While I’m figuring this blog out…

and making it feel like home and trying to create some kind of order in chaos, please enjoy a talk between Henry Jenkins and Neil Gaiman. Two very brilliant men!
Thanks Neils!

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Good Golly, I’m published!

Will you look at that? My name published in a Norwegian financial paper (well…the IT section, at least). It’s all a bit scary. And by golly I’ve promised to come with a series of articles! The pressure is on!

To be honest, I’m quite frightened about the law of it all, I’m still not sure I comprehend all that was talked about at the conference. Will have to dig deeper, I think. And I’m suppossed to be on holiday?! Naw – no use complaining – I’m lovin’ it!

I, journalist

Huh…exactly one week from today I’ll be prancing around the Marina Mandarin Singapore with a press badge! Yup – that’s right! I’ve actually been commissioned to write about the State of Play conference! So apparently, dreams really do come true!

It’s very bizarre being all proffessional. I’m so used to waving my arms franticly in the air only to be ignored and disappointed again and again, which then is followed by a lot of bitching and complaining about how negative and stupid the Norwegian industry is. Now, I’ve actually managed to get an audience which I have to admit has got me a tiny little bit freaked. It’s just so much more easier and comfortable sitting in the backseat complaining, than actually well…doing something constructive. So now that I have the attention, what is it really I want to say? Why exactly have I been franticly waving my hands in the air for attention?

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Just a heads-up

  • Chris Bateman’s got a list of the nine basic player types discussion going on at his blog, Only A Game, which is very interesting – I’m always very tickled by the names people use to describe player types. He’s got the conqueror, manager, wanderer, participant, hoarder, zoner, juggernaut, monster and hotshot. The difficult thing about creating player types is that it becomes hard to distinguish between a play method and a player ‘type’, at least that’s what I found in my work. For example a conqueror may easily use one of a hoarder’s play method – but is not a hoarder because of it, she is still a conqueror. This confused me, but it seems Wise Mr. Bateman’s got a good handle on things – I’m looking forward to seeing what he comes up with. The really interesting part was the beginning of the post:

Below you will find descriptions of nine hypothetical player patterns that
I would expect to find by examining the gaming audience in terms of the
following three areas: Caillois’ patterns of play,
Agon, Alea, Mimicry
and
Ilinx, plus Ludus and Paidia. No study has ever been conducted on player attitudes to these patterns, and I believe it could be useful.
Emotions. Not just the ones Nicole Lazzaro reports in her Four Keys Model (which of course I adore), but all the emotions that might apply: Sadness/Agony, Anger, Surprise/Fear, Disgust/Contempt, Amusement, Contentment, Excitement/Relief, Wonder, Bliss, Fiero, Naches, Elevation, Gratitude, Schadenfreude, Guilt/Shame, Embarrassment, and Envy. Plus emotion-like behaviours such as Curiosity, Belonging and Greed. (See
here for more information). I expect to broadly validate the Four Keys model, strengthen the implied connection between Anger and Fiero, and demonstrate further connections previously unexplored such as Amusement outside of People Fun and Contentment as a key play emotion previously overlooked because of the method used for Four Keys. Skills (derived from Temperament Theory), namely Strategic, Tactical, Logistical and Diplomatic skill sets.

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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?!

Help – stressed!! – updated!

Kjellvis found it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!

Earlier today (this is a weird way of updating a post, huh?):

I’m at work which allows for near zero surf time – and I’m freaking out about my oral exam/defence of thesis and phd proposal deadline tomorrow. I don’t know how I’m going to get everything done by tomorrow when I actually have to work to pay the rent! Annoying!

But anyways – I’m looking for a video – which my stressed out googling skills just can’t find and would adore any help!

About a year ago (I think – time is such an demented factor) a video circled the web of some boys playing a game on their computer. It looked something like Battlefield – but I’m not sure. They were torturing the poor avatar soldier – crashing him against walls and making him fall off high buildings. Suddenly the door to the boy’s room is kicked in and the avatar gets his revenge. I’m sure I found the film at Kotaku – but I can’t seem to enter from this lovely computer.

So? Do you know what I’m talking about? Oh I will love you forever if you bother sending it to me!!!! Would be a tremendous help!!!

I suppose I should include some Valentine’s thing here as well, like everyone else – but today I reserve the right to be a bitter old fat hag! So there! Hehe! Who said I was in a bad mood?

Reputation

I’m extremely tired at writing moment, but I couldn’t sleep because my head is just filled with thoughts that I just need to get out! So please excuse me for not linking to smart people – this is just me!
I kinda freaked out today, when I realised that my whole thesis is about reputation! It’s everywhere – and I wasn’t aware of it! It really scared the bejeebles out of me! When discussing the ontological state and identity of the avatar, reputation is essential. When discussing ownership and the attachment to virtual gaming goods, reputation is important. I had an interesting conversation with a friend who’s a WoW’er a while back (may have blogged about it actually) and he had been playing Oblivion for a while, which he thought was really cool but he missed the ‘bragging’ that WoW gave him. There he could show off the gains and riches from all his labor, he couldn’t do that with a single player game. And I think this is a perfect example of why players become so attached to their virtual property.

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The State of Play book!


I’ve pretty much accepted that my thesis is just a summary of discussions about MMORPGs. When you start out such things, you always think you’re gonna write something new – but, naw! I’ve foolishly created my own typology though – I don’t know what I was thinking, it just felt like something that needed to be done! I’m waiting for a ‘go ahead’ from my darling advisor, now, while I’m trying to sum up…well…way too much actually! The ontology of the avatar (oh please inject me with an instant psychology degree!), intellectual property rights of avatar created content (oh please inject me with a law degree!) and MMORPGs – collaborative fiction, society or gameplay? (urgh – still working on the set-up there).
ANYWAYS!!! I say that it’s all about summing up the discussions – and they can all be found in this new book!!! Excellent that they’ve published it all in one book! What I’ve always loved about the subject of MMORPGs is the involvement from so many disciplines! There’s lively discussions between designers, lawyers, economist, psychologist, anthropologists, historians, sociologists and…urgh…you name the field and they’re probably heavily involved already! If you’re interested in studying MMORPGs, buy this book! It’s ESSENTIAL!!! No matter what field you’re coming from! I hate to be an advertisement but BUY THIS BOOK!!!!!!
I’ll probably be back later to link to the brilliant minds behind it – but I’ve spent way too long with my morning news and coffee and must dash to dive into work!!

Free Yourself


I had a conversation with a fellow student the other day and we both figured out that our executive decision to stop gaming so that we could finish our thesis’ was a really bad idea!!! We both concluded that we would be finished now if we had continued gaming!! It’s all about instant happiness and gratification!!! So yeah! Free Yourself!!!!! ;)

From Wooster Collective.

Entertainment, Games, Technology – wOOt?!

There’s been some interesting blogposts lately about the frustrations of what articles to put where, what to discuss where and what words describe what?

Aleks, at The Guardian Games Blog ponders on the acceptability to blog about social software in a games oriented blog. Second Life (which my puter stubbornly is denying me access to), MySpace, Flickr and del.icio.us all encompass play, as well – but is it right to discuss them in a games blog?

“For me, social software often fits the bill more so than goal-directed environments in which I have to shoot things (badly), solve puzzles (incorrectly) or collect items I don’t care about (slowly). Yet in these environments there is play. Even if the play is not formal, there are playful experiences. And so I think they deserve as much time on here as the latest chart toppers.”

I think I disagree. I think we’ve moved beyond this now – these places deserve their own spaces for discussion. But ofcourse, sometimes these social software sites produce games as well and sometimes people make some fascinating gaming observations of them, like “Digg-ing the game”! Which definitely deserves discussion in a games blog!

Meanwhile, over at Wonderland, Alice ponders about BBC’s editorial decision to report that the World of Warcraft expansion is delayed in the Technology section, alongside news about YouTube and Google. I think a lot of news about World of Warcraft is very interesting to technology readers and definitely deserves space there as a lot of what’s going on there has to do with technology, culture and society. But that the expansion is delayed is pure entertainment news, to be sure! I understand that it can be confusing at times, though. Seb Potter has a comment which I agree with:

“I’d like to see “Virtual” as a section, but I guess you’d start to need to just duplicate all the categories of real-life news eventually.”

I’m partial to ‘Virtual Life’ as a section. Some World of Warcraft news is pure gaming news, technology news and virtual life news – we shouldn’t have to think that just because World of Warcraft is a game, that all news from within has to be documented in a games section. And I certainly feel that there is room for another section of news with the title ‘Virtual Life’ – I’m sure most gamers who don’t play Second Life are extremely tired of all the Second Life news in their medium, and well…Second Life isn’t a game! BUT! If someone were to design a really cool game in Second Life – I’m sure they’d love to read about it! And as for the technology section, I’m sure the social impact new technology has had in MMORPGs is only interesting to a certain point, I think it’s time to move on! Unless you’re actually interested in ‘virtual life’! Sigh…am I making any sense?
It certainly is obvious that we’re at a crossroads here, which is so exciting! I can imagine myself as a granny someday saying “Oh…I remember back when we thought these worlds were just games for pure entertainment! Ha ha ha! We were so naive!”