minecraft photo realism

Look at what you can make out of ‘Minecraft.’ Just look at it.     Neither the idea nor the mods necessary are by me—I just went some lengths in order to get it to run with ‘Minecraft 1.8.1,’ the latest version. Actually two nights ago I was browsing videos of photorealistic mods for GTA4 when YouTube suggested AnonimusSVer’s video called ‘↑Photorealistic Minecraft! Shaders + HD Texture Pack + Physics Mod (GTX 760).’ It completely stunned me. Instantly I loved the absurd idea of a 3D-world completely made of cubes, but clad in photorealism, and the strange atmosphere it creates. … Continue reading

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reverse sportscar heist

Meanwhile everybody playing ‘↵Watch Dogs‘ (Ubisoft Montreal 2014) seems to know about the dealer’s showroom in ↑The Loop where you can easily steal a ↑Scafati GT, the most lamborghini-ish of all ↑cars in the game. There are videos on YouTube and more information around the Net explaining the feat. Just walk into the store, enter a car, drive it through the glass panes of one of the floor-to-ceiling windows, and off you go. I already had driven two Scafati GTs, stolen on the street, but nevertheless wanted to see the showroom.  When I reached it in an orange ↑336-TT—it already … Continue reading

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snowden on games

Here is a passage from chapter two of ↑Glenn Greenwald‘s excellent newest book “No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State” (2014), which I’ve recently read: Finally, Snowden gave me an answer that felt vibrant and real. “The true measurement of a person’s worth isn’t what they say they believe in, but what they do in defense of those beliefs,” he said. “If you’re not acting on your beliefs, then they probably aren’t real.”     How had he developed this measure for assessing his worth? Where did he derive this belief that he could … Continue reading

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there’s a glow

  This is the music video for the song ‘There’s a glow’ by the band NO, a Los Angeles-, respectively Echo-Park-based Indie sextet, which just published its debut album ‘El Prado.’ Filmmaker Johnny Agnew almost entirely filmed the video within the computer game ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ (GTA V | Rockstar North 2013)—my, my, how ↵machinima has developed since I first posted about it in 2005 or so. I especially do like the ironic, humoresque ambience and narrative of the video, very gamer-like. And as we are already at it: not that I’d have time for it, but where are … Continue reading

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public displays of play

[Abstract:] As research on virtual worlds gains increasing attention in educational, commercial, and military domains, a consideration of how player populations are ‘reassembled’ through social scientific data is a timely matter for communication scholars. This paper describes a large-scale study of virtual worlds in which participants were recruited at public gaming events, as opposed to through online means, and explores the dynamic relationships between players and contexts of play that this approach makes visible. Challenging conventional approaches to quantitatively driven virtual worlds research, which categorizes players based on their involvement in an online game at a particular point in time, … Continue reading

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damascus it is

On 26 February 2013 TV2 of Denmark needed a backdrop for a report on the current conflict in Syria. As it seems someone at the station searched the web for a suitable picture and hit upon a beautiful vista of the old city of Damascus. But the picture shows Damascus as it most probably has looked during the time of the ↑third crusade (1189-1192). Above that the picture doesn’t depict anything from the empirical world, but is a still from the computer game ‘↵Assassin’s Creed‘ (Ubisoft Montreal 2007). Quite tell-tale is the wooden beam attached to the minarett at the … Continue reading

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space by movement

My physical inbox today was graced by the presence of the newest issue (60/2012) of the ‘Berliner Blätter: Ethnographische und ethnologische Beiträge’ [Berlin leafs: Ethnographic and Anthropological Contributions], a German language anthropology journal. It bears the title: ‘Räume durch Bewegung: Ethnographische Perspektiven auf eine vernetzte Welt’ [Space by Movement: Ethnographic Perspectives upon a Networked World]. The editors of said issue, ↑Beatrix Hoffmann and ↑Hansjörg Dilger—who did a truly fine job—sent me the specimen, because it contains a short contribution by yours truly. Here’s the abstract, taken from the issue’s introduction: Alexander Knorr erläutert in seinem Beitrag Möglichkiten ethnografischer Forschung unter … Continue reading

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players unleashed

Players Unleashed is a thought provoking and well-argued reconstruction of the history of digital games and the role of player modifications to such artifacts. Focusing on the wide-ranging universe of mods for the best selling game The Sims, Sihvonen presents a cogent and persuasive argument for the importance of such activities, and in doing so helps us understand the vital role that players have claimed in the development and evolution of digital games. (Mia Consalvo) SIHVONEN, TANJA. 2011. ↑Players unleashed! Modding The Sims and the culture of gaming. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. … Continue reading

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