I’ve never ever regretted my decision to start back at university and write about virtual gaming worlds. I mean…I started my Masters degree because I wanted to study and research virtual worlds – the actual degree is just a perk! Hmmm…does that make me a nerd? Never thought it would take me this long, however!! So much information to process!! I have, however, regretted many many many times on The Sims Online! But in hindsight, I feel it’s good to have knowledge and insight on what doesn’t work! But…you know I’m babling! Oh hell! It’s my blog!

Anyways…it’s been one of the few choices in my life that’s made me truely happy! One thing that’s always annoyed me, however, is that I could never seem to find the courage and strength to write papers for conferences so I could participate! So many fabulous debates! I’ve been saying for the past year that if I won the lottery I would just travel around going to all these conferences and meeting all these super brilliant minds!!

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Reservoir Dogs Marketing Campaign

I’m glad I’m alone here right now and no serious students around trying to study! I just had one of my surfing breaks from my hellish monstrosity and was introduced to the Reservoir Dogs Game ads!!! I love them!!! I’m sorry – I know they’re crude and all that….but I’m certainly smitten!!!
Aleks at the Guardian Games Blog asks if it isn’t illegal to use kids to promote something “that would give broadcast output an 18+ rating”? That’s an interesting question actually! How exactly are broadcasting regulations and the internet combined?! Ooooohhh!!! This would be a great subject for a Master’s thesis!!! Although I’m sure it’s already been written a lot about….seems so familiar…yet I cannot remember what the law is! Must restrain myself from searching for the info – MUST FINISH, MUST FINISH!!!

Anyways! Hope you enjoy them just as much as I did!


So…yeah…lost my mind and can’t think straight apparently!!

Here’s a simple sentence I managed to struggle with! Let me know which one you prefer; “When the ‘self’ is projected onto cyberspace…” or “When the ‘self’ is projected into cyberspace…”? Actually may want to change cyberspace to virtual world. Oh the DETAILS!!!

And here’s a thought I had while walking to uni today…I wonder if players who change their avatars often in MMOs have the same attachment to the game as those who like to stick to a favorite?

Ooh! In the spirit of…you know…just airing out stuff…I just had a conversation with a WoW’er about why MMORPGs are great fun! He says that half the joy is the ability to show off all the cool things you’ve managed to win, accumulate and make! We were comparing the joys of Oblivion and WoW. He asked me if this wasn’t true also for The Sims Online and I have to say no – actually the exact opposite is true! The Sims was such more an online hit that The Sims Online because of the community forums! People make stuff and share and download and can really show off with what they do in The Sims – whereas with The Sims Online was too bogged down with rules to spark innovation so rarities became really boring after a while! Funny that!

Oooh…and look at that (yup…reading through written work)! I’ve defined gold farmers as exploiters – I’m not sure that’s right! Which makes me wonder if gold farmers can be included in any players taxonomy. I don’t think so….huh…we’ll see what happens when I try excluding them! Ahhhh!!! The ‘buyers’ are definitely exploiters!

Anyways, have a fabulous day!!! I know I’m not!!

The Crying Game

“You can’t put emotion into games. Games are just code, they just sit there – the emotion is in the player”

Huh…well this is interesting! The words were uttered by Margaret Robertson, Editor of Edge Magazine at the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival.

She had an interesting observation on the Final Fantasy issue (you know…the ‘games that make you cry’ issue). In Ren Reynolds‘ Gamasutra write up of her talk:

“The popular theory about why Final Fantasy is emotionally engaging, Robertson explained, is that it’s because of the story, but she added: “No one can ever remember what the story was”. What people do remember are individual characters and the impact their stories have on us as players. An example of this is the character of Vivi, who experiences an emotional rollercoaster near the end of the game.
With Vivi, “…you always had the sense that something tragic was about to happen” Robertson said, but it is important to understand the events in the context of played experience. When we are hit with the revelations about the character the player has probably been with the game for 20 hours or so, usually spread over weeks. In this case, Robertson said ‘it’s not emotional sophistication, it’s attrition’.”

She provides some fabulous examples of emotions and games, even where they seem unlikely, such as Ouendan – and does a fairly convincing argument that “One thing that is often overlooked is that making someone cry can be a mechanical process”.

What’s the point of having a blog if I don’t share?

I’ve noticed that my del.icio.us’ing has minimized my blogging immensley! And I have way too many posts that I haven’t finished yet! Sometimes I just don’t post stuff because I’m sure EVERYONE’S informed from somewhere else, which is the case with this lovely coke ad! I didn’t want to like it, but I think it’s just beautiful!!!! I’m gonna see if I can tidy things up this week and get some of these unfinished posts out, blog the stuff tagged ‘toblog’ – and then there’s THE WORK!

Ludic Spray and Adult cultural preferances

Jeez! The folks over at Guardian Games Blog are back full swing after the summer and with impeccable style!!! I just have to cut’n’paste their stuff here!
Good pondering reliable Aleks has discussed with her friends and come up with a brilliant new word: Ludic Spray!

“At a meeting last month, a group of us decided to term this sort of thing “ludic spray,” inspired by Zimmerman and Salen’s definition of a “game,” from their book Rules of Play, and further extrapolated by Zimmerman here:

Game Play is the formal play of a game that occurs when players follow rules…

Ludic Activities are other kinds of activities that we would recognize as play (two dogs chasing each other, two kids rough-housing, someone casually tossing and catching a ball)…

The “spray,” therefore, is the stuff that is inspired by a formal game but doesn’t adhere to its rules. This can be anything from fan fiction to independent spin-offs to formal business ventures (as in the case of the previously-mentioned economies).”

I shout yay! for effort! But…I honestly have a hard time believing it’s not more complicated than that! Seems a bit too simple! Not that I mind simple, it just encompasses too much – and it becomes more like the dust bunnies I shove under the sofa, you know?
Anyways…she had a great link in there to a Zimmerman interview, where he discusses definitions of game, play, narrative and well…the usual yoo ha – Klabbers’ people and Young’un Stavelin should find it interesting!
Also!!! Greg comments

“And yes, I know games mags are aimed at a much younger audience – Edge aside – but seeing the sci-fi/fantasy hegemony splattered across 90 odd pages made you realise that the industry has a long way to go if it wants to gain or retain the interest of adults whose cultural interests extend beyond Lord of the Rings and Star Trek.”

Too right!

Sigh! Too many interesting reads!!! Too little time in the day!!! Need to get back to work!

News Games

So there’s two new News Games (I guess that’s what we’re calling them now) out, that just claw viciously at my definition of game.
Either way, they weren’t very enjoyable for me and I’m saddened that anyone would! I suppose this is why the word ‘fun’ isn’t a requisite in any formal definition of game. Nasral is…well…just filled with some really nasty connotations! Which I suppose has all the qualities to properly be defined as a game, just my lack of fun while playing it. But fun is a point of view, isn’t it? I mean, I don’t have fun playing car racing games either (hmm…should brush up on my Koster). So I guess it’s a perfect example of how games can ‘mean’ something, and I’m not just talking narrative here, we’re talking real Bogostian theory! And then there’s this one with Google maps – impossible to gain points, which I guess is the point! Gruesome!
(via Guardian Games Blog via WaterCoolerGames)