robots and suicide bombing

a bizarre relationship in a decidedly cyberpunked world On Monday, 4 February 2008 in a shopping mall in Dimona, southern Israel, a “woman has been killed in a suicide bombing […], the first such attack by Palestinian militants in over a year,” ↑reported the BBC. Very sad and tragical (absolutely no irony or cynicism here), as the most of what I heard from the Middle East via the traditional mass media as far as my memory reaches back. The relationship between robots and human beings has become an issue spawning quite some media attention recently. In Japan robots are used … Continue reading

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digital arabs

  ↑ŠISLER, VÍT. 2006. “↑Representation and self-representation: Arabs and Muslims in digital games,” in Gaming realities: A challenge for digital culture edited by M. Santorineos and N. Dimitriadi, pp. 85-92. Athens: Fournos. Available online [.pdf | 480KB]: http://uisk.jinonice.cuni.cz/sisler/publications/SISLER_Representation_of_Muslims.pdf  abstract: This paper presents the ways in which Muslims and Arabs are represented in mainstream European and American digital games. It analyzes how games—particularly of the action genre—construct the Arab or Muslim ‘Other’. Within these games, one finds the diverse ethnic and religious identities of the Islamic world reconstructed into a series of flat social typologies, often presented within the framework of … Continue reading

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tahta al-hisar—under siege

  ↑Tahta al-Hisar—Under Siege is a “real life 3D game shooter” developed and produced by ↑Afkar Media in Damascus, Syria. The game strives to mediate a middle-eastern view of the middle-eastern conflict to middle-eastern youngsters—and yes, (for technical testing ONLY ;-) there even is a playable demo online [.zip | 23.1MB], able to spread the idea way farther. Here is the game’s official description by the developers:    When you live in middle-east you can’t avoid being part of the image, as a development company we believe that we had to do our share of responsibility in telling the story … Continue reading

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digital intifada, arabs, and aliens

  Just ↵as promised, my pal ↑Vít Šisler—lawyer, arabist, and anthropologist-in-disguise—now has done it and brought his fresh, new, and tremendously interesting articles online:  ↑Digital Intifada (↵Šisler 2006b) “examines political videogames produced by the Syrian company Afkar Media in Damascus, mainly their recent game Tahta al-Hisar (Under Siege) and puts them in a broader context of persuasive and serious games. It deals with the representation of the Other and Foreign in videogames, construction of the Arab and Islamic heroes and ongoing digital emancipation of the Near East.”  ↑In videogames you shoot Arabs or Aliens (↵Šisler 2006a) is an “interview with … Continue reading

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computergames, Islam, and politics

Vít Šisler is one of the interesting people I learned to know at the ↑Cyberspace 2005 conference and with whom I will stay in close contact on every account. Vít is a young Prague-based lawyer whose primary research interests are Islam and Islamic law in cyberspace. Exotic bricolage already, isn’t it? According to his own testimony he woke up one morning and realized that he spoke Arabic. Not by means of a miracle, but as an after-effect of his long-time sojourns in the Middle East. So he decided to enlarge his wisdom by studying again—Arabic Studies. When I had talked … Continue reading

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