two johns

  What I finished reading last night is by far the best book on computergames I had my hands on so far. To be precise, it is the best book on those aspects of computergames I am interested in the most: history and culture, meaning and relevance. ↑David Kushner‘s “Masters of Doom: How two guys created an empire and transformed pop culture” (↵Kushner 2004 [2003]) tells the biographies of the ‘Two Johns’, ↑Carmack and ↑Romero and thereby not only the history of Doom and Quake, of the invention and rise of first-person-shooter-games in general, but makes the reader understand gaming-culture, … Continue reading

Share

two johns

What I finished reading last night is by far the best book on computergames I had my hands on so far. To be precise, it is the best book on those aspects of computergames I am interested in the most: history and culture, meaning and relevance. ↑David Kushner‘s “Masters of Doom: How two guys created an empire and transformed pop culture” (↵Kushner 2004 [2003]) tells the biographies of the ‘Two Johns’, ↑Carmack and ↑Romero and thereby not only the history of Doom and Quake, of the invention and rise of first-person-shooter-games in general, but makes the reader understand gaming-culture, the … Continue reading

Share

elements of style

  Speaking about writing, let’s listen to Stephen King:  This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit. Fiction writers, present company included, don’t understand very much about what they do—not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t when it’s bad. I figured the shorter the book, the less the bullshit.   One notable exception to the bullshit rule is The Elements of Style, by William Strunk jr. and E. B. White. There is little or no detectable bullshit in that book. (↵King 2000: 11) Here it is:  STRUNK, WILLIAM jr. 1918. … Continue reading

Share

digital arabs

  ↑ŠISLER, VÍT. 2006. “↑Representation and self-representation: Arabs and Muslims in digital games,” in Gaming realities: A challenge for digital culture edited by M. Santorineos and N. Dimitriadi, pp. 85-92. Athens: Fournos. Available online [.pdf | 480KB]: http://uisk.jinonice.cuni.cz/sisler/publications/SISLER_Representation_of_Muslims.pdf  abstract: This paper presents the ways in which Muslims and Arabs are represented in mainstream European and American digital games. It analyzes how games—particularly of the action genre—construct the Arab or Muslim ‘Other’. Within these games, one finds the diverse ethnic and religious identities of the Islamic world reconstructed into a series of flat social typologies, often presented within the framework of … Continue reading

Share

spacewar

  GRAETZ, J. MARTIN. 1981. ↑The origin of Spacewar. ↑Creative Computing 7(8): 56-67, ↑reprinted 1983 in ↑Creative Computing Video & Arcade Games ↑1(1): 78-??.    The picture at the top is a snippet of an illustration that accompanied the 1983 reprint. The second picture shows how “Spacewar” actually looked on the original machine, a PDP-1, it ran on. … Continue reading

Share

the hybrid metaphor

from biology to culture  ↑STROSS, BRIAN. 1999. The hybrid metaphor: From biology to culture. The Journal of American Folklore 112(445): 254-267.  abstract: The article introduces and briefly discusses a few conceptual considerations common to biological and cultural hybridity and examines the biological concept of “hybrid vigor” as it can be applied to the cultural realm of hybridity, illustrating this with a hybrid form of communication in cyberspace. The notion of a hybridity cycle is introduced, along with stages in the cycle whereby a hybrid form becomes a purebred and then parent of another hybrid. … Continue reading

Share

nomads now online

  The paper I presented at the workshop ↑Understanding media practices at the ↑9th EASA Biennial Conference which took place from September 18th through September 21st 2006 in Bristol, UK, now is online at my own server: ↑“The online nomads of cyberia” [.pdf | 337KB | ↑mirror—see ↑Jenny Ryan’s short review]. At the ↑Media Anthropology Network’s events page there are already some others to download, among them ↑“Game pleasures and media practices” [.pdf | 160KB] by ↑Elisenda Ardèvol et al., which I ↵mentioned earlier. … Continue reading

Share

barlowian insights

  The notion of ‘Barlowian cyberspace’ is no news, I know, but nevertheless worthwhile to clarify. ↑Jakub Macek summed it up nicely:  The term cyberspace was coined by the American writer ↑William Gibson at the beginning of the 1980s [mind how careful Jakub is with the dating—he doesn’t attribute the first appearance of the word in print to “Neuromancer” (↵Gibson 1984) as so many do. Actually, to my knowledge the word first appeared in “Burning Chrome” (↵Gibson 1987 [1982])]. Gibson described it as a shared data hallucination visualized as an imaginary space made up of computer processed data, accessible to … Continue reading

Share

neologic spasm

  ↑William Gibson‘s comment on academia’s appropriation of the word “cyberspace”:  Just a chance operator in the gasoline crack of history …    Assembled word cyberspace from small and readily available components of language. Neologic spasm: the primal act of pop poetics. Preceded any concept whatever. Slick and hollow—awaiting received meaning    All I did: folded words as taught. Now other words accrete in the interstices.    “Gentlemen, that is not now nor will it ever be my concern …”    Not what i do.    I work the angle of transit. Vectors of neon plaza, licensed consumers, acts primal … Continue reading

Share