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

Share

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

Share

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 … Continue reading

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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

Share