future/tech noir

Quite some water more on my mills which are grinding to construct what I like to call the cyberpunk discourse. The first installment of this construction you can read in my book ‘Cyberanthropology’ [in German], which will be published in August 2011 (and already ↑can be ordered in advance at amazon—did I already mention that?). ↑AUGER, EMILY E. 2011. ↑Tech-noir film: A theory of the development of popular genres. Bristol, Chicago: Intellect. AZIZ, JAMALUDDIN BIN. 2005. ↑Future noir. ↑Crimeculture ↑Summer 2005. Electronic document. Available online. MURPHY, GRAHAM J. AND SHERRYL VINT (Eds.). 2010. Beyond cyberpunk: New critical perspectives. London: Routledge. … Continue reading

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moc quality

Just having hailed the professional standards of ↵artefacts stemming from the mod world, I now feel like presenting analogues from the ↵moc world. Just recently SAS voiced the opinion that, despite of their ingenuity and fabulous looks, mocs always are recognizable as mocs. Meaning, that they somehow lack a quality commercial Lego sets do feature. What this quality exactly constitutes remained elusive, even after further probing enquiry from my side. My opinion is that this may stand true for some mocs, but ain’t an absolute rule. Quite to the contrary. Here is the moc-version of the ↑TIE/In Interceptor, which first … Continue reading

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flowchart shaders

Biohazard’s modding tool, the ↑Source Shader Editor, is a ↑WYSIWYG editor, which ‘allows the user to create, compile and implement new ↑shaders easily into a source ↑mod without any preliminary knowledge of HLSL. The shaders are based on nodes which are connected over bridges to finally compose a flowgraph for each, the vertex and pixel shader [...].’ It is a fine example of, and argument for the fact that modders not merely tweak games a bit, but sometimes create state-of-the-art tools sliding along the cutting edge of technology. I, and a lot of others, hope that this sooner or later … Continue reading

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moc styles

The cultural production of the ↵moc world features an amazing richness—in several dimensions. There is the vast range of scales to which the artefacts are made. But there also is a beautiful wealth of styles. Not to mention the incredible number of artefacts. And this although I for now almost exclusively have limited my scope to ‘Star Wars’ related mocs. But then again this was to be expected when dealing with aspects of the fandom of the biggest intellectual property franchise around.     Here are two examples. Both interpretations of the same subject, an imperial ↑AT-AT walker, are by … Continue reading

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omega legend

how the cyberpunk discourse infested the zombie genre  That may well be a truism, but ↑Stephen King is fond of zombie movies (1981: 134), of Romero’s classics of course in particular. Cyberpunk writers and fans are, too. But in ↑George A. Romero‘s debut ‘↑Night of the Living Dead‘ (1968) none of the canonical elements outlining cyberpunk as a genre can be found—with the exception of the postapocalyptic setting. Ten years later, during the historical threshold when the cyberpunk discourse reached critical mass and got manifest as a literary genre, the picture had changed. Richard Kadrey and Larry McCaffery sum it … Continue reading

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moc scales

Back in the 19th century, when you entered a museum where paintings of old masters were on exhibition, chances were that you encountered flocks of art students meticulously copying those pictures. During the heyday of academic painting this was a didactic standard procedure. Nowadays this practice more often than not is spat upon by the protagonists of the art scene.     Back in the heyday of Max-Payne modding countless recreations of characters, weapons, and architecture from the Matrix-franchise were accomplished by members of the community. Yours truly was ↑no exception.     Recreation of cherished artefacts from intellectual property … Continue reading

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mocs and afols

It may or may not be by accident, but ‘moc’ and ‘mod’ sound very similar. And indeed, both are close kin. The abbreviation ‘mod’ means ‘modification of a computer game,’ the playable addition to commercial computer-game software, produced by private individuals or groups of those. The acronym ‘moc’ in turn stands for ‘my own creation.’ Meant is an original three-dimensional design using Lego-bricks, quite often accomplished by an ‘afol’—an ‘adult fan of Lego’ … which is not a contradiction in terms, like ‘military intelligence’ is.*  The above pictured side elevation of the moc-version of the ‘Executor,’ the personal flagship of … Continue reading

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postapocalyptic interviews

At level-design.org there is an interesting ↑interview with Hélder Pinto aka [HP], my old friend from the Max-Payne modding-scene who became a level artist at Crytek. The above is an example of his art, the devastated Madison Square as it appears in Crysis 2. If it wouldn’t be such an old cliché, I’d say you truly are a master of desaster, my man. Speaking of which, eurogamer.org carries a recent ↑interview with John Carmack, the master of Doom. Engine John not only talks about id’s upcoming title Rage, but also on technology at large, e.g. about the end of Moore’s … Continue reading

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free games

The ‘free’ in ↵my last entry was meant as in speech, now it is meant as in beer. Just for clarification—the following links do not lead to illegal hacks or cons, but to sites and services maintained by the respective licence holders. The reason why I post those here is that it is economically interesting that top-notch game titles are made available for free in order to try out new business models. Especially for the anthropology-of-economy buffs there’s a ton of interesting issues to be discovered.     That settled, here’s what I have to say: ↑TF2 is F2P :-) … Continue reading

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