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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teh original affluent society

Ladies and Gentlemen, hold your breath, just some hours ago we founded our very own gaming clan: “Teh Original Affluent Society” (TOAS—and, yes, it’s “Teh” ;-) The best thing is the members roster. At the moment there are four of us: Firstly an individual who can’t play any decent computer game at all and doesn’t yet own an acceptable machine, secondly a genuinely bad player posing with a godbox (guess who), then a quite good Quake player who recently defected to BF2, and finally a speedrunning legend. That’s by far the most diverse gamer spectrum ever united in a clan, … Continue reading

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ethnographical suspense on dm6

  With the ↵Fighternight 9 approaching I definitely should have other things on my mind. Namely, ordering the parts of my godbox so that there will be a chance of them arriving in time, and doing some ↑deathmatching in “↑Quake III Arena“ (Q3A), in spite of training ↵trickjumping moves. But somehow I can not help going on with my ↵strafing musings …  When trying to accomplish ↵thick participation as the core methodological approach to the field, at every stage you have to decide how deeply to immerse yourself. Apprenticeship and acquiring ↵embodied knowledge are indespensable to a certain degree, I … Continue reading

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severity

  Not too long ago, when ↑KerLeone—who introduced me to “↑Quake III Arena“ (Q3A), but meanwhile shamefully has defected to “↑Battlefield 2“, the traitor—asked me what people actually are playing nowadays when they are out for the deathmatch experience, I answered: ” “↑Painkiller” (PK), I guess.” My guess was based on two observations. Firstly the ↑Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) had chosen “Painkiller” for the ↵CPL World Tour 2005, and secondly the game indeed emulates gameplay, feel, and ambience of the classical ↑first-person shooter (FPS) games. But emulation is not the original, accordingly in 2006 the CPL fell back on Q3A … Continue reading

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severe announcement

  Computergames can be spectacular, ↑first-person shooters (FPS) in particular. ↑Electronic sports (e-sports) almost always are spectacular. Marketing in turn definitely has to be spectacular. Marketing a computergame for e-sports for sure will be a spectacle. From the beginning on a new project in this realm has to be advertised in a fashion which generates the most impact possible. Already the announcement should be spectacular and correctly placed. Here a lot depends on the choice of the announcer. Since decades almost every championship bout in heavyweight boxing is announced by ↑Michael Buffer, who, together with his coin phrase “Let’s get … Continue reading

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counter crawford

  Detail from the original cover of ↑Chris Crawford‘s 1987 game “↑Patton vs. Rommel“ As I said, all in all the public discussion on computergames is led way more differentiated in the aftermath of the amok run at Emsdetten, than it was led before. For example yesterday there was an interview with the 1980s prominent game designer ↑Chris Crawford of “↑The art of computer game design“ (↵Crawford 1984) fame, in one of Germany’s biggest transregional newspapers: “Faster, higher, more colourful—how bleak” (Süddeutsche Zeitung 288: 11) As usual Crawford is quite critical of contemporary computergames and the industry [for more of … Continue reading

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gamemodding definitions

The wall went down last month. From now on in computer gaming, there were to be no real barriers between creator and audience, or producer and consumer. They would be collaborators in the same imaginative space, and working as equals, they’d create a new medium, together. (↵Au 2002)  “Day of Defeat” is a mod—a fan-made modification to a pre-existing game. Or, in modder jargon, it’s a “total conversion,” the most ambitious form of mod, in which all the graphics and gameplay of the original title have been reshaped by fans to create an entirely new experience. (↵Au 2002)  The community … Continue reading

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