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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pure pwnage: teh movie

  This is absolutely uncommon here on xirdalium, I know … four words in a headline! But for this I’d do a lot more. Watch the video above, and then ↑head over here. I’ll write more later on, just want to get it online in the blog as fast as possible. Just opened a beer to celebrate :D     See also ↵the infancy of Internet television ↵boom—headshot!, ↵true pwnage, ↵fps_doug vs. f4tality, ↵teh best day ever, ↵first season pwned, and ↵kyle pwned. … Continue reading

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frags with love

  ‘Im just five hours old … Truly beautiful to behold …’ Fresh from the mint, here is KerLeone’s very first frag movie—high quality definition, editing, and frags, plus a gorgeous soundtrack. It was he, my old on- and offline pal, who brought me to ↑Quake more than a decade ago … and it took him that long to create a frag movie :) Enjoy! … Continue reading

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evil overlord workstation

Way back in 2008 I reported on attempts to cyberpunkify ergonomic solutions for computer workplaces: see ↵laid back and ↵laid back flagship. Now MWE Lab has driven it to new heights in every respect … the ↑Emperor 200 comes with a lavish price-tag of $45,000. Roberto Baldwin at Wired’s Gadget Lab ↑has commented perfectly: Upon sitting in the Emperor 200, users tap on the touchscreen to lower the monitors and nestle themselves into a computing bubble worthy of a Bond villain. Because each workstation is built to order, MWE labs can customize each installation to handle different computing platforms, even … Continue reading

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gaming and murder

Over at ↑Rock, Paper, Shotgun John Walker insightfully debunks the media’s way of dealing with computer games in connection with Anders Breivik: It is inevitable that during the trial of Norwegian mass murderer, Anders Breivik, that the matter of videogaming will come up. Soon after the horrendous events I dug into what Breivik had actually said about gaming in his ghastly manifesto, and it was pretty much nothing of relevance. But with the press still not having found the next nasty to leap on, gaming is the scapegoat. It seems reasonable to point out how inaccurate this remains, and how … Continue reading

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last riddler challenges

Just yesterday I had a longer conversation [not online, but face to face, beer by beer] with a doctoral student of mine ↑who does deeply immersed fieldwork around and within the ‘StarCraft II’ (SC2 | Blizzard Entertainment 2010) pro-gamer scene. Matchingly enough the day before yesterday I reread ↓Bearman 2008 and ↵watched ‘King of Kong’ (Gordon 2007) and ‘Chasing Ghosts’ (Ruchti 2007), wondering at the lengths high-end arcade-gamers go. Well, he told me about the lengths the SC2-specialists go, especially in terms of analysis of the game, its patches, actual matches, etc. Up to writing book-lengths compendiums. After enough grinning … Continue reading

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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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