Spillpikene and I are collecting used games for youths with cancer

A while back I read about this gorgeous room that was built at my local hospital. It’s a room for youths fighting cancer (plea

se note that they categorise youths as those aged between 15 and 35 – this pleased me so) to hang out and escape their everyday ordeals.

So for those who don’t know, I’m also blogging at another site in Norwegian called Spillpikene. I’ve blogged about them here before – but we didn’t start blogging together until spring 2009. Well – I say blogging – but I have to admit that I’ve been a slowpokey there as well, the girls have been good at keeping it alive.

Anyhow – I decided that it would be cool if Spillpikene and I started a drive to collect used games that have meant a lot to people in times of turmoil. Let’s face it – games help us escape – and by golly life needs escaping at times! And some games have helped us through hard ordeals and I wanted people to donate a game that helped them through a hard time. Of course loads of people thought this was a brilliant idea – but I have yet to receive a single one.

Why yes – I’m extremely disappointed. Spillpikene and I have, however, donated Playstation 2, Buzz handsets, 2 Buzz games and some more. Electronic Arts has also given a generous donation and Nintendo has donated a Wii. So it’s not all bad – I’m just wanting more!

So please – if you have a used game to help someone going through a hellish fight – send it to:

Linn Søvig
Aad Gjellesgate 12
5036 Bergen
Norway

Board games are definitely welcome as well!  And please do remember that we’re in Europe and under the zone 2 restrictions!

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Play with your food


So – things have been dead here lately ey?

Well…I’m still busy being a communications consultant, which I’ve started blogging about a zillion times but never seem to dare to publish. A lot of that has to do about establishing several online identities that have nothing to do with one another and a lot about being scared about practicing what I’ve been preaching for the last few months. Also – to be quite honest – I’ve been trying to train my brain to think better in Norwegian. Only reading Norwegian and only writing in Norwegian. This blog throws me off the flow of Norwegian thoughts – and I need to be good in both languages. That said!

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Games seminar

Or symposium (do I need a phd-degree to understand the differences between them?).

Floating Points 6. Games of Culture | Art of Games

Is a symposium, film screening and workshop in Boston, Massachusetts on the 20th and 21st of March.

They’re livestreaming the event and I hope that will include the workshop because Friedrich Kirschner is having a workshop entitle “Introduction to Machinima” – which I would love to witness.

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New Machinima Night at Landmark

Yup! We’ll be going at it again. I was so pleased with the turn-out last year and I hope it will be just as succesful this year!

On the 13th of November, Tracy Harwood, the manager of the European Machinima Festival 2007 will be visiting us here in Bergen to talk about machinima. There’s still some organising left. But she definitely is coming and we’re really pleased about that! It will be great to have an expert to listen to!

There will of course be viewings of films. If anyone has anything new they want to show – please let me know!

Anyways…November 13th! We look forward to seeing you there!

I’ve been so back and forth about how to organise this event that I’ve completely lost track! Time to bunker down, I think. I was fiddling with the idea of creating a work shop type event – but I think I’ve let that idea go into the “when I have the energy to be overly ambitious” file.

I leave you now with some documentary footage of the machinamite! Enjoy!

Poster Game

Molleindustria has come out with a new game called The Free Culture Game. It’s interesting. I couldn’t win it, but I’m sure that’s the whole point behind it.

The Free Culture Game is a game about the struggle between free culture and copyright. Create and defend the common knowledge from the vectorial class. Liberate the passive consumers from the domain of the market.

Ian Bogost notes Paolo Pedercini as describing this as a ‘poster game’ for Exgae. It’s a great new genre or concept. Lots of the flash games we see can be described as poster games. I’m quite amused by the concept.

Thoughts on analysing Machinima – part 1

I’m not a big fan of the notion that machinima will replace the art of animation. Machinima is something completely different, in my opinion. Like Henry Lowood says:

“It is important to recall that the origins of machinima lie not in content production, but in gameplay” (Lowood, 2006 in Video Games and Art)

It is something that has evolved from high-performance gameplay to brilliant meaningful content, but the essence is still gameplay. The ability to master a game so well that you can bend it and form it into your own mold of content, your own story, your own expression.

Dr. Lowood again:

“Depicting machinima as high-performance play stems from its emergence from inter-relationships of play, spectatorship, technical virtuosity and storytelling in computer games. Each of these factors played a role in defining the practices of machinima as practices of game performance.”(Lowood, 2006, Video Games and Art)

So how should we go about deconstructed machinima, finding it’s meaning, it’s aura – it’s true art?

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Grimm – FINALLY!

Don’t miss the first episode of American McGee’s Grimm, which is available for free at Gametap on Thursday, 31st of July.

I’ve been looking forward to this for so long. McGee’s an excellent…ehm…I wanna say interactive storyteller…but…fairytale converter, maybe? It’s too easy to say that he’s a great artist. What can I say? He manages to combine the beauty of great storytelling with the joy of wonderful gameplay mechanics in such a delightful and meaningful way.

The game will be available as episodes. This will be the firt episodic game I’ve played and I’m quite eager to see how well games work as episodes. Although, saying that, I’m still playing Play the News – which I suppose is also a form of episodic gaming.

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Alice

Some day I will reveal my Alice in Wonderland fascination here – but for now I give you this spectacular machinima by Jovial Productions. I mean – by golly! It’s made with The Sims – how? – I honestly don’t understand it! I’ve always liked Marilyn Manson’s version of Sweet Dreams, as well – so this was just a win win for me! I love it!

49% Casual Gamers play everyday

Chris Bateman’s got some interesting results from a survey they’ve done for a new player model, with 1040 responses.

Of those who classify themselves as casual gamers 49% play every day! Sounds like a statistic Jesper Juul would be interested in.

Also only 1.25% enjoy games without stories. I think that’s interesting.

We’ve received 1,040 responses to the survey, of which 55% (576) are from North America, 30% (317) are from Western Europe or the UK, 5% (52) are from Australasia, and a few responses from everywhere else in the world besides.

The majority of respondents play games every day (66%), with many of the others playing every week (26%). Interestingly, of those that self-identified as “Hardcore”, 81% play every day, and of those that self-identified as “Casual”, 49% play every day. It seems that even people who see themselves as a Casual player are still playing amazingly often.

The most popular approach is to play alone (40%), with just a few playing single player games with pad passing or some similar group play (7%). The remaining players all prefer some kind of multiplayer format, whether in the same room (17%) or over the internet (19%, of which 5% is team or clan play), with the remaining 16% preferring virtual worlds and MMORPGs.

On the subject of game stories, there is overwhelming consensus, with 93% saying either that stories are very important to their enjoyment of videogames (36%) or that stories help them enjoy videogames (57%). A mere 5% say stories are not important, and just 1.25% say they prefer videogames without stories. Clearly, story occupies a vital space in the modern world of videogames gamers love stories!