10 Manliest Games of all time

Awwww!!!! Someone’s written up a list of the “10 manliest video games of all time” – how adorable and sweet isn’t that?!!!

“First of all, video games are often best enjoyed simultaneously with other
manly activities such as chewing and drinking. Video games are also widely
shunned by the female population, thus making them a sort of rebellion against
our female oppressors”

Awww….you poor oppressed dude!
Seriously though…the list really is rather cool after getting over my girlish giggles! There’s some really lovely blasts from the past and some I was suprised to find on such a list. Ikaruga?

I’m amused!! Truely!

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re: Your Brains

I just adore this!!!! This is exactly what Web 2.0 (or…? the correct terminology eludes me)is about, if you ask me!! Jonathan Coulton is a New York musician who releases a song a week on his blog, under a Creative Commons license – and this guy, Mike Spiff has created a WoW Machinima from one of these songs – and ofcourse it’s available on YouTube!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!! I LOVE IT!!!

Ph.D. course: Technology and the Public Sphere

Some of my favourite professors(?) at my department are running a Ph.D. course on Technology and the Public Sphere.

“The relationship between media technologies and the public sphere is increasingly important. We will explore it theoretically and empirically during four days of intense academic activity”

They’re focusing on John Dewey, Marshall McLuhan and everyone’s beloved Jürgen Habermas and “a range of articles from contemporary writers will also be discussed, among them James Carey, Chantal Mouffe and Graham Murdock.

And my personal joy: Brian Winston and Andrew Feenberg are coming!!!

It looks great! And I really wish that I could participate – huh…would be kinda cool to try, actually! Who do I have to persuade, I wonder?

Anyways! I really recommend it! So if you’re looking for an intense Ph.d. course – go for it!

Yay! Henry Jenkins is blogging!

What joy!!! Definitely a welcome presence!

Henry Jenkins is the Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program
and just a MUST READ!

I’ve just read his post “Fun vs. Engagement: The Case of the Great Zoombinis” where I was introduced to Scott Osterweil’s at The Education Arcade and his captivating podcast.

It’s so good to see discussions and research about learning and games beyond ‘just’ simulations. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for simulation games, but I do believe there is a clearer learning power in actual gameplay. And ofcourse this has been a topic for a long time – I guess I just understand the language so much better!

“What we did when we started designing Zoobinis was to try to think about our own experience with the mathematics of the game and try to access our own learning of it — trying to remember what it was like to encounter the subject in school or thinking about how we’d use the subject in our daily lives and try to identify times when we had been playful with the concepts in the past. In fact, most of us when we are trying to master something we find ways to be playful to it and in accessing our own playful approach to the material what we were really doing was finding the game that was inherent in the mathematics. Instead of putting math in the game, we tried to find the game in the math” – Osterweil

Continue reading

Daily Show On Violent Video Games

So…there’s a lot of yoo ha in the states about violent video games and whether retailers should be forced by law to follow the ESRB’s recomendations. So pretty much what we have here in Europe – if the game’s rated 15 retailers should make sure not to sell to under 15 year olds. Now…if a grandma decides to buy an 18 rated game for her 14 year old grandson – that’s her problem. I’m so tempted to become a ludologist here – because sometimes I really do feel that the fiction of a game just provides the rules for gameplay, it’s meaning isn’t that essential when playing games. But – then I realize that I’m just saying that because I enjoy violent gameplay (although it’s been a while now!). Anyways!!!! I found this video hysterical! His new rating of “Child trapped in man’s body” is funny and the politicians are just soooo amusing as well!!!

When technology governs

Mark Wallace had a very honest and reflective post in his blog yesterday about ‘the issue of trademark, copyright and intellectual property rights in Second Life’. There seems to be a lot of trust in Linden Lab’s technology to take care of these rights – but that technology can only govern in its space, Second Life. If someone were to copy these virtual objects into another program – what happens to these issues? If then the object comes back into Second Life but modified from another program? And…well…what about when some of the virtual objects become real, without the original creator’s consent? And…oh I’m on a roll now – with virtual worlds such as Second Life, where citizens are making real money from real businesses – well, Linden Lab can’t protect the intellectual property rights of this, can they…would they?
It seems the IP rights issued for creators in Second Life are governed by technology – the ability to protect objects from being copied technolgically. But ideas and creativity go so far beyond technological restrictions, do they not?
Mr. Wallace feels that laws of the physical world should apply to the metaverse as well. And what I think is so funny in these discussions is the assumption that we’re trying to protect the rights of the little man from being stolen from the big corporational man! Or is it just me? These programs were designed to help creators – to create, to be imaginative, to be free – when we start protecting things with an iron fist of the law (real world) and screaming out “You can’t touch this, this is mine ALL MINE!” (wow – it just dawned on me why MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” is so popular now days) – it tends to put a damper on creativity and freedom to express oneself. If there’s absolutely anything this whole Web 2.0 movement has taught me is that you can actually trust people to create, be thoughtful and respectful at the same time. Give them the trust and they’ll give you a lovely gift economy.
I guess I’m wondering, what’s stopping the Creative Commons being involved in Second Life? I’m actually asking here! Is there really a need to go as far as the courts to deal with this issue? And does someone really have to be sued in ‘small claims court’ in order for people’s creativity to be protected as their own?
I’m very wary of the advocation to get real world courts involved in issues concerning the metaverse, but I find Second Life a difficult issue. It’s gone so far beyond any definition of a game and the protection of ‘the magic circle’, so I really can’t say if I agree with Mr. Wallace’s post or not, I just thought I’d point it out as an interesting read! But I will concur that I don’t think we can trust technology to govern such worlds! As he so cleverly puts it:

“If the focus remains on technology as enforcer of the law, then it will eventually be (as Lawrence Lessig has pointed out) the technologists who are writing the laws. Now, I’m all for technologists, don’t get me wrong. But we didn’t elect them as legislators, did we?”

Too funny!

Oh…I do understand that the Hot Coffee issue can be hard to grasp for some, I’ve heard my share of weird explanations, but this just made me laugh!! And I just can’t do anything else but cut’n’paste from Kotaku!

KUTV-2 News anchor Bill Gephardt:

“The government reprimands makers of a popular video game. Bill Gephardt says there’s a loophole in this kid’s game that allows players to see porn. Oops! The Federal Trade Commission says that the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has a tricky back door area and with the click of the code word ‘hot coffee’ players can view nudity and play sex games.”

Oh come on! It’s funny!!!

PS. I’m sorry about the blogs confusing layout…something weird is going on with my blog. Links have disappeared and my del.icio.us and papers section have colided! I’m sure it has something to do with my vanity and the desire to change my profile picture a few days back! I’ll try and fix it! But now…the sun is just tooooooooo tempting!