Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, November 14, 2011

Youth Rebellion 2011

North-African spring against old dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.
Demonstrations against failed economic politics in Spain, Greece, and Italy.
Demonstrations against cut-backs and privatization of university education in London, England.
The Occupy Wall Street movement in USA.
DDoS-attacks by Anonymous.

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Sunday, November 06, 2011

Philosophical game design. Leela is a game that represents the thoughts of Deepak Chopra. Admittedly, I am not very fond of the philosophy of Deepak Chopra, I will however claim that it seems that his world vied has been thoroughly well expressed throug this video game.

See: THQ Deepak Chopra's Leela

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Review of Racing the Beam: The fun is back!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Geek Culture: The 3rd Counter-Culture" in turkish translation.


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Saturday, August 06, 2011

More Criticism of Philosophical Game Design

Mike Gamm writes in Gaming Journal #2:

"Earlier in the term we read the essay, "Philisophical Game Design" by Lars Konzack, in which he says that a game must have at least one dualist philisophical aspect in order to be successful in our society, because this is what gamers want."

My response: I have never made the claim that a game must have at least one dual aspect in order to be succesful in society.

Gamm states further:

"I will use Halo to contradict Konzack's argument: (Key Idea*) that the interaction between philisophical storyline and the choices that a player needs to make are what makes a great game."

That might very well be true, however, since I didn't make the claim in the first place the criticism seems inappropriate. Gamm is arguing against his own straw-man.

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Criticism of Philosophical Game Design

Mike Gamm writes in New Age Socialities

"As you have heard me say before, I really disagree with Lars Konzack and the idea that most players prefer philosophical game design above all other aspects of gaming (). I believe that the multiplayer component is going to be the largest part of gaming in the years to come; in fact I have noticed small but important trends that show significant changes in the way we are gaming."

and later ...

"Even in our gaming class we were unable to show a significant influence from the all powerful philosophical gameplay and design that Konzack ranted about in the VGTR2."

As part of my response, I want to stress that criticism is a good thing - especially constructive criticism of course. Without criticism we would not develop our ideas. However, I would like to point to a few problems with this criticism in particular.

First of all, I want to be clear on the fact that I have never said that most players prefer philosophical game design above all other aspects of gaming.

I do think multiplayer components are developing. And I do not think that every design aspect in the game industry is about philosophical game design.

What makes philosophical game design interesting is that it is a way to put content into the game. This can be done with multiplayer games too. If we for a moment think of games like Warcraft and Starcraft each of the opposing armies have their own combat philosophy build into the game structure based on the game design. They each represent another way of dealing with technology and how they battle to win. This is expressed thorugh the game mechanics and embedded into the game for the players to experience. Having different races in e.g. WoW is another way to express different philosophies in a multiplayer game.

The philosophical content is not in conflict with social gaming. Philosphical game design is not anti-multiplayer. It is just another way to approach the design of games, focusing on ideas and concepts rather than small features. This does not mean there is no room for features, but each feature is designed to express the philospohy or the philosophies of the game. And in that sense the philosophy of the game is an overall game design strategy and above all the single features of the game.

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This is an interesting question:

"With Konzack’s notion of philosophical gaming in mind, the question I have is where to draw lines between philosophical games, educational games, and games like Tetris, Checkers or other games that do not really offer any kind of immediate knowledge gain (although I admit that the latter can develop reflexes, a competitive spirit, logical thinking, etc.)."
- Dyldebeest

Philosophical Gaming

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Problem with The Magic Circle as a Way to Comprehend Games
I don't think that the term magic circle is actually what Johan Huizinga had in mind when he defined games. Admittedly, Huizinga uses this term but it is not central to his theory at all.

In Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture, Huizinga wrote:

All play moves and has its being within a play-ground marked off beforehand either materially or ideally, deliberately or as a matter of course. Just as there is no formal difference between play and ritual, so the ‘consecrated spot’ cannot be formally distinguished from the play-ground. The arena, the card-table, the magic circle, the temple, the stage, the screen, the tennis court, the court of justice, etc, are all in form and function play-grounds, i.e. forbidden spots, isolated, hedged round, hallowed, within which special rules obtain. All are temporary worlds within the ordinary world, dedicated to the performance of an act apart.

The term magic circle is just an example among others - not the essence of what a game is about.

Btw. I do not agree with Johan Huizinga that there is no formal difference between play and ritual.  The formal difference is that while playing a game is a series of interesting choices the ritual is a method or procedure conducted faithfully or regularly followed. Playing af game or parts of it may be a ritual in itself but a ritual is not just playing a game.

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Friday, June 03, 2011

Anonymous Pirate Flags

Guy Fawkes Mask and Bones.

Beware! Anonpirates.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In Soviet Russia YOU don't build wall. Wall builds YOU!

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Prince of Persia
Went to see Prince of Persia with low expectations. Movies based on video games tend to be bad. Mostly because they lack content, focusing only on action packed drama.

PoP turned out differently. It may not be the best movie ever. If that was their ambition they would have to look deeper into the cultural and mythological material they were dealing with. That said it was actually a good movie. Interesting characters, engaging plot etc. The villain could have been better although the actor did a nice job with what was offered.

The most interesting part of the movie was that it did not lack content. PoP adressed the problems with  the Bush administration's big mistake of launching an attack on Iraq. The movie was in fact one big apology of this mission of TOTAL FAIL. And it actually managed to say this in a clever way.

However, the solution to the problem failed in the movie, saying that we should listen more carefully to our heart. On the contrary. The problem in the movie and in the Iraq war was, that we did not think carefully about what we were doing.

If we could learn to think better instead of following simplistic feelings we would indeed be better off.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

I had friends on that Deathstar, y'know!


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Friday, March 26, 2010