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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plug & pray

Computer experts around the world, like Raymond Kurzweil and Hiroshi Ishiguro, strive towards the development of intelligent robots. Will man and machine merge as a single unity? Rejecting evolution’s biological shackles dangles the promise of eternal life for those bold enough to seize it. But Joseph Weizenbaum, a pioneer of the computer age, counter attacks against society’s limitless faith in the redemptive powers of technology. Filmed in the U.S.A., Japan, Germany, Italy. Since antiquity, humankind has dreamed of creating intelligent machines. The invention of the computer and the breathtaking pace of technological progress appear to be bringing the realisation of … Continue reading

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orwellian documentaries

In the sidebar of his blog ↑Dialogic blogger Thivai Abhor maintains a nice list of documentary films which are available online. After having skimmed through a bit, my personal interests were most matched by the three shortly described below. But Dialogic also points to ↑Top Documentary Films, a blog reviewing, commenting, and linking to 1800+ documentary films, all available online, and ↑sorted into categories. ‘↑All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace‘ (Curtis 2011) A series of films about how humans have been colonized by the machines they have built. Although we don’t realize it, the way we see everything … Continue reading

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96 hours later

↑96 hours to the stone age at ↑GigaOM complements ↵behind closed doors and ↵telegeography. The story asks, especially in respect to information technology, what will happen when electrical power won’t be delivered anymore. Well, an apocalypse in the strict sense of the term will happen—a revelation. It will be revealed to all of us in unblinking clearness, on how much hardware around us we depend, which in turn depends on electricity.     The gist of this kind of speculation is informed by scientific methodology: Take an element, or a whole category of elements, out of a system and see … Continue reading

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behind closed doors

That one came timely—just two days after ↵telegeography, my rant on the other side of information technology, the Internet’s hardware aspect, and its importance for anthropology, ↑boingboing posted on ↑Ben Mendelsohn‘s documentary ↑Bundled, Buried & Behind Closed Doors: I want to share a short documentary that I recently produced about the hidden Infrastructure of the Internet called Bundled, Buried and Behind Closed Doors. The video is meant to remind viewers that the Internet is a physical, geographically anchored thing. It features a tour inside Telx’s 9th floor Internet exchange at 60 Hudson Street in New York City, and explores how … Continue reading

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