the turk

manuscript-day 209 of 100 The history of mechanical calculators is far more outbranching, and the whole story is important for understanding, that what a computer does and is based on, is mathematics, and mathematics only. The devices presented so far—from the ‘Antikythera Mechanism’ to Hahn’s calculator—are of tremendous importance for humankind in general, as history then shows. Accordingly they fascinate the elite-circle of scientists of their times. But they harbour no direct meaning for those not ‘in-the-know,’ because in the end, they can ‘just’ calculate, ‘nothing more.’ They are not programable and thus can not combine their calculation powers in … Continue reading

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grand theft childhood

Finally …  KUTNER, LAWRENCE AND CHERYL K. OLSEN. 2008. ↑Grand theft childhood: The surprising truth about violent video games and what parents can do. New York: Simon & Schuster. The book is a straightforward and clear scientific elaboration of, and argument for, what ihatesheep ↵brought to the point in 2006: ‘If playing GTA is all it takes for your child to go out and murder prostitutes, then there are far, far bigger problems that you probably need to address.’ … Continue reading

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enemy dispenser

manuscript-day eleven of 100  Overlay text points me to a decidedly surreal element, a large switch, its socket pasted to a brick wall. An enamel sign above it reads ‘enemy dispenser.’ Gathering all my guts I am stepping up to the oversized button and ‘engage.’     Sudden excited shouting in the street. Outside my field of vision (FOV) a yet unknown number of bad guys has spawned. While I am hastily turning around a gun cracks. Blood sprays, the stereo headphones relay a pressed ‘Ugh!’ to my brain. Payne’s way of quitting him being hit. Panic stricken, having no … Continue reading

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raining games

manuscript-day four of 100 Yesterday night, while hunched over his C-64, absorbedly somersaulting over compact droids while running along platforms, hard banging against the door of his flat wrenched him out of immersion.     ‘Open that door immediately,’ a commanding voice shouted from the staircase outside his apartment. The order was preceded by the incomprehensible, but nevertheless authoritative yelling of a name, and of a likewise yelled address resembling the one of a nearby police station. Already close to wetting his pants, picturing himself in jail for having committed the arch-crime of copyright infringement at least a zillion times, … Continue reading

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ignition—ablaze rewritten

manuscript-day two of 100    My having an appointment here and now renders the situation odd. Else there would be little wonder in the downtown Manhattan spaghetti joint being perfectly deserted at that time of night. Way past the graveyard shift, uncanny twilight, floor covered by classical black and white checker tile, rows of lavishly upholstered benches, matching diner-style tables squeezed in-between, an enormous mahogany bar in the back, and nobody to be seen.     A cliché setting not missing its target, bringing home the menacing ambience quite nicely. Just if I would not be nervous and frightened enough … Continue reading

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my writing

There really is no use in having manuscripts merrily rotting away in drawers and on HDDs. So here are some pieces of mine, on cyberanthropology, appropriation, and game modding:  KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2008. ↓maxmod—eine Ethnographie der cyberculture: Exposé des Habilitationsprojektes [128KB | .pdf]. [unpublished manuscript]  KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2007. ↓Game modding [136KB | .pdf]. [unpublished manuscript]  KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2007. ↓Die kulturelle Aneignung des Spielraums: Vom virtuosen Spielen zum Modifizieren und zurück. [ 220KB | .pdf]. [second version of the manuscript] Scheduled for publication in Shooter: Ein Computerspiel-Genre in multidisziplinärer Perspektive [working title], edited by Matthias Bopp, Peter C. Krell and Serjoscha Wiemer. … 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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