occupation—transformation

During the upcoming winter term it is me who has to deliver the ‘Introduction to social and cultural anthropology’ lecture (anthro 101) at ↑my institute—I guess as a starter for the session on ↑economic anthropology I will use the 12 September entry ↑Why? posted at ↑OccupyWallStreet: Contemporary society is commodified society, where the economic transaction has become the dominant way of relating to the culture and artifacts of human civilization, over and above all other means of understanding, with any exceptions being considered merely a temporary holdout as the market swiftly works on ways to monetize those few things which … Continue reading

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free game

Like movies or novels, computer games are media. In accordance to the intentions of its authors, designers, and developers, a computer game mediates experiences to the players. The malleability and potential of the medium allows the mediation of a vast range of experiences. In the case of Max Payne [Remedy 2001] it is the experience of living through a crime story, rather than the experience of some kind of contest. Besides being a medium, a computer game first of all is a piece of software, a complex piece of program code […] While I was writing these sentences—their German equivalents, … Continue reading

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nazgûl of armonk

I was startled to hear the thundering of hooves. Having lived near Armonk, NY all my life, I had never heard such a sound before.     “What is that horrible sound?”     “That is the sound of the Black Steeds riding west from Armonk.”     “The Black Steeds?”     “The ↑Nazgul. They once were men. Now they are neither dead nor alive.     They are IBM’s attorneys.” comment at slashdot … Continue reading

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mana’o

The ↑Mana’o Project is “an experimental open access anthropology repository.” It is just some months old, but there already are items as far back as 1891, including some classics. Of course the frequency of items gets bigger and bigger as you get closer to the present day. Additionally the topics are tell-tale in some respect, too. Below I listed what generated a search according to my current focus of interest. Alas, it would be premature to deduce, that the things “cyber” have conquered whole anthropology, because those working on said topics of course are the first to publish their texts … 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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02/11

the day ↑DRM went down on its knees again As far as I understand the matter, it now is possible to decrypt the contents of ↑HD DVD and ↑Blu-ray Discs, because for both the same root/master key is used. For all about the processing key and the technicalities, go to the ↑according thread at ↑Doom9. For German-only passers-by, ↑Heise has a story. The whole matter is not only a current one, work and discussion are still going on right now, but is very interesting as well. The contents of said thread, the interaction taking place there, already is a premium … Continue reading

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kirkpatrick 2004 excerpts

Technological politics and the networked PC  However, the best illustration of the kind of positive cultural politics envisaged here concerns the culture of game modification. Games players write and exchange ‘mods’—modifications to games programs that include new twists of storyline and environment—and have succeeded, through this activity, in obliging games producers to leave their source code open for this purpose, something hackers have not yet persuaded the manufacturers of Windows to do. This has been achieved through the market, with astute games manufacturers recognising that there was demand for games with accessible source code, but also through successful negotiation 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 gold farms

The New York Times’ David Barboza has written an article on chinese gold farms, called ↑Boring Game? Hire a player which is available online via the International Herald Tribune:  FUZHOU, China One of China’s newest factories operates here in the basement of an old warehouse. Posters of World of Warcraft and Magic Land hang above a corps of young people with drowsy eyes glued to their computer screens, pounding away at their keyboards in the latest hustle for money. The people working at this clandestine locale are called “gold farmers.” Every day, in 12-hour shifts, they kill monsters and harvest … Continue reading

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ban on killergames in germany

The so-called big coalition between Germany’s major parties, the ↑SPD and the ↑CDU/↑CSU has published its freshly minted ↑coalition agreement [in German | .pdf | 619KB]. ↑2R ↑points us to the agreement’s line 5147 [in the vicinity of which the upcoming German government’s goals and strategies for protecting the youth are outlined] where we can read one of the goals set: “Verbot von “Killerspielen”” [ban on “killergames”]. The term is no more specified in the whole paper, but I fear the worst: No more chess! … Continue reading

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