Virtual World Travel Agency

This is great!!! A virtual guide service, Synthravels!! I love the idea! Clickable Culture reports about this new business that has started to offer guided tours for “those who wish to tour virtual worlds even without the necessary experience” – I love it! I haven’t tried it out yet, but I’ve registered with my preferred time and can’t wait to have a look at all the worlds I just don’t have the capasity and time to experience first hand!

“Synthtravels was conceived by Mario Gerosa and by Matteo Esposito.”

‘Protectors’ an independent player group?

Deadlines are truely a wonderful thing! Because otherwise I’m certain nothing would ever get published! I’ve currently got 4 chapters up and running on the screen because I’ve figured out that’s the best way for me to work, it helps me see the flow of my arguments – and it also messes things up all the freakin time! I’m so sick and tired of second guessing all my statements – I just wanna get this over with already, so I can move on! But sometimes I just have to face the fact that I’ve overlooked some crucial, fundamental and important facts! It’s devastating finding these things so late in the process that tears seem to flow constantly (so glad I’m a woman) and I’m amazed I still have hair on my head as pulling them seems to satisfy my bursts of anger! Reasonable arguments like I shouldn’t care so much and I should stop overthinking things just refuses to hit home with me! Argh! So…after revealing my psychological and personal breakdown let me present you with my current dilemma!

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Shooter!


How cool is this?!!! Shooter is an art project based on a video and pictures of players at private LAN parties organised by the artists Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann. Vigourating!!!

The abstract:

The two-part work “Shooter” by the artist duo Geissler and Sann consists of a video and photo documentation of LAN parties organised by the artists in their studio over a period of a year and a half. Both the video sequences and the photo documentations show the players front-on against a neutral background from a constant camera angle.
The video, on show at the exhibition, observes the players during a fight scene, i.e. while they are killing or getting killed in the virtual world of the network while sitting in the same room as their adversaries. The video shows moments of intense concentration of a temporary tension characterised by inner drama. According to the artists, “The viewer … witnesses a life-and-death game with no consequences”.
“Shooter” presents a test set-up with which to analyse the human relation to real and virtual spaces and the associated gestures and facial expressions. At the same time, the artists question the function of the real body and the game of identities with reference to New Technologies.
The specially installed web site features a documentation and a guest book in which the portrayed players can leave their comments.
(Silke Albrecht)

Found at Game Scenes (which I don’t have time to investigate further at the moment, but definitely on top of my ‘to do’ list!)

South Korean gaming culture


The New York Times has an interesting piece on the gaming culture in South Korea. It’s so well written and balanced that it just deserves a mention here!

Seth Schiesel
really makes an effort in understanding why pc gaming is such a vital part of Korean culture. Several interesting points, really.

Lee Chung Gi, owner of the Intercool bang, said: “It’s impossible for students in any country to study all the time, so they are looking for interesting things to do together. In America they have lots of fields and grass and outdoor space. They have lots of room to play soccer and baseball and other sports. We don’t have that here. Here, there are very few places for young people to go and very little for them to do, so they found PC games, and it’s their way to spend time together and relax.”

Which reminded me of Henry Jenkins’ “Complete Freedom of Movement”.

He also mentions the Korean student work culture and how parents are encouraging their kids to play to ease the stress of expectations. But he doesn’t deny that there is a problem with gaming addiction as well.

Great lazy Sunday reading and there’s even a multimedia presentation! And you just have to love the fact that they have loveseats in PcBangs, like in this picture! I’ve got to take a tour of Internet Cafés here in Bergen to see if anything similar exists here!

Brought to my attention by fascinating blogger Alice in Wonderland.

Bully

You can’t really surf through the web, like I do, and not have heard of Rockstar’s new Bully! I’m certain most households are aware of it’s existence and that it’s coming out October 17th. There have been protests and court cases. All of these, include Jack Thompson, ofcourse! I mean…how irresponsible to come with comments like “Columbine Simulator” – that’s just tearing up wounds and fears that should be left to heal.
I haven’t played it yet, but I really can’t wait! And after watching the trailer, bellow, I can’t help thinking that this game is really a social commentary! An investigation into school politics from the kids perspective, if you will! But ofcourse I may be wrong! I just seems to me that the game is trying to mediate something, actually using game as media! Oh how I love that!

World of Warcraft raid

I got this charming mashup animation of a WoW raid by Deluthor in my mailbox the other day – and I have to say it gave me a few giggles! A wonderful little piece expressing exactly how intense these raids can be! Not to mention how authoritarian the leaders get!

And the language? Well, I think it’s only natural that swearwords become so essential in expressing anger, because they’re words that everyone understands, no matter where in the world you come from! But if you’re going to watch it at work with speakers, and not headphones I have to say, NSFW! ;)

Thanks, sis!!

Sometimes…things just get way out of hand!

I absolutely adored the WoW South Park episode! There was just too much laughter in that episode and so many things to pick up on! I even had to smile at the GTA style carjacking by Stan’s dad, but this, however does not make it into the wiki on the episode! Oh yeah! That’s right! They’ve got it all! The inconsistencies, the goofs, the ‘who has what’ armour!

Well…at least all the facts are recorded! But jeez! Talk about information overflow!!

“Trailers for this episode show Stan and Kyle in what appears t be the Undercity, right after Kenny is killed. In the airing of the show, they were in Goldshire”

Oh…I was wrong…the carjacking is listed!

Although…comments like “Crushing an enemy’s head into a bloody pulp as depicted in the final fight is impossible in the game” can be useful to worried parents? If they’re too frightened to ask their children, they can always look it up in Wikipedia?

Happy Birthday André Nerheim!

One of my favourite men in the world is 30 today!!! Amazing! He’s even got the prime minister of Norway on film wishing him a happy birthday! Just goes to show what a brilliant enthusiastic politician he is! A great friend that goes out of his way to make people happy and is always available for a helping hand!

I admire and love him and I’m so freakin privileged to have him as friend! And like every woman who knows him – I feel we look like the PERFECT couple! Hehe!!! Have a great birthday, darlin’! And thanks for a glorious and spectacular party!

An while I’m at it, congrats to Kjell Magnus and Lisbeth’s beautiful Saga! Born October 5th 11.10pm! Seiously! Can you think of a better name than Saga?!! The girl is just destined to have an adventurous life!!

Sorry about the personal! But this was just too important! Sorry…something funky going on with my blogger account…pictures are proving to be a difficult task!

What I’ve learned – Part 1

I’m wrapping up my typology of TSO players and intellectual property rights chapters this weekend and I’m getting kind of sentimental and sad about ending a chapter in my life also – and all my…ehm…work being visible on paper. I could have easily finished this sucker a year ago, but then I would have missed out on a few thoughts and new insights. But I suppose that also has contributed to my low self esteem and the constant second guessing of my thoughts, memories, sentences, conclusions, understandings, sanity and intelligence. So I’m not recomending the extra year, far from it, but I’m just saying that I’m glad I took it. I’ve had such a great time, learning so incredibly much – both relevant and irrelevant.

One thing that I absolutely adore and despise about Media Studies is that it encompasses so incredibly much! Back in my bachelor days I never quite got into the spirit of ‘reading’ film – I mean, sure! I loved reaching for hidden meanings and mis-en-scene and – well, to be honest I’m getting bored just writing about it now, so maybe ‘love’ is too strong a word here. Two semesters of film classes was quite enough for me. Anyways…I was lucky and privileged to have Tiziana Terranova introduce me to…ehm…I think we called it Cyberculture, back then (1997-2000) – which blew my mind and woke my desire to learn more! I remember becoming a huge Baudrillard and Foucault fan and discussing hyperreality with passion at the local pub. Ooooh! I’m about to give you my life story here aren’t I? I suppose my point is that I come from a Media Studies background, a part of the Cultural Studies movement (?). On paper I can supposedly ‘read’ film, pictures, commercials and understand media politics (hahahahaha!) and well at least discuss the issues of identity in media and semiotics.

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