Category: general

Lesen Sie Deutschen?

In order to get my language requirement out of the way for my phd I’m taking German this summer. The second summer session just started Friday (the day after the first session ended!) and we have to write a paper (in English!) using sources written in German. So what are some good internet available videogame essays written in German? I’ve run across a couple, but can always use some more.

Accuracy in reporting???

As most readers know they caught the people who stole the Half-Life 2 source code. However, in doing my usual Google news search for videogame, I ran across an interesting article about the source code theft. According to the Modesto Bee, “ Arrests were made in the theft of video game blueprints. From the article:

SEATTLE (AP) – Authorities have arrested suspects in a case involving the theft of software blueprints for the hotly awaited action computer game “Half-Life 2,” the FBI said Friday.

Who knew that software had blueprints? At least that explains why Half-Life 2 has been delayed for going on a year now. I’m no game designer, but I think you actually have to type all the code into the computer rather than write on that blue paper with white pencils.

I like to shoot people!

I was out playing Counter-Strike with some guys in the computer lab earlier, and while I know I am certainly not the first to say so, videogame scholars really need to read Clifford Geertz’s Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight. (Note that this is an condensed version. Go find The Interpretation of Cultures or another book it appears in for the full version). Not only is Geertz an entertaining writer (something that is all too often lacking in academia, but he makes some interesting observations on what makes play and games exciting and involving.

E3 still offers intersting observations…

Robin Hunicke has some really great commentary on E3 over at her blog. Even though I’ve never been to E3, her thoughts pretty well match my own observations of it, especially in light of Tore Vesterby’s blog post that mentions that :

Gamespy is offering an official DVD of E3 coverage. I guess the booth babes are as important – if not more important – than the games when looking at their pre-order site and their promo text:

You’ll get 4 DVDs packed with over 200 game
previews, press conference coverage, looks behind-the-scenes, editor
cameos, even a booth babe featurette — over 11 hours of video, total!

Here’s my note to the industry: Yes, heterosexual men find women attractive. However, there are lots of other people in the world besides heterosexual men. Sure sex sells, but I tell you what, even I, as one of those who is in the target demographic, am getting tired of T&A. If we want T&A there are other places to get that. I get a dozen emails a day telling me where I can get that in fact. Everything has its place, and there is room for a lot more variety than the industry is giving us.

A little something I rescued from the recycle bin…

I”m editing an article for publication and as always happens in situations like that there are always little bits that have to be cut out. Cutting the out is always painfull and so rather than just deleting the paragraph I thought I would post it here. So here is something for people to mull over:

In the often cited “Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema,” Laura Mulvey writes that one of the pleasures of film is scopophilic, or based on looking (324). “[The] brilliance of the shifting patterns of light and shade on the screen helps to promote the illusion of voyeuristic separation” (Mulvey 324). However, in a FPS, the player is voyeristically looking at the main character because the player is the main character which means there can be no voyeuristic pleasure in playing a FPS because there is no one to watch. Indeed, even if one were to attempt to stop playing the game in order to look at one of the other characters and subject the character to a objectifying male gaze, the character would in all likelyhood shoot the player in a direct rejection of the voyeristic gaze. Additionally, what occurs while playing a Shooter is not a separation, but an immersion in that by using the first-person perspective, the player is encouraged to forget that they are playing a character and to feel as if they themselves are in the game. The pleasure in playing a First-Person Shooter is not in looking but in doing.

They know I know!

I was just looking at my web site visitor log and look who’s been visiting:
Referrer URLs

Hmmmm… It looks like someone at EA has found my blog. I tried some of the links, but I couldn’t get any of them to work. I’m assuming that perhaps they are some sort of internal company links or something. I wonder in what context my site is being linked to. It seems that nothing escapes their attention for long.

I, for one, welcome our new EA overlords…

Seriously, I have nothing against EA, I’m just interested in what is going on here. So, hello EA! Leave a comment or two!

What I’m up to

The PCA was a good time. I felt that all the videogame panels were top notch. I suggest heading over to the PCA web site and doing ctrl+f search for game and see the titles of some of the papers that were presented.
In my mind there is still a need for more videogame only conferences, but that is just me.

Currently, I’m writing a paper about masculinity, whiteness, and nationhood in vidoegames. Of course with a topic like that, it is enormous. I am going to have to cut something out.

There is still a big hole in videogame studies where race fits in, so I if anyone knows of anything dealing with the race of videogames and specifically videogame players, drop me a line in the comments.

Not sure if this counts as a game or not…

Recently, a friend directed me to It is a guy in a chicken suit standing in front of a web cam. You type a command into a text box and the guy does what you type. Apparently, it is some sort of weird viral marketing for Burger King.
It is pretty entertaining. It appears to be several pre-recorded segments, but it is interesting to see how many differnt clips they had to film.
Mmmmm chickennnnnnn….