Walking the Planes 3: Pluralities

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Digital Media & Videogames, Politics, Social Interaction & Networks, Travel & Exploration

The third art­icle in my series Wal­king the Planes has just been pub­lished over at The Onto­logical Geek. It’s about the Plane­scape set­ting and how its em­pha­sis on diver­sity and plu­ra­lity has affec­ted me, both in dis­cover­ing the set­ting as a teen, and now­adays. I’m not really sure yet what the next epi­sode is going to be about, as I have mul­tiple half-fin­ished ideas boun­cing around in my head. You’ll have to wait and see!

Memory Insufficient: Language and Games

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Digital Media & Videogames, Languages & Linguistics, Poetry & Prose, Social Interaction & Networks, War, Violence & Terrorism

Recently, I had the hon­our of being guest editor on Memory Insuf­fi­cient, the games his­tory ezine. I edited the spe­cial issue on Lan­guage and Games. You can read the edit­or­ial from the issue below, but really you should just go and down­load the whole issue here [pdf], because it’s free.

Cake Salad (a reply to Cameron Kunzelman)

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Analogy, Digital Media & Videogames, Languages & Linguistics, Letters, Social Interaction & Networks

This open let­ter is a reply to Ca­­me­­ron Kun­­zel­­man’s piece “On Video Games, Con­tent, and Ex­­pres­­sion”. It is about cake (layer­ed and un­layer­ed), salad, music, opera, ana­lo­gies, and about games. Any­one is free to reply here or on their own blog.

Games within games (within games)

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Digital Media & Videogames, Folklore, Social Interaction & Networks, Space & Spatiality

In this piece, I wanted to briefly dis­cuss some ways in which play­ers cre­ate sub­games in video­games, and what they say about the nature of vari­ous types of play and game spaces. I’ll start with a dis­cussion of ap­proa­ches to ‘ghost’ and paci­fist play­styles in stealth games, and how these play­styles have become in­cor­po­rated or re-appro­­pri­ated in the rules of vari­ous host games. After­wards, I’ll dis­cuss how role­playing in multi­player video­games is prac­tically always a sub­game enac­ted out­side of the digi­tally arbi­trated game rules. Finally, just to mess with you, I’ll at­tempt to stretch my own model by talk­ing about parti­cular sub­games I’ve tried to play within the role­playing sub­game.

Centers and Peripheries of Games Criticism

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Digital Media & Videogames, Languages & Linguistics, Social Interaction & Networks

Last week, Rami Ismail made a brief but import­ant call for a bit of aware­ness con­cerning the status of Eng­lish as the lin­gua franca in (the major part of) the games industry. I had been gath­er­ing thoughts on a dis­cus­sion of the role of lan­guage in games cri­ti­cism, spe­cific­ally, for a while, so I figured now would be a good time to make things a bit more con­crete. I had writ­ten a para­graph call­ing for aware­ness of lin­guistic diversity in games last sum­mer, but didn’t really take the argu­ment any­where, so let me build on what I wrote there.

Re: Virtuous Discourse; a letter to Chris Bateman

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Letters, Social Interaction & Networks

Dear Chris,

It is an hon­our to be the re­cipient of the first entry in what I hope will be­come a long series of digital let­ters, a re­in­vi­gora­tion of on­line con­ver­sa­tion, rather than the ex­change of only the brie­fest of thoughts and com­ments. That we, and Alan William­son with us, share much of the feel­ings on the cur­rent state of the ex­change of ideas on the inter­net sug­gests to me at most that there is some­thing amiss in our little corner of the web—games, philo­sophy, history—and what we want from it.

Future Nostalgia (A Fictional Review of Bientôt l’été)

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Astronomy, Digital Media & Videogames, Gender & Sexuality, Literature & Narrative, Psychology, Social Interaction & Networks

[From a friend who wishes to remain ano­nymous, I re­ceived the ori­ginal ver­sion of the mes­sage below, which was picked up using radio ob­ser­vation of sig­nals from outer space. For the reader’s con­venience, I have ren­dered it in con­tem­po­rary Eng­lish, rather than the early mo­dern Eng­lish in which it was writ­ten.]

Archive: Des­bares­des belt > Giraud γ > Orbit of Giraud γ 3 > Wreck­age of Sigil, or­bital torus space sta­tion
File: Ano­nymous jour­nal entry, text­ual, untitled, dated 2321/12/16
Descrip­tion: This log entry, re­trieved dur­ing the sal­vage of Sigil sta­tion in 2456, appears to be an assess­ment of a par­ticular type of inter­active expe­rience avail­able to users of the sta­tion at the time through use of holo­communi­cation trans­mitters. Rem­nants of the soft­ware which is referred to in the entry have been found in the data logs of Sigil sta­tion, and vari­ous other sta­tions through­out the galaxy; see > T. Beach Proj­ector.