Category: Uncategorized

Bulletstorm Blown Over

I’ve been a bit busy with grading and writing and job applying so I haven’t gotten around to writing about the whole Bulletstorm thing.

For those out of the loop, the while “deal” started when John Brandon wrote a story with the pithy title, “Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?” It isn’t of course the quality of the game that is at question but rather the morality of the game. Perhaps unsurprisingly the answer to the titular question was apparently, “yes.”

Rock, Paper, Shotgun covered the entire situation much more thoroughly than I ever could. They contacted the sources quoted by Brandon and found that nearly all of them had been quoted out of context.

While all of the sources quoted by Brandon responded to Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s requests for comments and interviews, there was one person who was curiously silent: John Brandon himself. For someone who has many articles that have been given questions for titles, he doesn’t seem to be eager to actually answer any questions himself. For a while he even protected his twitter account so that you couldn’t read it if you weren’t his friend.

I find John Brandon’s lack of comment on the issue to be really disappointing because I really would like to hear his side of the story. Why were the comments of so many of the people quoted in the article so twisted and taken out of context? Was it his doing or the editors? Why did he write the article in the first place? Why is he resistant to talking about the Bulletstorm column?

While he probably won’t ever answer any of those questions, he has unprotected his twitter account and looking back at the tweets he made immediately after the column came out but apparently before he protected his account make for interesting reading.

It looks like it begins on February 4 with his soliciting for people to comment on videogame violence:

Once the article comes out and people start twittering negative things about it, Brandon begins to have a few interactions with them:

So when called out for seemingly shoddy journalism he falls back on the old, “gamers live in their parent’s basement” line. That may be “journalism” but it certainly isn’t good journalism…

video game ethnography video

I was procrastinating today and taking a look at my dismal google analytics and noted that one of the keywords used to get to my site was ‘video game ethnography.’ Curious, I put the phrase in google and looked around and then I decided to put the link into yahoo and this video showed up as the first result (I don’t show up on yahoo. Perhaps it is because I prefer videogame over the term video game?):

Video Games Ethnography at Bridgewater College
It is a pretty interesting video. I hope the person that did it got an A in the class!

Site is mostly back

I managed to get my posts back up. I think the links to the images might be messed up but I’ll have to try to go through and fix those by hand.

What I ended up doing was installing wordpress locally using something I found calledBitnami, then editing the sql backup so I could import it into that virtualized wordpress. Then I used worpress’s export feature to export the entries to an xml file which I uploaded here.

Now I got to get a theme going and my blogroll and I’ll be back in shape. This will be a good excuse to do a bit of a redesign that I’ve been meaning to do so that’s something I guess…

The Site is Borked.

As you can see (if this is the newest post when you are reading this) I’ve messed up the site.

I use 1and1 for hosting and I’ve never had any problems but I decided to update wordpress and it required a newer version of mysql than the one I was using.  My plan with 1and1 doesn’t allow me to have more than one mysql database at a time so I backed up the database, deleted it, and created a newer one. Then I try to import the backup and it fails.

I opened up the sql file in a text editor and all the posts are in there but I don’t really know how to get them out. So I found an old wordpress backup and uploaded it but as you can see it is 3 and a half years old.  After 3-4 hours of trying to figure out stuff I’m calling it a day. So until I figure out how to get the data out or do it all manually some rainy day, the site will have a bit of a gap in it.

Is Gameloft videogaming’s version of The Asylum?

It isn’t much of a secret that I’m a fan of bad movies and one of the more infamous companies that make bad movies is The Asylum. They are the producers of a lot of films such as 18 Year Old Virgin, The Day the Earth Stopped, Snakes on a Train, The Terminators, and Transmorphers. As these examples show, The Asylym’s gimmick is that they think of a title that is similar to an upcoming film, make a film as quickly as possible, and get it into the video stores to piggy back on the original film.

Well, it seems like a videogame company has seen how easy it is for The Asylum to make money and has started making their own knockoffs. I was listening to the idle Thumbs podcast when one of the hosts mentioned Gameloft‘s “awesome” iphone games. Not having an iphone I can’t say if the phones are any good or not but I can’t help but think that they would be just as good as The Asylum’s films with titles like: Dungeon Hunter which I’m sure is nothing like Diablo,diablo

Blades of Fury which looks nothing like Tekken, tekken

Modern Combat: Sandstorm which looks nothing like Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat, cod4

Gangstar: West Coast Hustle which has no similarities to GTA: San Andreas, gta

and I’m sure that the fact that Guitar Rock Tour has a title so similar to Guitar Hero and Rock Band is just coincidental. rockband

Please tell me I’m not the only one hoping that Gameloft and The Asylum will hook up so we can get some games based on The Asylum’s films. That would be incredible.

Dissertation Chapter 2 Works Cited

I’m just about to turn in the first draft for chapter 2 of the dissertation. Here’s the unformatted works cited for it:

Ajana, Btihaj. “Disembodiment and Cyberspace: A Phenomenological Approach.” Electronic Journal of Sociology (2004). 16 Jul 2009 .

Ang, Ien. Watching Dallas: Soap Opera and the Melodramatic Imagination. Routledge, 1985.

Austin, Joe, and Michael Nevin Willard. “Generations of Youth: Youth Cultures and History in Twentieth-Century America.” Ed. Joe Austin & Michael Nevin Willard. New York: NYU Press, 1998. 1-20.

Bedford, Charles. “LAN Parties: it’s a scene, baby!.” loonygames 1998. 18 Aug 2009 .

Berger, Arthur Asa. “Eleven Ways of Looking at the Gulf War..” ETC.: A Review of General Semantics 51.2 (1994): 177-180.

Bird, Sharon R. “Welcome To The Men’s Club: Homosociality and the Maintenance of Hegemonic Masculinity.” Gender Society 10.2 (1996): 120-132.

Breckon, Nick. “Quake Live Open Beta Goes Live.” Shacknews 24 Feb 2009. 13 Jul 2009 .

Butler, Judith. “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay In Phenomenology and Feminist Theory.” The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader. Ed. Amelia Jones. New York: Routledge, 2003. 392-402.

Clark, Andy. Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Connell, R. W, and James W Messerschmidt. “Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept.” Gender Society 19.6 (2005): 829-859.

Connell, RW. Gender and Power: Society, the Person and Sexual Politics. Stanford University Press, 1987. .

Coyle, Karen. “How Hard Can It Be?.” Wired Women: Gender and New Realities in Cyberspace. Ed. Lynn Cherny & Elizabeth Reba Weisse. Seal Press, 1996. 42–55.

Csordas, Thomas J. Embodiment and Experience: The Existential Ground of Culture and Self. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Dovey, Jon, and Helen W. Kennedy. Game Cultures: Computer Games as New Media. Open University Press, 2006.

Foy, Laura. “In Search of Brothers In Arms: Earned In Blood Videos.” G4tv 12 Oct 2005. 23 Aug 2009 .

Friedman, Ted. “Civilization and Its Discontents: Simulation, Subjectivity, and Space.” On a Silver Platter: CD-ROMs and the Promises of a New Technology. Ed. Greg M. Smith. New York: NYU Press, 1999. 132-150. .

Haraway, Donna. “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century.” Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge, 1991. 149-181. .

—. “Cyborgs and Symbionts: Living Together in the New World Order.” The Cyborg Handbook. Ed. Chris Gray. London: Routledge, 1995. xi-xx.

Hayles, N. Katherine. “The Life Cycle of Cyborgs: Writing the Posthuman.” The Cyborg Handbook. Ed. Chris Gray. London: Routledge, 1995. 321-334.

Jeffords, Susan. Hard bodies: Hollywood Masculinity in the Reagan Era. Rutgers Univ Pr, 1994.

Jenson, Jennifer, and de Castell Susan. “What “real” girls play: Dispelling the myths of virtual
equality.” San Antonio, TX, 2004.

Kimmel, Michael S. “Rethinking Masculinity: New Directions in Research.” Changing Men: New Directions in Research on Men and masculinity. Ed. Michael S. Kimmerl. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1987. 9-24.

Kunzru, Hari. “You Are Cyborg.” Wired Magazine 5.2 (1997). .

Kushner, Davis. Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2004.

Leder, Drew. The Absent Body. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.

Levy, Donald P. “Hegemonic Masculinity.” Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Ed. George Ritzer. Blackwell Publishing, 2007. 22 Aug 2009 .

Lie, Merete. “Technology and Masculinity: The Case of the Computer.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 2.3 (1995): 379-394.

Lupton, Deborah. “The Embodied Computer/User.” The Cybercultures Reader. Ed. David Bell & Barbara M. Kennedy. New York: Routledge, 2000. 477-89.

Martin, Randy. Performance as Political Act: The Embodied Self. New York: Bergin & Garvey, 1990.

Messner, Michael. “Boyhood, Organized Sports and the Construction of Masculinities.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 18.4 (1990): 416-444.

Pinckard, Jane. “Genderplay: Successes and Failures in Character Designs for Videogames.” Game Girl Advance 16 Apr 2003. 21 Aug 2009 .

“Release Information for Quake.” 13 Jul 2009 .

Schleiner, Anne-Marie. “About.” Velvet-Strike 20 Feb 2004. 21 Aug 2009 .

—. “Flamer Gallery.” Velvet-Strike 20 Feb 2004. 21 Aug 2009 .

—. “Sprays.” Velvet-Strike 20 Feb 2004. 21 Aug 2009 .

Stone, Allucquere Rosanne. “Will the Real Body Please Stand Up?: Boundary Stories About Virtual Cultures.” Cyberspace: First Steps. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991. 81-118. .

Turque, Bill. “Erasing the Vietnam Nightmare.” Newsweek 4 Feb 1991: 67.

Wajcman, Judy. Feminism Confronts Technology. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State Univ Pr, 1991.

“Wolfenstein 3D.” 3D Realms. 18 Aug 2009 .

Little Big Planet 9?

So I saw a trailer for a movie called 9 that is coming out on my birthday. It kind of reminded me of Oddworld stuff but the main character really reminded me of Little Big Planet. Then I find out that it was originally a short movie made back in 2005. It has this little guy made from what looks like burlap and he has a big zipper down the front. In his world he uses junk to make stuff. Sound familiar? Coincidence or something more?


Post Christmas gaming

Yesterday I got back from spending a week at my parent’s house. They don’t have broadband. I was totally going through withdraw.

I wasn’t without games though. I played some Peggle and World of Goo. Fun games that run on my laptop. I also spent a lot of time with my trusty favorite Weird Worlds.

Now that I’m back in the land of broadband I’ve been catching up on Left 4 Dead. I still like the game but I am getting sick of playing the same mission over and over. They need to release more Versus maps and people need to play them!