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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vulcano by hP

  Just a minute ago I received the latest e-mail newsletter from the ↑CGSociety. The top news in it is, that the CGSociety adopted ‘↑Game-Artist.net, the game artist’s web portal. Now there will be even more game-art eye-candy for the industry, under the CGSociety mantle. Drop by and check out Game-Artist today. For those already there, welcome!’ Immediately I went to the forums, headed down to the work-in-progress (WIP) section—within all forums of that kind the most interesting department to me—and clicked on the top thread, ↑Crysis Map ~ Operation Codename: Vulcano. Droolingly staring on the gorgeous screenshots I thought, … Continue reading

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my writing

There really is no use in having manuscripts merrily rotting away in drawers and on HDDs. So here are some pieces of mine, on cyberanthropology, appropriation, and game modding:  KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2008. ↓maxmod—eine Ethnographie der cyberculture: Exposé des Habilitationsprojektes [128KB | .pdf]. [unpublished manuscript]  KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2007. ↓Game modding [136KB | .pdf]. [unpublished manuscript]  KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2007. ↓Die kulturelle Aneignung des Spielraums: Vom virtuosen Spielen zum Modifizieren und zurück. [ 220KB | .pdf]. [second version of the manuscript] Scheduled for publication in Shooter: Ein Computerspiel-Genre in multidisziplinärer Perspektive [working title], edited by Matthias Bopp, Peter C. Krell and Serjoscha Wiemer. … Continue reading

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postigo on mods and modders

After his brilliant “From Pong to Planet Quake: Post-industrial transitions from leisure to work” (↵2003) ↑Hector Postigo has published an already promised piece plus has yet another one on the topic in the pipeline:  POSTIGO, HECTOR. 2007. Of mods and modders: Chasing down the value of fan-based digital game modifications. Games and Culture 2(4): 300-313.  This article is concerned with the role that fan-programmers (generally known as “modders”) play in the success of the PC digital game industry. The fan culture for digital games is deeply embedded in shared practices and experiences among fan communities, and their active consumption contributes … Continue reading

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game modding

yet another abstract  Just recently I again was invited to submit an abstract for a chapter in an upcoming learned volume. Here is what I cooked up, the chapter simply will be called “Game modding”—it is straight out of my laboratory and pretty well summarizes what I am up to with this whole project. At least it hits its core:  On a global scale media relying on computer technology and the Internet infrastructure play a decisive role in contemporary culture and society. This chapter deals with computergames, what is done with them, and what happens around them, in particular with … Continue reading

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dawn of the dead

  Within the gaming and modding community at large there are not only fans of ↑John Romero, but also of ↑George A. Romero. [Never mix up the two Romeros, nor the ↵two Johns.] Remember the seminal 1968 black and white horror movie classic “↑Night of the Living Dead“? Or some of its sequels, like the 1978 “↑Dawn of the Dead“? No? Gosh, where have you been raised? In a world, where “↑There’s Always Vanilla“? But for sure you already heard that punch line “↵When hell is full, the Dead will walk the Earth.“ Ah yes, bingo, it’s about Zombies, the … Continue reading

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independent mods festival

The motto of the ↑9th Annual Independent Games Festival—which will take place 06-09 March 2007 in San Francisco, California—reads: “Rewarding innovation in independent games.” Quite naturally there is a mod competition as well. Forget the Oscars and hold your breath: Among the ↑35 top-quality entries you will find two Max-Payne-2 mods! The world doesn’t entirely consist of “Doom 3”, “Half-Life 2”, and multiplayer-galore at large—just to those who won’t listen to me. Ladies and Gentlemen, here they are [in alphabetical order]:    ↑7th Serpent: Crossfire is the opening chapter of the ↑7th Serpent series. The game pits you as a … Continue reading

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mod researchers

Some day in the first half of April 2002 I ↵stumbled over gamemodding and slowly realized that there was more than something in it, legitimizing an anthropological look. Before that I was aware of player-created game-content, as I had played ↑“Descent” (1995) and lots of custom maps for it, but at that time I did in no way associate the thing with anthropology. This completely changed with my first encounter with the Max-Payne community, and since then I every day get more convinced that gamemodding is a relevant and central contemporary issue to be fathomed academically. Back in 2002 I … Continue reading

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the making of machinima

↑LOWOOD, HENRY E. 2006. “High-performance play: The making of machinima.” To appear in: Videogames and Art: Intersections and Interactions, Andy Clarke and Grethe Mitchell (eds.), Intellect Books (UK), 2006. Also to appear in: Journal of Media Practice: Videogames and Art issue (2006).  Machinima is the making of animated movies in real time through the use of computer game technology. The projects that launched machinima embedded gameplay in practices of performance, spectatorship, subversion, modification, and community. This article is concerned primarily with the earliest machinima projects. In this phase, DOOM and especially Quake movie makers created practices of game performance and … Continue reading

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demo

It’s time to clarify the ambiguous term “demo” as used within gaming culture. For that purpose I’ll quote from some ’emic sources’.  1. Let’s start with the obvious, Wikipedia’s entry ↑Game demo:  A game demo is a freely distributed demonstration or preview of an upcoming or recently released computer or video game. […] Game demos come in two variations: playable and non-playable (also called a “rolling demo”). Playable demos generally have the exact same gameplay as the upcoming full game, although game advancement is usually limited to a certain point, and occasionally some advanced features might be disabled. A non-playable … Continue reading

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