interview with a doomed marine

Again those little mosaic-tiles keep falling in place—and the timing is perfect. Just some days ago ↑John Postill confirmed via email that a paper I proposed for the ↑11th biennial conference of the ↑European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) has been accepted for the media anthropology network’s workshop ↑The Rewards of Media. Just one day before gamescares published an ↑interview with Peter Papadopoulos, Remedy’s community manager. Pete is an old friend of mine from the glorious days of Max-Payne modding. Within the online-scene he is better known as ADM, short for “a doomed marine,” of course an allusion to the … Continue reading

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vulcano by hP

  Just a minute ago I received the latest e-mail newsletter from the ↑CGSociety. The top news in it is, that the CGSociety adopted ‘↑Game-Artist.net, the game artist’s web portal. Now there will be even more game-art eye-candy for the industry, under the CGSociety mantle. Drop by and check out Game-Artist today. For those already there, welcome!’ Immediately I went to the forums, headed down to the work-in-progress (WIP) section—within all forums of that kind the most interesting department to me—and clicked on the top thread, ↑Crysis Map ~ Operation Codename: Vulcano. Droolingly staring on the gorgeous screenshots I thought, … Continue reading

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shooter saves life

  The computer game “↑Max Payne“ (MP, 2001) was ↑banned in Germany, due to “socioethical disorienting effects,” it supposedly causes. In July of 2002 “↑America’s Army“ (AA) was released—since then I am wondering why nobody over here has the idea to ban that game. AA, which is distributed for free over the Internet and on free DVDs, is  a tactical multiplayer first-person shooter owned by the United States Government and released as a global public relations initiative to help with U.S. Army recruitment. […]  Professor Michael Zyda, the director and founder of the MOVES Institute, acknowledged “↑Counter-Strike“ (CS) as the … Continue reading

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postigo on mods and modders

After his brilliant “From Pong to Planet Quake: Post-industrial transitions from leisure to work” (↵2003) ↑Hector Postigo has published an already promised piece plus has yet another one on the topic in the pipeline:  POSTIGO, HECTOR. 2007. Of mods and modders: Chasing down the value of fan-based digital game modifications. Games and Culture 2(4): 300-313.  This article is concerned with the role that fan-programmers (generally known as “modders”) play in the success of the PC digital game industry. The fan culture for digital games is deeply embedded in shared practices and experiences among fan communities, and their active consumption contributes … Continue reading

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speed thrills

It seems like ↑just.be in meatspace somehow ran into Thomas ‘↑Panter‘ Pilger, who in 1997 “spread throughout the ↑COMPET-N tables like a plague. By August, he was the first to do the third ↑DOOM 2 episode (Map 21-30) on Nightmare skill and was primed for the ultimate DOOM 2 honor, DOOM 2 Schwarzenegger. Almost a year in the making, Thomas ‘Panter’ Pilger finally achieved the impossible by recording all 32 maps of DOOM 2 on Nightmare skill in one demo in 49:49.” ↑John Romero‘s reaction to Panter’s feat: “I grabbed the demos and I’ll run them as soon as I … Continue reading

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second person view

Detail from a promotional screenshot for ‘Max Payne’ (Remedy 2001), forcing the viewer to look down the bore of Mr. Payne’s gun while he is shooting at the onlooker. There are ↑first-person shooters (FPS) and ↑third-person shooters (TPS)—what about the second person’s vantage point? Imagine a game where you always are looking through the eyes of the non-player character (NPC) with which your avatar currently interacts. In the case of e.g. a ↑shooter game you may see your actions from the perspective of the character you are about to shoot … from the perspective of your victim.     Wikipedia … Continue reading

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independent mods festival

The motto of the ↑9th Annual Independent Games Festival—which will take place 06-09 March 2007 in San Francisco, California—reads: “Rewarding innovation in independent games.” Quite naturally there is a mod competition as well. Forget the Oscars and hold your breath: Among the ↑35 top-quality entries you will find two Max-Payne-2 mods! The world doesn’t entirely consist of “Doom 3”, “Half-Life 2”, and multiplayer-galore at large—just to those who won’t listen to me. Ladies and Gentlemen, here they are [in alphabetical order]:    ↑7th Serpent: Crossfire is the opening chapter of the ↑7th Serpent series. The game pits you as a … Continue reading

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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

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co-creative media

↑MORRIS, SUE. 2004. ↑Co-creative media: Online multiplayer computer game culture. ↑Scan: Journal of media arts culture ↑1(1).  abstract: As a new and emerging research area, computer games demand the development of new theoretical frameworks for research and analysis. In addition to the specific requirements of a new medium, the advent and rapidly rising popularity of multiplayer computer gaming creates further challenges for researchers when the text under analysis forms a locus for human interaction – structuring and mediating communication between large numbers of people, and spawning social practices and identifications within a cultural economy extending beyond the game itself. While … Continue reading

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unrealart

  Besides the ↵White Room there now is yet another fine instance of the appropriation of computergames by fine art, Alison Mealey’s ↑Unrealart:  All artworks have been created using data from the game “Unreal Tournament”.    Each image represents about 30 mins of gameplay in which the computers AI plays against itself, there are 20-25 bots playing each game.    The Bots play custom maps I create. Each map has been pathed so that the bots have a rough idea of where to go in order to create the image I want.    I log the position (X,Y,Z) of each … Continue reading

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