reality bytes gaming myths

↑Henry Jenkins III, one of the directors of ↑MIT‘s ↑comparative media studies, has written an article called ↑Reality Bytes: Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked. The eight myths [in this context to be understood as ‘false beliefs’] he deals with are:  1. The availability of video games has led to an epidemic of youth violence. 2. Scientific evidence links violent game play with youth aggression. 3. Children are the primary market for video games. 4. Almost no girls play computer games. 5. Because games are used to train soldiers to kill, they have the same impact on the kids who … Continue reading

Share

play and violence

  ↑Static, the ↑London Consortium‘s online journal, ↑aims at initiating “interdisciplinary intellectual debate about paradoxes of contemporary culture, Static presents contributions from an international team of academics, artists and cultural practitioners.” The ↑first issue‘s core topic was play and violence—the ↑editorial sounds very promising:  During the month of July 2005, the London Consortium organised a conference on the theme of “Playtime”. This event, which took place at the ICA, was an opportunity for a team of international scholars and artists to discuss the theme of playtime in relation to sports, video games, films, art, and other forms that play can … Continue reading

Share

world’s greatests—cpl world tour 2005 finals

a cyberanthropologist’s reflections on e-sports At a tremendous pace computergames and gaming-culture get more and more attention and coverage by ‘traditional’ electronic and print mass media. More and more institutions of said media take computergames to be a serious and worthwhile topic. A sure sign for them becoming integrated into mainstream contemporary culture, loosing the air of an initiated-youths-only subcultural thing. Simultaneously media-coverage of game-issues step by step drifts away from the purely negative and dystopian towards the more differentiated and sometimes utterly positive.     As mainstream contemporary culture is embedded into a transnational economical system, this spreading of … Continue reading

Share

fun

After last year’s excellent Rules of play (↵Salen & Zimmerman 2004) now everybody recommends:  KOSTER, RAPH. 2005. A theory of fun for game design. Scottsdale, Arizona: Paraglyph Press.  For background information see the according ↑entry at game matters with extensive comments, and ↑Conversation with Raph Koster by Celia Pearce. And if we’re talking about ‘definitive’ books on computergames, here’s a hint: Chris Crawford’s classic ↑The art of computer game design is online already since 1997. Just to round it up, the ludologist ↑points to ↑The evolution of gaming: computers, consoles, and arcade, another take on game history. And then, academics … Continue reading

Share

aggressive morning fever

↑BURKE, TIMOTHY AND KEVIN BURKE. 1999. Saturday morning fever: Growing up with cartoon culture. New York: St. Martin’s.  GOLDSTEIN, JEFFREY. 2001. ↑Does playing violent video games cause aggressive behavior?. Chicago: University of Chicago. Electronic Document. Available online: http://culturalpolicy.uchicago.edu/conf2001/papers/goldstein.html … Continue reading

Share

atari archives

Well, back in the 1980s I was in the other camp, because I was a proud owner of a C64—and we somehow looked down on those having an Atari. But that is history, and exactly from that point of view ↑atariarchives.org is very worthwhile, as it “makes books, information, and software for Atari and other classic computers available on the Web. Everything here is available with permission of the copyright holders.” … Continue reading

Share

cyber sabre

Quite a time ago, while drinking beer at a party organised by our students, I told a fellow anthropologist about game-items from Everquest being sold at ebay (see e.g. Castronova ↵2001 and ↵2003). All I harvested was an amused smile and the somewhat depreciatory comment “That’s completely crazy!” Resisting the temptation to answer “And what about ‘your people’? Talkin’ to the Dead! Bah!—Humbug!” (my colleague has done equally extensive and phantastic, simply great fieldwork in Southern India) I instead started to think about the response—I had to think a bit in order to reach the following quite obvious conclusions, for … Continue reading

Share

gamer stereotypes fragged

The (U.S.) entertainment software association (ESA) had Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc. conduct a study which’s findings contradict the usual clichés of gamers. This goes well with the findings of studies undertaken by the Forschungsschwerpunkt Wirkung virtueller Welten (research focus “virtual worlds’ virtue”) of the University of Applied Sciences Cologne (articles are in German). The stereotypes are fragged for now, but they sure as hell will respawn. And of course the argument will come up that the study was commissioned by the ESA, and was done by a commercial institute. The german studies were commissioned by the government, and … Continue reading

Share

world’s greatest

BBC-News carries an article on pro-gamer legend Jonathan Wendel aka Fatal1ty: Golden boy gamer becomes a brand . The golden boy has to say something on the social dimension of gaming, too: “Socialising online is awesome – you are talking to all these gamers just about random topics. It’s like you are on the phone talking to a friend almost. Then you get to meet these guys at LAN parties. It’s a total blast.” During the last months I noticed a substantial increase of articles on gaming issues in the supra-regional major daily newspapers and magazines — at least in … Continue reading

Share