When I was writing my masters I became a fan of T.L. Taylor and her incredible knowledge of play and play culture. She seemed to have an excellent grasp of what was happening with online gaming and the players. I’ve been out of the game for so long that I wasn’t aware that she was researching e-sports and she’s recently written a book called, “Raising the Stakes. E-Sports and the Professionalization of Compute Gaming”. I’ll be buying it and I look forward to reading it. I’m curious about e-sports and T.L. Taylor is such an enjoyable writer that I’m certain I’ll love it. I don’t know why e-sports baffles me because I generally do enjoy watching others play. I’m starting to think it has something to do with the commentators.
Anways … she shares a lovely and powerful video of spectators and players at EVO 2o11 on her blog (which I also just found – I am so way behind!). I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!
Wow! I woke up this morning and started writing this blog post in my head! I haven’t done that in soooooo long! I suppose it’s a sign that it is my last week at work and my own thoughts and desires are starting to come out of their protected shell.
Two weeks ago I was fortunate to catch the back end of an amazing symposium in Bergen called “Data is Political” organised by Amber Frid-Jimenez and Ben Dalton. I suppose I had been too wrapped up in my own life to notice that this event was happening so thank goodness for the fabulous Jill Walker Rettbergwho tweeted from the event. After work I stopped by to catch the panel discussion and get some form of conclusion about what they had been talking about all day. I mean … what an interesting subject for art students and scholars to be discussing? I was so impressed and rather excited!
Super excited! Got to meet John Hunter yesterday and I was instantly smitten and very starstruck.
Setting up the board in Bergen
My partners in crime are generously letting me play which I’m super excited about it. I’ll be working during the day and playing afternoon/night – so any spare time I can get will be focused on rest. I won’t be blogging through the game as I suspect that my focus will be occupied. I’ll write a good debrief here after, though.
I will, however, be posting updates and pictures here:
I was honored to be asked to give a little presentation on Machinima at Scott Rettberg’s “The Network as a Space and Medium for Collaborative Interdisciplinary Art Practice”. I had a great time and met some truly fantastic and inspirational people! I was squeezed in to the topic of Anthropophagy, which I’m still trying to figure out – but will write more about in another blogpost. My initial thought is Machinima is anthropophagic (not sure I can say that – but what the hell – I’ll give it a go) of game narrative – which opens up a whole box of interest worms. But … it’s not a cannibalistic media in itself. But…yeah… we’ll leave room for that somewhere else.
My presentation is available on Google Docs but I’ll cut and paste it here – as the notes are more important than the actual slides (although you can find them by opening the speaker notes).
GAMEPLAYING FOR THE ARTS
When gaming avatars perform for the camera, not for the game
So I finally registrered my masters thesis in the University of Bergen’s archives. I’ve spent the last two years meaning to dig it up and edit and tripple check references, but the will-power just was not there. As for this blog? It’s not dead just yet – I’ve got several posts just waiting for a read-through to be posted – so I’m not ready to cut it off just yet. But no new posts since november? That’s tragic!
My enthusiasm is very focused on my glorious new job at the moment – but I’m noticing that there’s a lot of what I’m doing which can be combined with what this blog is about, I’m just not on certain enough ground to write about it yet. I will, though! ;)
Keep a look out for Jill Walker Rettberg and Hilde Corneliussen‘s Digital Culture, Play and Identity. A World of Warcraft Reader which is now available for pre-order at amazon. The table of contents looks snazy, tasty and delicious. It’s a book I’ll definitely be reading no matter what I’m doing in my life at point of release. I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to have two women like Hilde and Jill at the university. I keep kicking myself, though, for staying the media studies path instead of joining the Humanities. Oh well – such is life. Either way, they’ve been such an inspirational source for me the last couple of years – and I’ve never even had them as a lecturer for any class! Jill’s publications can be found here and Hilde’shere. Seriously, though, whenever I was going mad with the complications of thinking about virtuality, their writings always made me see a light at the end of the tunnel. This promises to be an excellent book. Contributers include: Scott Rettberg, Lisbeth Klastrup, T.L. Taylor, Ragnhild Tronstad, Tanya Krzywinska, Espen Aarseth – and more!
It was fun!
The conference started off with a bang. We got to see Glenn Thomas’ “Ideal World. A Virtual Life Documentary” – which is brilliant (Glenn’s also a super dooper, charming and smart man, by the way!). He’s really managed to get the full compass of The Second Life story into it and I applaud him for it!
The panels were exciting and from vast disciplines – which I thought was great! Some of the conference delegates (220 attending) had some amazing questions to the panels, which brought some great insight and discussion. I’m not too comfortable writing in detail here, as I’m in the middle of writing other articles for a serious publication. I’m not used to all this journalism thinking and I’m not sure what’s allowed and not in duplication matters on my own personal blog. So let me tread lightly till stuff gets published.
I’ve met some truly amazing people which I hope to keep in touch with. Lots of bright and colorful minds were present and I felt so privileged to meet them. All shall be mentioned when I dwell deeper into stuff here.
I found being a ‘journalist’ quite hard, however. Finding stuff that was news worthy for ‘regular people’ was challenging, which is why we’re holding off publication till it’s all in a lovely understandable package. It’s also quite hard finding the correct Norwegian words for stuff – any Norwegian readers out there willing to have a go at ‘in-world’? It’s such a great way to pinpoint what you’re trying to describe, “they met in-world”, “in-world business transaction”, I just can’t seem to find the right Norwegian wording for it. I have also found a great appreciation for the word ‘business’ in English. I think we have about alternatives in Norwegian and I find none of the satisfactory! Speaking of which, I need to get back to work.
Ian Bogost was a guest on The Colbert Report promoting his new book, “Persuasive Games. The Expressive Power of Video Games” – oh the courage!! I have to say, I was partially disappointed and partially impressed. Disappointed by Stephen Colbert, because I didn’t find his jokes that amusing and impressed by Bogost because he articulates his thoughts so well – it must be pure joy to be in his class. I was expecting to have a good chuckle but instead I’m in a pondering mode. Ian Bogost says that video games are an expressive medium because “video games model the way things work”. To me, there’s not question – he brings up an interesting example from San Andreas where the only thing you can eat to get energy levels up is fast food a.s.o. He sums up really nicely by accepting Colbert’s pun on World of Warcraft preparing him for orc invasion “You will be ready to think of the way things work”, the system, the complexity. I think that’s very nicely put. Video games do make you think about the way all things are interconnected and related to each other! Whew – sounds very philosophical! Persuasive Games are designed to comment on society and politics – and they manage to do this through gameplay – not interactive storytelling – but gameplay – they’re really quite genius!
Will you look at that? I can embed a Comedy Central clip – lovely!