Saturday, March 29, 2003

"A lady (and, what makes the story more piquant, she herself was a Jungian psychologist by profession) had been talking about a dreariness which seemed to be creeping over her life, the drying up in her power to feel pleasure, the aridity of her mental landscape. Drawing a bow at a venture, I asked, 'Have you any taste for fantasies and fairy tales?' I shall never forget how her muscles tightened, her hands clenched themselves, her eyes started as if with horror, and her voice changed, as she hissed out, 'I loathe them.'
(C. S. Lewis: Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories)

As game researchers, I hope we'll never forget how to enjoy fantasy and fairy tales.

Friday, March 28, 2003

The Video Game Theory Reader by Mark Wolf and Bernard Perron (eds.).

It looks promising according to its description:
The Video Game Theory Reader brings together exciting new work on video games as a unique medium and nascent field of study--one that is rapidly developing new modes of understanding and analysis, like film studies in the 1960s and television studies in the 1980s. This pioneering collection addresses the many ways video games are reshaping the face of entertainment and our relationship with technology. In the volume, leading media studies scholars develop new theoretical tools and concepts to study video games. Drawing upon examples from widely popular games ranging from Space Invaders to Final Fantasy and Combat Flight Simulator, the contributors discuss the relationship between video games and other media; the shift from third- to first-person games; gamers and the gaming community; and the important sociological, cultural, industrial, and economic issues that surround gaming.

Mia Consalvo, Chris Crawford, Patrick Crogan, Markku Eskelinen, Miroslaw Filiciak, Gonzalo Frasca, Walter Holland, Henry Jenkins, Kurt Squire, Torben Grodal, Alison McMahan, Bernard Perron, Bob Rehak, Ragnhild Tronstad, and Mark J. P. Wolf

Monday, March 17, 2003

Beware! A book called Brainchild is to be released this week. In here you will get the impression that indeed role-playing, computer games, Harry Potter etc. make children non-creative. This study is made by some internationally well-known advertising specialists and based on drawings created by children from different countries in the world. They have discovered that children age 8 to 13 are copying mass culture in their drawings.
However this is just to be expected, they are in fact not just copying these figures. They are conveying these images, these archetypes into becoming a part of their life. A part of growing up is assimilating culture and style in order to later in life use these images in their own personal creations. They are not becoming less creative, they are in fact training to become creative.
One of the authors, Martin Lindstrøm, has already named the new generation the Now-Generation, because they expect high interactivity right away. This is certainly not a way of showing these kids any respect. Actually these nerds turn out to be much more absorbed in books, games and other media than any earlier generation. But according to this advertising specialist they are superficial. Well, he should now, what it takes to be superficial.

Monday, March 10, 2003

I've found Geek-Culture to be of some importance when trying to comprehend the computer game culture. I must warn you, it is in Danish. The articles in Hjernen [the brain] are quite interesting. Especially the nerd-series by Line Ho Young Kjær.