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 Warcraft. Grubby is 20, comes from Holland and is the former Warcraft world champion. The two players avoid each other as much as possible during the year, so that their encounter at the world championships can rightly be called a “clash of the titans”.

DE PUTTER, JOS. 2008. Beyond the game [documentary film]. Amsterdam: Dieptescherpte.
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who are they?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #23
Who are they?
It’s noir-time at zeph’s pop culture quiz … the two menacing silhouettes sporting fedoras—who are they? It so happens that the answer to the question at the same time is the title of the movie in question.
    Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the 'Leave a comment' at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it's the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I've approved a comment, your next ones won't be held, but published immediately by the system.]

UPDATE and solution (10 April 2012):
Number 23 was not yet five hours old and ryoku already got it completely right: Max (William Conrad, on the left) and Al (Charles McGraw), The Killers (Siodmak 1946) they are! Here they are a minute later, having entered Henry’s Diner, at the counter—now Al is on the left:
 
Early scene in 'The Killers' (Siodmak 1946)
Siodmak’s ‘The Killers’ is an absolute noir classic featuring non-linear storytelling. The first 20 minutes are a faithful adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s short story of the same name (1927). The movie was Burt Lancaster’s screen debut and Ava Gardner’s first notable role, which made her career take off.

HEMINGWAY, ERNEST MILLER. 1927. The killers. Scribner’s Magazine 81(3): 227-233.
SIODMAK, ROBERT. 1946. The killers [motion picture]. New York: Universal Pictures.
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ambiguity, oscillation, disorder

Online life is usually held to present particular problems for ethnography as it is hidden and ambiguous, and boundaries are not clear. However, ethnography and online daily life are similar procedures in which people go about constructing ‘culture’ to make sense of others and interact with a degree of predictability. Ethnographers can learn about culture and society by learning how people themselves go about understanding and making those processes. We further, do not have to expect that the reality we describe will be completely ordered, even though the simplifications of constructing ‘culture’ might make this seem inevitable. Disorder can be socially important.

MARSHALL, JONATHAN PAUL. 2010. Ambiguity, oscillation and disorder: Online ethnography and the making of culture. Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Journal 2(3). Electronic Document. Available online: http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/journals/index.php/mcs/article/view/1598/1859
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iron sky


 
Dieselpunk æsthetics and ambience galore, plus a wealth of online-scenes humour. Iron Sky (Vuorensola 2012) premiered at the Berlinale in February, now it has come to the cinemas—at least in Finland and Germany. Absolute must-see. Till then, have more at ironsky.net.

VUORENSOLA, TIMO. 2012. Iron sky [motion picture]. Helsinki: Buena Vista International Finland.
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cyberculture as discourse

After elaborating on methodological concerns and before delving into detailed analysis of the representational politics in selected cyberpop examples, it is important to situate the objects of this book in their cultural context. Chapter 2 is an overview of several key concepts in the network of discourses and practices that constitute cyberculture and, by extension, its popular media productions. Describing cyberculture as a discursive formation (inspired by theories of Michel Foucault (Archeology) helpfully clarifies how the key concepts that emerge repeatedly in cyberpop operate as a network or conceptual architecture linking technologies to individual subjects, identities, and digital lifestyles. In order to provide a framework for the analysis that follows then, we explicate in detail three of the rules of formation that operate in cyberculture: namely, intangibility, connectivity, and speed. Examining magazine advertisements for digital products and services, and e-commerce management literature advising audiences on how to succeed in “the connected economy,” reveals the same collection of key concepts (or rules) used to promote digital capitalist culture, and the development of compatible identities and lifestyles. (Matrix 2006: 5-6)

MATRIX, SIDNEY EVE. 2006. Cyberpop: Digital lifestyles and commodity culture. New York, London: Routledge.
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where is he?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #22
Where is he?
Strange landscape, isn’t it? Where is the lonely wanderer?
    Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the 'Leave a comment' at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it's the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I've approved a comment, your next ones won't be held, but published immediately by the system.]

UPDATE and solution (02 April 2012):
That one obviously was way too easy for Mr Rabitsch, our resident connaisseur. Yes, Todd (Kurt Russell) is on Arcadia 234, a planet used for waste disposal on which most of the plot of the 1998 movie ‘Soldier’ takes place. It was directed by Paul W. S. ‘Resident Evil’ Anderson and written by David Peoples. The latter, together with Hampton Fancher, made Philip K. Dick’s novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ (1968) into the script of ‘Blade Runner’ (Scott 1982). In fact ‘Soldier’ is set in the same universe as ‘Blade Runner’ and a lot of allusions try to establish this. But, and that’s my opinion, the story falls flat and is in no way on par with ‘Blade Runner.’ On the other hand parts of the movie’s visuals succeed in establishing a cyberpunkish ambience—like the magnificent vista with the dumped aircraft carrier above.

ANDERSON, PAUL WILLIAM SCOTT. 1998. Soldier (aka Star force soldier) [motion picture]. Burbank: Warner Bros.
DICK, PHILIP KINDRED. 1968. Do androids dream of electric sheep? New York: Doubleday.
SCOTT, RIDLEY. 1982. Blade runner [motion picture]. Burbank: Warner Brothers.
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