Monday, September 30, 2002

Friday, September 27, 2002

Today, I attended a gathering of minds. Workshop: Rollespil: spil, fortælling og teater. Forskningsperspektiver på moderne rollespilsformer.
This was an attempt to form an academic approach to non-computer role-playing games. We had fruitful discussions and presentations. Too many live roleplayers for my taste though :) The workshop ended up with forming a comitee, which is planning to arrange a seminar. Of course I got myself into this.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

A friend of mine told me, that the term spindelvævslogbog is actually very poetic. Hmm...
By way of Lisbeth Klastrup: A Danish broadcasting company TV2 presented weblogs. They've even got a Danish term digitale dagbøger which translates to digital diaries. However, I don't think of my work on Ludologica as a diary. I much prefer weblog or in Danish spindelvævslogbog. Though I guess my direct translation of weblog into Danish isn't very catchy :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

This is a little something I put together in an idle moment:
An Overview of Modern Traditions of the Fantastic.
This friday, Anne Marit Waade and I are going to host a workshop on 'real' roleplaying games. Computer games might be overlooked in academia, but its out in the open and getting lots of attention compared to non-computer roleplaying games. We're going to do something about it. Especially the Dramaturgist it seems, many of the attending workshoppers come from the study of Dramaturgy.

Monday, September 23, 2002

According to Mark J. P. Wolf, the Miller brothers who made Myst and Riven were both doing subcreation. I'm sure he has a point, although I don't think the concept of subcreation is made for Christians only. By using this poetics you may create more than just Christian fantasy.
Lisbeth Klastrup's slides shows an interest in Tolkien's poetics of subcreation. I think this is a positive step towards a poetics of virtual worlds and computer games.

Friday, September 20, 2002

By way of Celia Pearce:
Greek gaming tragedy turns to farce

To be continued...

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Clifford Geertz: "Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight".
In this article we find the deep play approach to ludology based on anthropology. Deep play can be usefully summarized in a formal paradigm:


1) Between near status equals (and/or personal enemies)
2) Between high status individuals


1) The closer the identification of cock and man (or: more properly, the deeper the match the more the man will advance his best, most closely-identified-with cock).
2) The finer the cocks involved and the more exactly they will be matched.
3) The greater the emotion that will be involved and the more the general absorption in the match.
4) The higher the individual bets center and outside, the shorter the outside bet odds will tend to be, and the more betting there will be over-all.
5) The less an economic and the more a "status" view of gaming will be involved, and the "solider" the citizens who will be gaming.

By the way don't think of the cock as a Freudian slip.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Today, I've got an e-mail from Marie-Laure Ryan saying she is very excited about my paper Computer Game Criticism, because each level puts the study of computer games in a different context:

Layers 1 and 2, computer applications; computer science.
Layer 3: Cybertext theory (a context that includes hypertext, e-mail, blogs, whatever).
Layer 4: Game theory and ludology (the Caillois, Huizinga, etc. tradition)
Layer 5: Narrative (not just literature but myth, legends, history)
Layer 6: All cultural representations, including art.
Layer 7: Human behavior.

You may find the paper along other papers in CGDC Conference Proceedings which by the way Bryan-Mitchell Young lately reviewed very positive: Basically, this is the best "book" on videogames published to date. It's not available in bookstores, but I highly recommend you get it.

Monday, September 16, 2002

I just happened to come across The legendary lost sequel to J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. It seems things went terribly wrong in the fourth age.
This evening, I am going to start up game mastering my new Lord of the Rings RPG campaign. On one hand, I am looking forward, but on the other I am a bit nervous. It is not easy being the game master on which everything depends. The players are going to play the characters of a secret Dúnadain ranger brotherhood trying to fight against minions of the evil overlord Sauron. I am not sure, but I think the campaign should take place in the north of Middle Earth near Angmar.

Friday, September 13, 2002

This article may be the best analysis of Tolkiens work, I've ever read. Jason Clark has a Jungian approach, which actually deals with the story as something worth while to read and explore in itself: The Wise Old Man: Gandalf as Archetype in The Lord of the Rings.

Jason Clark refers to Timothy O'Neill: The Individuated Hobbit. This book seems to be a must-read.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Just bought The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game: Core Book by Steven S. Long et al. It seems to be quite good although it lacks the beautiful language of Tolkien. The terms are mostly inspired by Dungeons & Dragons. The bad news is that they actually think The Lord of the Rings lacks ambiguity between good and evil. This is a common mistake to make, but it sure is wrong. The good news is, they've made a very aesthetic book and the characters do have the Tolkien feel.

Friday, September 06, 2002

Torill and Lisbeth are referring to roleplaying game History. My personal favorit on the Internet is A History of Role-Playing by Astinus and Steven Darlington even though I think they focus to much on Dungeons & Dragons and GURPS.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

More about the Greek scandal: Greece's Machine Crisis Deepens
Yesterday, I finally handed in my Ph. D. thesis. 4 years and 4 days. It feels a bit strange today. Did not have any nightmares though.

By way of Gonzalo Frasca: Greece is having a computer game nightmare. The government has enacted a law which ecplicitly forbids computer games.
See In Greece, use a Game Boy, go to jail