Thursday, September 27, 2001

Yesterday we had our second meeting in Netværk for Dansk Computerspislforskning - DACFO [Network of Danish Computer Game Research]. We were focusing on our goals and how to succeed. Computer Game Research is a new field of study and we will need to exchange ideas in order to inspirere and learn from one another. The fist task will be to make an intern seminar. Later on we will make an anthology the subject. But before that we have make our presence public. Now, we are going to write a statement to the Ministry of Culture in Denmark.

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Torill Mortensen is missing a canon in the field of computer game studies. There exist however a canon in the sense gamespy has made a top 50 computer games of all time. In Denmark Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen og Jonas H. Smith made a canon in the end of their book Den Digitale Leg [The Digital Play] consisting of around the 100 most important computer games.
Yesterday I held a guest lecture on computer games and narrative. I was mainly focusing on issues about limits of narrative, ludology vs. narratology and computer game genre relations to narrative. It went pretty well.

Friday, September 14, 2001

Knights of the Dinner Table is a great cartoon pointing towards what's wrong with most Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying games. They totally forget genre, context and style in order to get the worst kind of munchkin roleplaying action games. And they are closer to Multi-User Dungeons of Doom +12 than roleplaying games as an aesthetic fulfilment.

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

I've got an e-mail from Ken Tidwell about his use of the term ludology back in 1996 saying:

"As far as I know I made it up when I titled that page. Its derivation is wrong as 'ludo' is not Greek for game. Embarrassing, really, but languages are not my strong suit."

I must say in ludology we find a tradition for putting words together with different linguistic origins - e. g. Roger Caillois' game types using terms from both latin, greek and english. This mix of languages may turn out to be a ludologic trademark of playing with words.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

At the moment I'm trying to figure out the origin of the term ludology. It seems Jesper Juul is able to pin-point 1982 as the year in which Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi may have coined the term. Encyclopædia Britannica does in fact not have any registration of the word. And Stewart Culin it seems does not use the term, even though Binsbergen address him by the title of ludologist.

Friday, September 07, 2001

Searching for "postism" inspired by Jill Walker I found The Postmodernism Generator. This is the quick and dirty way to get into a conference.
Torill Mortensen asks: "Are games not part of Cyberculture?" It seems like cyber culture studies neglects computer games as if they have a certain blind spot. They are much more focused on virtual communities, cyborgs, and cyberspace. I'm not here to say all of this is unimportant. It's just strange, why they are not able to see the computer game culture right in front of them. Maybe it's because ludology has never been a big academic field of study. Maybe it's because computer games are popular, which to some is an indication of inherent bad quality. Or maybe it's because computer games does not fit into the academic structure but must be percieved in an interdisciplinary context. I don't know the answers to these questions, but it sure is strange.

Thursday, September 06, 2001

Gonzalo Frasca suggests the studies of violence in computer games are in fact dangerous and causes violence. Everyone in the field of computer game studies and you might add media studies in general are subject to this kind of inferior way of looking upon media: the so-called media effects. These studies might be dangerous in many ways. But the worst part is they are constructs of an academic myth, which stems from the stimuli-respons behaviorist psychology. In this myth cause and effect are directly connected. It is a myth because there is no real evidence of such a connection due to the many factors involved when people become violent. Likewise you cannot say for sure computer games do not influence people. They sure do. That is why this myth will keep to exist in spite of any common sense. Because lots of people have played computer games for years with out becoming violent at all. The common sense also tells us it is more dangerous to buy a gun than to buy a computer game. That is why we ban guns in Europe and for some reason we end up having fewer people murdered. An armed society is not a polite society, since any politeness stop when you are about to shoot one another.

Wednesday, September 05, 2001

My new blog for edutainment turned out to have a template which did not function on Netscape. And to make it even worse the choose new template function did not work. So I had to delete the entire blog and create the exact same blog in order to get a new template. But now it is running fine on both Netscape and Explorer. Phew!

Tuesday, September 04, 2001

I've just made a new blog for my course on Edutainment at media studies. I hope it will turn out to be a useful media/instrument in this forthcoming semester.

Monday, September 03, 2001

Back home from a month in Bergen Norway. It's been a really good to learn a lot of new colleagues, and I hope we'll keep in contact. Hilde Corneliussen was finally entrapped by her tendecy to become a blogger. Before that happened she and I had a good discussion on feminism and egalitarianism. She says feminism is not one thing, but several different ways of looking upon women. The same thing can almost be said about socialism. It is not one thing but several ways to look upon collectivist humanity. However there is a pattern in both socialism and feminism. Both end up not dealing with egality but instead pursuing the goal of getting the real power.