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!

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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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Is the Second Life hype brought on by overly eager marketing types, killing Second Life?

Yesterday my feed reader was bombarded with Norwegian articles and blog posts about Second Life. Now, being a ‘job hunter’ who wants to continue working within the virtual world field, I get quite excited about such days! When I hardly have time to read all the Norwegian news about a virtual world – that means my future job prospects are looking up, right? Ssshhhh – don’t answer that – let me continue being deluded, sometimes ignorance is bliss and hopeful! ;)

The attention, it seems, comes from Wired’s “How Madison Avenue Is Wasting Millions on a Deserted Second Life” by Frank Rose about how most places in Second Life are deserted and businesses aren’t finding the consumer wealth they were looking for. I’m not certain what to make of it all. Two thoughts spring to mind: 1) Refreshing to see Second Life getting som critical press coverage from Wired 2) Do I really care enough about Second Life to go defend it on the different critical Norwegian blogs and websites? Not really.

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MMORPGs in the news

Virtual Worlds have been in the media a lot lately and there’s been so much hype, I sometimes just wanna shout “OH…GET OVER IT!”.

Clickable Culture has a little rant about a Toronto Star article which I found highly amusing.

“On the other hand, it’s supremely social. Players band together, chatting incessantly. They hook up for virtual drinks at the inn, share a slab of wild boar meat. They dance, they have picnics in the woods, they even share a bed on occasion.” Dude, I don’t know what server you are playing on, but I have never heard of players going to an inn in Warcraft for a pint and a slab of meat. Picnics in the woods!?! Cotroneo is embellishing here. Maybe he plays on a server dedicated to role-playing, where players imagined they were eating and drinking together, or having cybersex in the woods, or whatever the hell he thinks he’s talking about.

Oh how I chuckled!

The Norwegian press has actually been rather thorough in what I’ve read at least. Something to be thankful for! ;)

Making sense of virtual property research

I just realized that I haven’t blogged anything about VERN – Virtual Economy Research Network, here! Well…I’m just gonna point you in the direction – to start you off, there’s an interesting post/essay on “Making sense of virtual property research” – I would say it’s a must for anyone wanting to look into such matters! I felt it was very helpful!

MMORPGs as New Media

That’s where I wanna go!!! Well…at the moment at least! I’m sitting here revising some Poster quotes and I’m mesmerised and pumped!!! Medium theory and MMORPGs! It’s perfect! If someday I’m lucky, I wanna write about MMORPGs as a medium – what communication media is available and how people use them! Oh – my mind is ecstatic!!! I can barely just touch the theme in my present work, but it was needed for me to understand what the hell MMORPGs really are, what the play is and how players interact with the software. This whole RMT thing is fascinating – but, you know, I’m gonna leave that to the nerdy economists. Play in MMORPGs as narrative and fiction? Well…definitely interesting and something I’ll keep my eye on. Intellectual Property Rights of gameplay? Argh – enough lawyers on that one – too much law for me – and besides, just considering what national law system to use is dizzying for me!
I was just sitting here working on my intellectual property chapter and squeezing in a few Poster theories and thought “You know, you really should have thought about adding a chapter on MMORPGs as medium – with a touch of technological determinism! But you’re way too late in considering that now!”. But now I just want to finish this sucker and start working on an outline for a doctorate! Yay!!! Finally something ‘goal like’ in sight! Finally something to fight for!! Woo hoo!!! I’m really having an adrenalin kick here!!! ;)

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!”

Historical Simulations and AI

So…Peter S. Jenkins is alive and well…it seems…and challenging my thoughts again. Now…I’ve only skimmed through this, and I honestly can’t decide if he’s gone mad or if he’s one of the genius future thinkers of our time!

I’m gonna have to have another go at it…but let me present you with: “Historical Simulations – Motivational, Ethical and Legal Issues”.

After skimming through it – I feel like I’m still not sure what he means with historical simulations and AIs! I mean…he starts off pretty boldly:

“The notion that the perceived world is an illusion or a simulation has arisen for centuries in the works of philosophers, mathematicians, and social scientists. A recent variant on this theme, posited by Nick Bostrom of the University of Oxford, is that it is possible that we are forms of artificial intelligence in an ancestor, (i.e. historical) simulation created by a future society.”

And then he gets me back to nodding – because he mentions McLuhan’s ‘rearview mirror effect’ and some of Castronova’s ideas of using ‘synthetic worlds’ but I suppose I’m just nodding from recognition – because my hair just rises up when he starts using words like apocalypse!

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