William Gibson coming to Second Life!

Wow! It’s a whole event, not just a lecture!

“Over the next few weeks – to celebrate and, yes, promote his new novel
Spook Country – we’re planning a range of William Gibson activities in Second
Life; we’re screening his fine and strange movie No Maps for These Territories;
there’s a competition to design an avatar for the man himself; we’re giving away
shipping containers packe with Gibson goodies and at the beginning of August,
William Gibson himself will be coming into Second Life to read from Spook
Country and answer questions.'”

Sounds like a kids tv show only for grown-up nerds. I’ll be signing on – I have no intention of trying to design his avatar (what a daunting task) but I wouldn’t mind watching No Maps for These Territories in Second Life.

You know what I’d pay to see? A debate between William Gibson’s Cyberspace vs. Neal Stephenson’s Metaverse – with visuals! Gorr! That’d actually be a great movie, if done wisely and creatively! ‘

Seems like we need to sign on to get the schedule.

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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!)

So…anyways…

I know I’ve been doing a lot of cut’n’pasting on this blog lately, I do apologize to those who are waiting for my analytical academic insights . I guess I’ve been trying to resist my first impulsive of “Ooh! There’s a thought! I should blog about that” and instead diving straight into my thesis and documenting it there! So my blog writing is just amusing little tidbits I come across on my daily surfsessions. But maybe I should be pasting some extracts from my thesis in here? We’ll see what happens. Right now I’m just obsessing about sewing all my random thoughts and analysis together so that something that can at least resemble some wholeness is presentable. It’s really scary how many times I contradict myself in this process! But yeah…before I go off on a “I take myself too seriously” tantrum – for your amusement:

The spectacular Raph Koster’s written “The Ten Commandments of Online Worlds”, which is, as expected, insightful and adorable!

1. Thou shalt not mistake online worlds for games, for they encompass far more; nor shalt thou forget that play is noble, and game is no epithet.

2. Thou shalt not disrespect thy players, nor treat them as mere database entries or subscriptions, but rather as people, for thy power is granted you by them.
3. Thou shalt not remove fun or implement unfun for the sake of longer subscriber longevity, nor shalt thou consider thy sort of fun to be the only sort of fun to be had, for many and mysterious are the ways of enjoyment.
4. Thou shalt not blindly do what has been done before, but rather shalt know why all is as it is, and how it could be different.
5. Thou shalt create and follow rules that bind thyself as well as the players, for thou art of the community, not above it.
6. Thou shalt not make thy world a place for players to do real harm unto one another, or for thee to do harm unto players.
7. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s userbase, but instead be true to thine own userbase, for thou hast made them a garden, and thy job is cultivation.
8. Thou shalt make every activity within thy world one that stands alone enjoyably; if it be a game, then thou shouldst make it a fun game on its own merits; if it be other, then thou shouldst make it true to itself. Thy world doth not make boring things into enjoyable things merely because it is thy world.
9. There shalt be no number nine.
10. Honor thy ancestors, for they solved most of thy design problems.

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Sony Station Exchange and GMs responsabilities

So, yeah! I’m still trying to write about intellectual property rights within MMORPGs. I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that reputation is a commodity in MMORPGs, both for the game developers and the gamers themselves, and I’m wondering if it is this reputation that is or should be protected within intellectual property rights! Firstly I’ve used Eriksson and Grill’s DiGRA 2005 paper “Who owns my avatar? – Rights in virtual property” for inspiration to illustrate the different interests game developers and gamers have in intellectual property rights. From their excellent paper:

“Two main interests are discernible in connection to the game producers:

  1. Subscription interest – virtual trade may decrease a game producer’s income from subscriptions. If new players buy advanced characters for real money they won’t have to spend time in the game (which they consequently would have to pay for) advancing their own avatars. The subscription interest is also affected by the fact that the game producer may get a bad reputation by letting people with more money than time buy themselves into the game, resulting in gamers leaving the virtual world
  2. Control interest – developers have an interest in remaining in control over their creation. In part, this may be a purely creative interest, quite separable from the subscription interest. Often, producers wish that their virtual world should remain a game only. The recognition of ownership rights in the virtual world of their game may thus conflict with their wish to control that world. Producers therefore try to establish norms implying that trade in virtual property with real money should not exist”