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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full circle

computergame violence as a result of economical competition  Media coverage on the amok run in Emsdetten on 20 November 2006 already dwindles away, but the discussion on computergames is going on—and I direly hope that it will go on for longer, as long as it stays above the naive level of “killergames”-rhetorics. There indeed is a need for a broad public and political discussion on computergames, I think—over here in Germany and everywhere else where computergames are sold and played [on the whole globe, that is?]. Although I am always quick to point out, that there is way more about … Continue reading

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defrag wikipedia

wikipedia as a field medium—the case of the DeFRaG mod  Still I am preoccupied with writing my article on “The playful appropriation of gamespace—From skilful playing to gamemodding and back again,” or so. A bit late, you may say, as the article is due in two weeks already [Yes, Mr Chair of Anthropology, Sir, I am also going to prepare that presentation you invited me for, in time ;-) But, as you know, I am—just like you—more prone to the hands-on things, than to theoretical write-ups. Erh … which doesn’t show up prominently in my publications till now, I know.], … Continue reading

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delayed access

  Just another ‘little’ rant on economized politics reigning academia—skip it if you can’t stand it anymore.  Last night I woke up around one o’clock in the morning and couldn’t find sleep again. So, in trying to catch up with my personal reading schedule, I spent the rest of the night by burning through Steven Poole’s “Trigger happy” (↵Poole 2000) and especially ↑Henry Lowood‘s “High-performance play: The making of machinima”. I ↵already knew that the latter is a real gem, but somehow shifted it from desk to desk in didn’t come around to read it till last night. Already after … Continue reading

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q1 map sources

  Just as he had promised during ↑QuakeExpo, celebrating the tenth anniversary of ↑Quake, ↑John Romero ↑released the map sources on 11 October 2006. Immediately not only ↑comments rained in, but the community sprang to action as well. For example ↑sajt dug up the seemingly lost ↑alternate end level at ↑speeddemosarchive, which even Romero himself didn’t have. Modders started to lay their hands on the original maps, ported them to current mods, compared them with their own recreations of the originals, and so on. Yet another proof for the existence of not only tradition, but also a sense for history … Continue reading

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quake engine family tree

  A family tree of ↑Quake-based game engines. By Tei, ↑published at Wikipedia. ↑Licence. This is just to illustrate the enormous influence and impact of ↑John Carmack‘s game-engines on the whole lot of computergames as we know them today. The time and again up-popping assumption that with every engine Carmack starts from a blank slate, and that hence no code from previous engines is to be found in the next generations, is definitely wrong. In an Interview on ↑Doom III Carmack said the following to ↑Stephen L. Kent: “Since then, the moves from QUAKE to ↑QUAKE II to ↑QUAKE III … Continue reading

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two johns

  What I finished reading last night is by far the best book on computergames I had my hands on so far. To be precise, it is the best book on those aspects of computergames I am interested in the most: history and culture, meaning and relevance. ↑David Kushner‘s “Masters of Doom: How two guys created an empire and transformed pop culture” (↵Kushner 2004 [2003]) tells the biographies of the ‘Two Johns’, ↑Carmack and ↑Romero and thereby not only the history of Doom and Quake, of the invention and rise of first-person-shooter-games in general, but makes the reader understand gaming-culture, … Continue reading

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