postapocalyptic interviews

At level-design.org there is an interesting ↑interview with Hélder Pinto aka [HP], my old friend from the Max-Payne modding-scene who became a level artist at Crytek. The above is an example of his art, the devastated Madison Square as it appears in Crysis 2. If it wouldn’t be such an old cliché, I’d say you truly are a master of desaster, my man. Speaking of which, eurogamer.org carries a recent ↑interview with John Carmack, the master of Doom. Engine John not only talks about id’s upcoming title Rage, but also on technology at large, e.g. about the end of Moore’s … Continue reading

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guy headroom

The screenshot above I grabbed from ‘↑A Message from Anonymous—12/16/2010‘ on YouTube. No, I won’t really comment on ↑Anonymous for now—my esteemed colleague ↑Biella Coleman already covers it nicely from an anthropological vantage point: ‘↑Anonymous: From the Lulz to Collective Action.’ What I am driving at are the remix-æsthetics of the video, and the sources it draws on, which stem from 1980s British cyberpunk.     The ↑Guy Fawkes mask is part of Anonymous’ corporate identity from the beginning on. Of course they had the idea from a motion picture produced by the ↑Wachowski brothers of ↑Matrix-fame: ‘V for Vendetta’ … Continue reading

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kaizo mario world

impossibly hard variant of super mario world  This is to humble every single speedrunner, trickjumper, DeFRaGger, or first-person-shooter virtuoso/elitist who ever dared to badmouth about 2D jump’n’run sidescrollers and the supposed lack of skill involved in playing them.    The “kaizo” (“hack” or “mod”) of Super Mario World shown in the video was created by T. Takemoto. For the movie he made his friend R. Kiba play his creation. Obviously Kiba possesses god-like skill, but still Takemoto’s level’s are more than a challenge for him. The dramaturgy of the movie is only digestable for the real oldskool aficionados, I confess—but … Continue reading

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interview with a doomed marine

Again those little mosaic-tiles keep falling in place—and the timing is perfect. Just some days ago ↑John Postill confirmed via email that a paper I proposed for the ↑11th biennial conference of the ↑European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) has been accepted for the media anthropology network’s workshop ↑The Rewards of Media. Just one day before gamescares published an ↑interview with Peter Papadopoulos, Remedy’s community manager. Pete is an old friend of mine from the glorious days of Max-Payne modding. Within the online-scene he is better known as ADM, short for “a doomed marine,” of course an allusion to the … 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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game modding

yet another abstract  Just recently I again was invited to submit an abstract for a chapter in an upcoming learned volume. Here is what I cooked up, the chapter simply will be called “Game modding”—it is straight out of my laboratory and pretty well summarizes what I am up to with this whole project. At least it hits its core:  On a global scale media relying on computer technology and the Internet infrastructure play a decisive role in contemporary culture and society. This chapter deals with computergames, what is done with them, and what happens around them, in particular with … Continue reading

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dawn of the dead

  Within the gaming and modding community at large there are not only fans of ↑John Romero, but also of ↑George A. Romero. [Never mix up the two Romeros, nor the ↵two Johns.] Remember the seminal 1968 black and white horror movie classic “↑Night of the Living Dead“? Or some of its sequels, like the 1978 “↑Dawn of the Dead“? No? Gosh, where have you been raised? In a world, where “↑There’s Always Vanilla“? But for sure you already heard that punch line “↵When hell is full, the Dead will walk the Earth.“ Ah yes, bingo, it’s about Zombies, the … Continue reading

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independent mods festival

The motto of the ↑9th Annual Independent Games Festival—which will take place 06-09 March 2007 in San Francisco, California—reads: “Rewarding innovation in independent games.” Quite naturally there is a mod competition as well. Forget the Oscars and hold your breath: Among the ↑35 top-quality entries you will find two Max-Payne-2 mods! The world doesn’t entirely consist of “Doom 3”, “Half-Life 2”, and multiplayer-galore at large—just to those who won’t listen to me. Ladies and Gentlemen, here they are [in alphabetical order]:    ↑7th Serpent: Crossfire is the opening chapter of the ↑7th Serpent series. The game pits you as a … Continue reading

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welcome to bright falls

  ADM, whom I know already for quite some time—in fact as long as ye olde days of ↑Max-Payne modding glory—has made his promise true and, on 22 September 2006, fired a new ↑Alan-Wake fansite online: ↑brightfalls.com. The weblog focusses on the news about Alan Wake, and ADM, with his excellent contacts to Remedy, does a tremendous job of collecting every item published on Alan Wake, as soon as it is published. There was quite some of it during the last three months. Head over to ADM’s new site if you want to know everything about the game which there … Continue reading

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