grand theft childhood

Finally …  KUTNER, LAWRENCE AND CHERYL K. OLSEN. 2008. ↑Grand theft childhood: The surprising truth about violent video games and what parents can do. New York: Simon & Schuster. The book is a straightforward and clear scientific elaboration of, and argument for, what ihatesheep ↵brought to the point in 2006: ‘If playing GTA is all it takes for your child to go out and murder prostitutes, then there are far, far bigger problems that you probably need to address.’ … Continue reading

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enemy dispenser

manuscript-day eleven of 100  Overlay text points me to a decidedly surreal element, a large switch, its socket pasted to a brick wall. An enamel sign above it reads ‘enemy dispenser.’ Gathering all my guts I am stepping up to the oversized button and ‘engage.’     Sudden excited shouting in the street. Outside my field of vision (FOV) a yet unknown number of bad guys has spawned. While I am hastily turning around a gun cracks. Blood sprays, the stereo headphones relay a pressed ‘Ugh!’ to my brain. Payne’s way of quitting him being hit. Panic stricken, having no … Continue reading

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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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shooter saves life

  The computer game “↑Max Payne“ (MP, 2001) was ↑banned in Germany, due to “socioethical disorienting effects,” it supposedly causes. In July of 2002 “↑America’s Army“ (AA) was released—since then I am wondering why nobody over here has the idea to ban that game. AA, which is distributed for free over the Internet and on free DVDs, is  a tactical multiplayer first-person shooter owned by the United States Government and released as a global public relations initiative to help with U.S. Army recruitment. […]  Professor Michael Zyda, the director and founder of the MOVES Institute, acknowledged “↑Counter-Strike“ (CS) as the … Continue reading

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stigma computer game

In my view the witchcraze against computer games and their “lethal potential” yet again is an instance of ↵virtualism, but rationality and competence indeed rise their ugly heads against it. [This entry is mainly for the German speaking readers—I beg your pardon.] The above YouTube video by Matthias Dittmayer has been uploaded two weeks ago and meanwhile has been viewed close to 230,000 times. It uncloaks a whole series of fatal errors and simply wrong facts in several television programs of the German national television channels. The central issue of those programs? “Killer games”. Long before preparing and uploading his … Continue reading

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pulp surrealism

Pulp Surrealism is about the secret life of mass culture, specifically its surrealistic undercurrents. It establishes a low-brow, anti-establishment genealogy of the Parisian dada and surrealist movements in the popular realms of crime fiction and sensationalist journalism. Mass culture was not generally inspirational to the surrealists; the vast amount of it was rejected by them as commercialized and mind-numbing. As Aragon stated in Traité du style, “not any old smut is the equivalent of surrealist poetry.” However, the surrealists were connoisseurs of mass culture and they found great sympathies between subterranean impulses in mass culture and their own intellectual and … 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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chinese shock

  China definitely is the world’s factory. No matter what kind of product I turn around—be it the cheapest plastic toy, little-finger sized, or be it a high-end expedition sleeping back, or be it any random electronic device, no matter from which price-segment—always I am going to find the embossed imprint “Made in China”. China manufactures everything. Everything. Remember ↵VirTra Systems’ glorious idea? Well, the fatal feedback has returned … today ↑Anthronaut notified me by e-mail of a party-gadget called “Shocking Roulette”. A quick search revealed that in China of course a similar item is produced. The picture above shows … 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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reality bytes gaming myths

↑Henry Jenkins III, one of the directors of ↑MIT‘s ↑comparative media studies, has written an article called ↑Reality Bytes: Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked. The eight myths [in this context to be understood as ‘false beliefs’] he deals with are:  1. The availability of video games has led to an epidemic of youth violence. 2. Scientific evidence links violent game play with youth aggression. 3. Children are the primary market for video games. 4. Almost no girls play computer games. 5. Because games are used to train soldiers to kill, they have the same impact on the kids who … Continue reading

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