world’s greatest

BBC-News carries an article on pro-gamer legend Jonathan Wendel aka Fatal1ty: Golden boy gamer becomes a brand . The golden boy has to say something on the social dimension of gaming, too: “Socialising online is awesome – you are talking to all these gamers just about random topics. It’s like you are on the phone talking to a friend almost. Then you get to meet these guys at LAN parties. It’s a total blast.” During the last months I noticed a substantial increase of articles on gaming issues in the supra-regional major daily newspapers and magazines — at least in … Continue reading

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lord vader visits troops

Galactic News Service reports: “TWILIGHT CITADEL, Tatooine (Valcyn) – Emperor Palpatine’s supreme military commander, Lord Darth Vader, recently made a surprise inspection tour of an Imperial military stronghold here. […]“ The staff at Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) had noticed, that inside the gameworld of their MMORPG “Star Wars Galaxies” (SWG) a group of players (forming the “203rd Tatooine Expeditionary Stormtrooper Legion”) had their troops very well organized and trained for quite some time. So SOE decided to stage an “ingame-live-event” and made Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, visit the troops. A global celebrity of a mythical character, well … Continue reading

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videogamestudies

cultural difference on intercultural persistent state worlds Alan Meades, a Masters-degree (Electronic Arts) student at Middlesex University (UK) does post-graduate research in cyberanthropology: “This study aims to verify if players originating from geographically and culturally different backgrounds exhibit different game preferences, and therefore behaviour within Massively Multiplayer Online games. This study focuses specifically on Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy XI because of the design of the server infrastructure, and the resultant feature that each server is shared with people from many cultures and nations. […]“ On his website Alan hosts an according online-survey, both in English and Japanese language! When I hit … Continue reading

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a new dawn arises

the long-running grand TC becomes very visible In September 2004 the website of the MP2-modding-project Mission:Impossible — New Dawn went online. But the mod was in the making for a much longer time, as it was started as a MP1-mod way before MP2 was published. The team had enough zeal to port everything they had done to MP2. And I can assure you that already a lot had been done, as now and then I was allowed to see ‘secret pictures’ illustrating the progress. The general approach of the team is as professional as it can be outside a game-developer … Continue reading

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speed runs

Tomi Salo has run through the complete Max Payne 2 (MP2) game in 33 minutes and 30 seconds! Speed Demos Archive carries a collection of video-evidence of so called ‘speed runs’: “A speed run is a video of a player striving to complete a video game in as fast a time as they can manage. Sound easy? It’s not! A large number of tricks are usually used, possibly skipping whole areas of a game in the process, and there will always be mistakes.” Among goodies like a Half Life 2 (HL2) run by David ‘marshmallow’ Gibbons in 2:14:58, and several … Continue reading

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escher’s quake

Stephen [Edwin] King tells us that associating otherwise unrelated ideas in an original way is the key to creating an interesting novel. In a magazine-article he read that paranormal phenomena of the ‘Poltergeist’ kind are prone to appear in the vicinity of adolescent youths. He associated this story with his recollections of some outcast girls who attended school with him. The plot of “Carrie” was born and this novel paved the road to King’s incredible success … are you ready? Are you hanging at the edge of your seat? Not long ago during some quiet moments sitting at the window … Continue reading

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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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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 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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xenophilia

↑Forarea, a bavaria-based, interdisciplinary community of about 200 scientists, concerned with the understanding of ‘other cultures’, has launched a computer game called ↑Xenophilia [=”the liking of the other”]. The game’s aim is to mediate an understanding of people who were socialized in cultures different from the ‘western’ one. Children and teenagers are to be reached by the game’s message. Xenophilia was presented at this year’s ↑Frankfurt Book Fair and instantaneously was awarded the ↑Giga-Maus, a german software award. Two versions of Xenophilia are available: One for everyone and one specially designed for the use in schools. original version at ethno::log … Continue reading

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