Friday, August 10, 2001

This month I'm visting the University of Bergen in Norway as a guest researcher on computer games. Though I did bring a lot of luggage, I did not bring many books. So I borrowed some. Espen Aarseth borrowed me Steven Poole: Trigger Happy which is a generally fine book about computer game aesthetics. Even though Steven Poole makes thorough computer game analysis. On the other hand he is as Espen Aarseth puts it too much focused on video game consoles - and I would like to add too much focused on Lara Croft.

Jill Walker (who I have already mentioned) borrowed me Lev Manovich: The Language of New Media. He however only scratch the surface of the matters at hand. His analysis does not really get deep down into the problems of computer media. As for computer games he keeps telling they tell narratives, but don't get into what he really means by that. And in saying they are games, he does not have anything to say about what makes them games. He compares Doom to Myst only at a superficial level, concluding they create narrative space in different ways. Lev Manovich hasn't read Peter Bøgh Andersen: A Theory of Computer Semiotics when saying: "Future researchers will wonder why the theoreticians, who had plenty of experience in analysing older cultural forms, did not try to describe computer media's semiotic codes." (p. 7). We might not agree on Peter Bøgh Andersen's approach and conclusions, but still he made a real effort on trying to make a theory of computer semiotics.

Read also Jills critique on Lev Manovich.


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