Life of a Mii

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"Synthetic Worlds and Public Policy"

Ludium II at Indiana University will focus on what ‘synthetic worlds and public policy’ this year.Great!

I hope that a good and healthy array of people will be present. I, for example, would like to see some public policy enforcers present – see what they have to say on the subject. These are difficult questions – and the more diversity discussing them – the more I think they can come up with an adequate proposal. I cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to bring ‘actual’ laws into gaming worlds – and yet I do believe avatars have rights too. But should it be controlled by consumer laws?
I think it is in the best interests of the synthetic world makers to have adequate laws and procedures – but there are limits to the responsibilities that can be enforced on them. I also think that in such debates you cannot dismiss the dilemma of defining what is a gaming world and what is a virtual (synthetic) world.Either way, it looks like Castronova and his bunch have created a great Ludium in the best possible form this year again!

Ludium II will bring together experts on virtual worlds from academia, industry, and government to play a live-action political game leading to an extremely serious, timely, and important contribution: a consensus Platform of 10 Statements answering the question “What policies should real world governments have with regards to synthetic worlds?” The hope is that this Platform will provide answers when legislatures and administrators wonder what to do in response to the critical public issues that will be raised by these unique social technologies.

Good luck!!!

Bogost finds the words

Just stopping by to share this amazing quote by Bogost in Gamasutra’s ‘Are Games Art? “Here we go again.”

“Film can be used for deeply charged emotional expression, or it can be used to show you how to use the oxygen mask in case of cabin depressurization. If video games are indeed a medium, then they too will speak on different registers. “If you look at the world of ‘serious games,’ a lot of those titles are much closer to the airline safety video than to ‘Citizen Kane,'”Bogost adds. “And like film or TV or painting, there will be different modes of video game craft. There will be pop-art games and self-referential postmodern games and exploitative games and games made solely to cash in on intellectual property like Sponge Bob.”

Naw – I haven’t actually read it – but found the quote at Water Cooler Games and I’ve been thinking about it all day! So much so that I’m getting very distracted from work. But I suppose I knew that would happen eventually!

Women game bloggers

Every now and then a ‘battle of the sexes’ discussion comes up in the gaming blogosphere which always stirs up a loud debate. Personally I think these debates can be healthy because I’m always introduced to new voices, which I enjoy. I may be getting old because I really don’t get provoked by the sexist comments – instead they just make me chuckle.

Recently Crecente from Kotaku wondered why there aren’t more female gaming bloggers. Apparently Kotaku’s looking to expand their repertoire and want to include a female voice in their writing staff – well good for them.

The shocker, however was:

‘But despite my digging around and my somewhat overt nosing around at GDC, I was hard-pressed to find the same sort of, for lack of a better term, job pool that I usually find with male writers.’

My experience coincides with ‘Always Makes Me LOL’ Amber Night:

‘This seems a little strange to me, since my own experience has been that there is fairly large pool of female bloggers in the gaming space’

I find it incredibly odd. And I have to admit that a thought passed through my mind wondering if Crecente posted this piece just so we could point him in the right direction so he didn’t have to bother looking.

So yet again ‘the battle of the sexes’ discussion has produced something wonderful. One Hundred Little Dolls has written a list of female gaming bloggers and I’m sure we’ll see it growing too! A joy to see some locals on the list: Jill Walker, Hilde Corneliussen and Torill Mortensen – I’m so proud! I can’t wait to go on a little link adventure and explore these blogs! Wouldn’t it be precious if T.L. Taylor started blogging?!

flOw

I remember reading small tidbits of information about this game – but hadn’t tried it until now. It’s absolutely stunning!

flOw is a masters in fine arts thesis by Jenova Chen and Nicholas Clark at the University of Southern California. From what I understand, they’ve used Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of flow to investigate why some games are more mesmerising than others. I haven’t read the thesis yet, but the game is just luscious and beautiful!

I can’t help but feel like I’m meditating while playing! So play!