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!!! ;)

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Virtual World Travel Agency

This is great!!! A virtual guide service, Synthravels!! I love the idea! Clickable Culture reports about this new business that has started to offer guided tours for “those who wish to tour virtual worlds even without the necessary experience” – I love it! I haven’t tried it out yet, but I’ve registered with my preferred time and can’t wait to have a look at all the worlds I just don’t have the capasity and time to experience first hand!

“Synthtravels was conceived by Mario Gerosa and by Matteo Esposito.”

Velvet-Strike

This is new to me…and oh…how beautiful!!! I’m truely touched!

Velvet-Strike is a collection of spray paints to use as graffiti on the walls, ceiling, and floor of the popular network shooter terrorism game “Counter-Strike”. Velvet-Strike was conceptualized during the beginning of Bush’s “War on Terrorism.” We invite others to submit their own “spray-paints” relating to this theme.”

It’s just…beautiful! Anti war graffiti in such a ‘reality-like’ war game? Amazing! And as they state:

“You are for or against us, you are with us, “the one”, or you are with the enemy is the underlying logic of the West, as I understood a talk by Marina Grzinic at an international cyberfeminist conference in Germany in December 2001. (Pre-axis of evil.) Although computer games replicate this binary competitive logic maybe there is something ultimately subversive in the knowledge that it is only a game, that at any moment you may switch sides with the “other”, you may play the terrorist side in Counter-Strike.”

and

“Reality is up for grabs. The real needs to be remade by us.”

I’m such a sucker for movements like this!!! Gives me so much hope! And I’m going to stop now before I get all sappy!!

Maretind (working title)

Nina Svane-Mikkelsen is a Ph.D. fellow (umh…I still get confused by university titles, so…) at my department (Information Science and Media Studies) and is working on a project entitled: Affinity and Battlefield. New media and museum communication – Communication design under imperative of database. Artistic intervention as a narrative grip.
They’re working on a computer game which is for the time being called, Maretind.

“A short description of the overall goal.
The goal is to develop a digital game that integrate knowledge regarding the MAR-ECO research project and key issues and findings of this maritime research in order to reach, engage and inspire children on the subject through game play.

The research project represent a vast collection of data to the inspiration of the game plot. As one of the maritime researchers put it: ”Our data collection have ranged from oceanographic and acoustics, to various studies on organisms that range in size from microscopic plankton to large whales. Dephts ranged from the surface to 3000 meters and extended from the cold-water environment south of Iceland to the tropic environment north of the Azores.” (mar-eco cruise journal 1. july, http://www.mar-eco.no/)

Good games combine a number of complex elements such as situations, where decisions must be made, challenging goals and a satifying feedback. Without these basic elements a game will easily become boring. The result must be that the way the gamers interact with the game, the game process, is parallel with what the game is about. (almost-quotes from “Learning to play to learn” by Nick Fortugno and Eric Zimmerman, Learning Lab Newsletter)”

I’m so pleased that this is going on at my department! And oh what fun it would be to be a part of it!!! Anyways….they’re still at the starting line and I just wanted to wish them good luck! I just love the combo of museum, art, information communication and learning through gameplay!!

Yay! Henry Jenkins is blogging!

What joy!!! Definitely a welcome presence!

Henry Jenkins is the Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program
and just a MUST READ!

I’ve just read his post “Fun vs. Engagement: The Case of the Great Zoombinis” where I was introduced to Scott Osterweil’s at The Education Arcade and his captivating podcast.

It’s so good to see discussions and research about learning and games beyond ‘just’ simulations. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for simulation games, but I do believe there is a clearer learning power in actual gameplay. And ofcourse this has been a topic for a long time – I guess I just understand the language so much better!

“What we did when we started designing Zoobinis was to try to think about our own experience with the mathematics of the game and try to access our own learning of it — trying to remember what it was like to encounter the subject in school or thinking about how we’d use the subject in our daily lives and try to identify times when we had been playful with the concepts in the past. In fact, most of us when we are trying to master something we find ways to be playful to it and in accessing our own playful approach to the material what we were really doing was finding the game that was inherent in the mathematics. Instead of putting math in the game, we tried to find the game in the math” – Osterweil

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2 New Games Worth Keeping An Eye On

BUD – “A lightweight passively multiplayer online game where your data is your playfield”

I’m not certain I understand the gaming element in this or even the fun factor but it certianly is interesting.


“bud.com is an experiment to turn our personal data trails into a playfield for a web-based massively-multiplayer online game. Call it passively multiplayer – the reality of communication networks. Already, Web 2.0 and social networking sites keep track of our relationships and communications. bud.com proposes to make that web more engaging through surveillance with non-threatening stakes: browser-based multiplayer play.

Honestly, I still like to be in control of what information I share with my networks – this sounds kinda scary and I’m sure my surfing would become more tactical than the freedom of my own curiosity. But it certainly is an interesting concept – and I’ll be eagerly following his progress!

And:

PlayByWiki – the pen is the sword

Yes! It’s a Role Playing Game using Wiki! Looks really interesting! And to be honest I’m thinking this is more of a collaborative story telling than a game! Oh how those definitions are blurring my mind! It looks great! What a truely interesting concept!