damascus it is

On 26 February 2013 TV2 of Denmark needed a backdrop for a report on the current conflict in Syria. As it seems someone at the station searched the web for a suitable picture and hit upon a beautiful vista of the old city of Damascus. But the picture shows Damascus as it most probably has looked during the time of the ↑third crusade (1189-1192). Above that the picture doesn’t depict anything from the empirical world, but is a still from the computer game ‘↵Assassin’s Creed‘ (Ubisoft Montreal 2007). Quite tell-tale is the wooden beam attached to the minarett at the … Continue reading

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moving the map

Here is yet another example from the ↵games with defects: ↑PlaygroundPong. From ↑the documentation: PlaygroundPong is a proof of concept for inverting Avatar & Playground. The player cannot move the paddles at all like in a regular Pong game. The ball seems to move from side to side but clearly it does not! The player cannot identify with the avatar (playing object), he or she has to get to terms with moving the background (from left to right, right to left, top to bottom and bottom to top) in order to bring the paddles in a position where they manage … Continue reading

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games with defects

While attending the ↑Third Annual Conference of the Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung (↑GFF), at the University of Zurich I got to know ↑René Bauer, a game designer who teaches at the Hochschule der Künste in Zürich (↑ZHdK). He showed us quite some of the projects done by his students—see yourself at ↑and-or—wonderful, fantastic, up to absolutely hilarious. I especially like the idea of creating computer games with built-in gameplay defects which are making you think. Take for example ‘↑laichenberg‘, a first-person shooter which was advertised as being ‘more realistic than doom3, unreal etc.’  With the graphics craze of the last decade … Continue reading

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frags with love

  ‘Im just five hours old … Truly beautiful to behold …’ Fresh from the mint, here is KerLeone’s very first frag movie—high quality definition, editing, and frags, plus a gorgeous soundtrack. It was he, my old on- and offline pal, who brought me to ↑Quake more than a decade ago … and it took him that long to create a frag movie :) Enjoy! … Continue reading

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evil overlord workstation

Way back in 2008 I reported on attempts to cyberpunkify ergonomic solutions for computer workplaces: see ↵laid back and ↵laid back flagship. Now MWE Lab has driven it to new heights in every respect … the ↑Emperor 200 comes with a lavish price-tag of $45,000. Roberto Baldwin at Wired’s Gadget Lab ↑has commented perfectly: Upon sitting in the Emperor 200, users tap on the touchscreen to lower the monitors and nestle themselves into a computing bubble worthy of a Bond villain. Because each workstation is built to order, MWE labs can customize each installation to handle different computing platforms, even … Continue reading

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scrolls duel

The patent portfolio battles between Apple on the one side and Samsung, Google, and whomyouhave on the other sides, are all over the news. Within the gaming industry since some months there is a disturbing trademark battle on, too. It has its fun sides, but is a more serious and deep-probing issue than I first thought. At the core is a dispute between the companies ↑Mojang and Zenimax/Bethesda over the use of the word ‘Scrolls.’     Mojang is the company of ↑Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of the indie cult title ↑Minecraft. ↑Bethesda Softworks is the developer and publisher … Continue reading

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life and live

In a way ‘↑Second Life‘ (SL) is the online analogon to a social club of sorts—“↑Quake Live“ (QL) in turn emulates a boxing gym, or any other sports club centred around a competitive pastime. In the end both of course are social institutions, but differ in terms of qualities, differ in culture. … 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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coolness

cyberpunked second living    Believe it or not, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am getting cooler day by day—in “↑Second Life“ (SL) that is. Remember when I said that graphics-wise SL is ↵insultory to my hardware? Well, concerning the absolute majority of avatars I have met so far, and concerning almost all the architecture I have seen so far, this still stands uncorrected. I am running SL on the absolute highest settings here on my machine, but when you compare the looks to e.g. “↵Max Payne 2“ (MP2), a game released in 2003, SL obviously is inferior. Plus, there is no … Continue reading

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kyle pwned

More than a year ago I ↵added a tidbit to the entry ↑Pure Pwnage at Wikipedia. My addition, which—in the wake of Wikipedia’s ↑Project Internet Culture—meanwhile was moved to the ↑easter eggs section of the now existing entry ↑List of Pure Pwnage episodes, read like that: In Episode 8, when Doug is competing against 7 other CS:S players, one of his victims is under the alias “f4tality”. This is a nod to ↑Johnathan Wendel, a professional FPS-gamer who goes by the name “Fatal1ty”. Early in his career, Wendel played “↑Counter-Strike“ before he resorted to single-player games such as “↑Quake III … Continue reading

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