games without frontiers

games without frontiers by Aki Järvinen accompanies the Ph.D.-thesis he is working on: Games without frontiers: Theories and methods for game studies. Aki Järvinen’s gaming diary, the table of contents (includes thesis background), and chapters in progress of his thesis are online. ” I respect many kinds of approaches to the study of games and players, just as long as the researchers play games themselves.”—Aki Järvinen … Continue reading

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evocational ethnography

Since “Writing Culture” (Clifford & Marcus 1986) there is a lot of discussion about writing ethnographies in literary style(s). In my view the discussions inside visual anthropology deals with quite the same set of problems and issues transponed to the media still photography and moving image. Somehow hypermedia, the computer, and the Internet merge all this together. So every cyber/anthropologist doing work visibly online (like me here) sooner or later has to try to get wiser from writing culture and visual anthropology. Tobias Rees’ paper “Writing culture — Filming Culture” (Rees 1998) comes in handy, in my opinion. [One advantage … Continue reading

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books on top games

Three titles I haven’t laid on hands yet, but definitely will: Half-Life 2: Raising the bar, The making of Doom II, and Masters of Doom: How two guys created an empire and transformed pop culture. When I was a kid I was tremendously thrilled by the Star-Wars movies (and still am today, I confess). This also is the root of a string of associations of mine which culminate in this research-project. With putting Star-Wars related items on sale, George Lucas started what today is well known as ‘merchandising’. I never bought a Skywalker-puppet or the like, but I went lengths … Continue reading

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most immersive moment in a computergame

The day before yesterday I got Half Life 2 (HL2) and installed it in the afternoon. Although Steam is kind of embarassing it worked fine. Then, still being in the office, I started to play it. And I have to say it is absolutely amazing, stunning, and whatnot. In the evening I continued to play until 2AM yesterday. I do not yet know how to make screenshots ingame, but I definitely have to work that out. There was one scene/incident in a concrete water-reservoir, diving in the water, a corpse of a killed combine-policeman floating above me, and the bubble … Continue reading

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the white room

“The White Room is a set of photographic prints resulting from an in-game photo shoot that documents a series of constructed disasters. These interiors were set up by the artist using the videogame Max Payne 2, a ‘Film Noir’ thriller that tells a tale of lost love, deception and betrayal. The shoot took place within the game’s developer mode using the GOD and GETALLWEAPONS cheats and BenDMan’S ‘bloody mod 1.2′. By transforming the game environment into a ready-made urban studio space, the objects and interiors were altered using the in-game weapons with the gore from dead enemies being used to … Continue reading

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the new gods

Having returned from the last LAN-party (the Fighternight 6) — where I again was fragged big time. Lucky me that we didn’t play one second of Counter Strike (CS) ;) — I am very much into Quake 3 Arena (Q3A) again. At the LAN someone had a movie of some Q3A grand champion doing incredible jumps, stunts, and tricks. If, following Harold Schechter, the comicbook superheroes are the new gods (Schechter 1980), they meanwhile have evolved into computergame characters. And among this breed there is an absolute upper class, the creme of the Pantheon, if you wish: the hardcore champion … Continue reading

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