last riddler challenges

Just yesterday I had a longer conversation [not online, but face to face, beer by beer] with a doctoral student of mine ↑who does deeply immersed fieldwork around and within the ‘StarCraft II’ (SC2 | Blizzard Entertainment 2010) pro-gamer scene. Matchingly enough the day before yesterday I reread ↓Bearman 2008 and ↵watched ‘King of Kong’ (Gordon 2007) and ‘Chasing Ghosts’ (Ruchti 2007), wondering at the lengths high-end arcade-gamers go. Well, he told me about the lengths the SC2-specialists go, especially in terms of analysis of the game, its patches, actual matches, etc. Up to writing book-lengths compendiums. After enough grinning … Continue reading

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fistful of quarters

Joshua Bearman’s article ‘↓The perfect game‘ (2008) since years slumbers on my HDD—luckily it’s still available online for everybody. Testimony to the amazing zen-like perfect-flow achievable in high-end arcade gaming. Additionally there are two magnificent documentaries on the subject: ‘The King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters’ (Gordon 2007) and ‘Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade’ (Ruchti 2007). Here are the trailers and what ↑filmcritic‘s ↑Anthony Burch has to say on the two documentaries:  the king of kong  Put this one at the top of your “Must Watch Now” list. Like, right now. Beyond functioning as an entertaining if somewhat shallow look … Continue reading

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beyond the game

‘↑Beyond the Game‘ is the motto of the World Cyber Games and also the intended title of the documentary film by filmmaker Jos de Putter. The film is set in the world of incredibly popular cyber games and portrays several top players from very different cultures in the run-up to the coming world Championships in October 2008 in Seattle, which will also be the climax of the film.     Protagonists are an Asian and a European player, known in the cyber world as Sky and Grubby. Sky is 19, comes from China and is world champion in the game … 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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entering arkham city

After a careful clean reinstall finally I am able to immerse into the ↑Batman‘s mythic universe. A bunch of goons inside a slightly decaying 19th century room. By the masks they wear you can tell that they are ↑Two-Face‘s henchmen. He makes them resemble himself. Chattering away they search the room and find a wall-safe hidden behind a painting. That’s the moment when they get disturbed from above. Fear of the Batman immediately fills them.  But it’s not the dark knight’s skin I get to slip into first—it’s ↑Catwoman‘s instead. Her appearance soothed me, I have to confess. Despite the … Continue reading

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arkham city rant

This was intended to become a longer rant from me—after the installation of ‘↑Batman: Arkham City‘ (Rocksteady Studios 2011) crashed my brand new system so badly that I had to jump back several recovery points to get it up and running again. But then, on ↑the official forums, I found the posts and threads by KIO. His forum post signature already sums it up: ‘DRM limitations are a punishment for the paying customer and an encouragement to seek better service elsewhere … And then they complain about piracy.’ No reason any more for me to write myself, because KIO already … Continue reading

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