rotation. Most recently Gamics has begun officially promoting games for Atari, starting with Eugen Systems upcoming game "Act of War".

    With daily Gamic updates, a column/blog, top game news stories, and a very active Forum community Gamics is poised to become a break-out site, and a welcome charge of creativity in the ever-changing games industry.

    Check out today to see what you've been missing!

    Most Recent Post: 08/28 02:47PM by Anonymous


       Podcasting GDC Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Monday, March 07 2005 @ 07:18 AM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    Call it an experiment. A trial balloon. Or, maybe just a further flight of journalistic arrogance. Whatever, I’m going to try Podcasting this week, covering the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

    What is Podcasting? Basically, it's a cross between blogging and pirate radio. You can get a quick sample by listening to my intro broadcast. (If the link does not load, try hitting RELOAD on your browser).

    Or, to take advantage of all that Podcasting has to offer, connect to my Podcast Feed:

    Other casts in this series:

    GDC Podcast Day 1

    Update: GDC Podcast Day 2

    I'll have sumamry comments up on both GDC and the Podcast experiment in the next day or so.

    Most Recent Post: 08/26 06:56PM by Anonymous


       Total Immersion Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Wednesday, March 02 2005 @ 11:59 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    What is immersion?

    In my last post, I proposed a new term, the Turing Event. I suggested that a Turing Event would mark the point at which simulated reality was indistinguishable from real reality.

    To help make the point that such a term was useful, I suggested that something as ambiguous as “immersion” would be well served by a term such as the Turing Event. You could, conceivably define immersion as some fraction of the Turing Event. The closer to the TE, the more immersed you are. Full immersion was equivalent to the being inside a Turing Event.

    This, I thought, would help sort through some of the silliness that surrounds games and all the talk of their relative immersiveness viz other games and media. That is, I hoped to make a point that we could discard general overreaching statements like, “Man, San Andreas is a completely immersive game.” or "Videogames are much more immersive than television."

    Of course, in my pursuit of simplicity, I rolled over a bunch of nuance and some toes.

    read more (670 words)

    Most Recent Post: 08/27 03:33PM by Anonymous


       Not Real At All: Defining the Turing Event Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Tuesday, February 15 2005 @ 08:20 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    I need a new term.

    Or perhaps, the term already exists and I need someone to tell me about it.

    What I want to describe, using the conceptual shorthand of a single term, is a fairly simple idea—that there is a point where simulated life is undifferentiated from real life.

    More specifically, I want a name for that (possibly imaginary point) at which you can’t tell whether you are participating in a computational experience programmed on digital computers or whether you are living your nominal life.

    In the past I’ve approached this concept by talking about “The Matrix”. But there are two issues with that as a metaphor. One is that it the Matrix has all these distopian connotations that I don’t like. The other is that people always make fun of me when I bring up the Matrix in serious conversion.

    So, what do we call this reality-blurring point and why do I care?

    read more (943 words)

    Most Recent Post: 08/28 08:37AM by Anonymous


       Videogames Industry as Big as...Speakers? Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version
    Friday, January 28 2005 @ 04:34 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    One of the great advantages of being a journalist is that people send you interesting information all the time. Recently, I was contacted about doing a story on a company who builds speakers--you know, those things you hook up to your stereo or iPod.

    The nut of the pitch was that the speaker industry is a huge, $10 billion industry. Interestingly, that's pretty close to what the videogame industry reported as it's North American gross for 2004.

    Why does this matter?

    I've been on a kick lately thinking about the business aspects of the game industry. We can talk about whether or not games are art, but whatever else they may be, they are largely a commercial product at this point.

    Noticing that the industry is only about the size of the speaker industry is a little sobering. But, at the same time, it points to the relatively disproportionate cultural influence games have. Yes, people spend as much on speakers as they do on videogames. But I don't hear much about how high fidelity sound is going to change the world we live in.

    Most Recent Post: 08/27 07:20AM by Anonymous


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