players unleashed

Players Unleashed is a thought provoking and well-argued reconstruction of the history of digital games and the role of player modifications to such artifacts. Focusing on the wide-ranging universe of mods for the best selling game The Sims, Sihvonen presents a cogent and persuasive argument for the importance of such activities, and in doing so helps us understand the vital role that players have claimed in the development and evolution of digital games. (Mia Consalvo) SIHVONEN, TANJA. 2011. ↑Players unleashed! Modding The Sims and the culture of gaming. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. … Continue reading

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moving the map

Here is yet another example from the ↵games with defects: ↑PlaygroundPong. From ↑the documentation: PlaygroundPong is a proof of concept for inverting Avatar & Playground. The player cannot move the paddles at all like in a regular Pong game. The ball seems to move from side to side but clearly it does not! The player cannot identify with the avatar (playing object), he or she has to get to terms with moving the background (from left to right, right to left, top to bottom and bottom to top) in order to bring the paddles in a position where they manage … Continue reading

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half life source

After eight years in the making, the release of ‘↑Black Mesa‘ is only nine days away. Here’s the ‘about’ ↑from its very own wiki: Black Mesa (formerly Black Mesa: Source) is a Half-Life 2 total conversion remaking of Valve Software’s award-winning PC game, Half-Life.     Utilizing the Source engine, Black Mesa will reintroduce the player as Doctor Gordon Freeman, along with the original cast of memorable characters and environments seen in Half-Life. Black Mesa was built and founded on the basis that Half-Life: Source didn’t fully live up to the potential of a Source engine port of Half-Life. As … Continue reading

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playing with videogames

[abstract:] Playing with Videogames documents the richly productive, playful and social cultures of videogaming that support, surround and sustain this most important of digital media forms and yet which remain largely invisible within existing studies. James Newman details the rich array of activities that surround game-playing, charting the vibrant and productive practices of the vast number of videogame players and the extensive ‘shadow’ economy of walkthroughs, FAQs, art, narratives, online discussion boards and fan games, as well as the cultures of cheating, copying and piracy that have emerged.     Playing with Videogames offers the reader a comprehensive understanding of … Continue reading

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mari0

  ↑Mari0 is a ↑Super Mario Bros. plus ↑Portal mashup by ↑Stabyourself.net, which in turn “is a two-man studio formed in early 2011 aiming to create enjoyable experiences for anyone to easily get into and enjoy.” The two men are Maurice Guégan and Sašo Smolej, who already have published ↓Not Tetris 2.     Mari0 is not a gamemod in the strict sense of the term, as the whole game consists of original code from the base up: Two genre defining games from completely different eras: Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. and Valve’s Portal. These two games managed to give Platformers … 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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kaizo mario world

impossibly hard variant of super mario world  This is to humble every single speedrunner, trickjumper, DeFRaGger, or first-person-shooter virtuoso/elitist who ever dared to badmouth about 2D jump’n’run sidescrollers and the supposed lack of skill involved in playing them.    The “kaizo” (“hack” or “mod”) of Super Mario World shown in the video was created by T. Takemoto. For the movie he made his friend R. Kiba play his creation. Obviously Kiba possesses god-like skill, but still Takemoto’s level’s are more than a challenge for him. The dramaturgy of the movie is only digestable for the real oldskool aficionados, I confess—but … Continue reading

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interview with a doomed marine

Again those little mosaic-tiles keep falling in place—and the timing is perfect. Just some days ago ↑John Postill confirmed via email that a paper I proposed for the ↑11th biennial conference of the ↑European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) has been accepted for the media anthropology network’s workshop ↑The Rewards of Media. Just one day before gamescares published an ↑interview with Peter Papadopoulos, Remedy’s community manager. Pete is an old friend of mine from the glorious days of Max-Payne modding. Within the online-scene he is better known as ADM, short for “a doomed marine,” of course an allusion to the … Continue reading

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