A Chaotic Gift (for Chris Bateman)

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Languages & Linguistics, Letters, Mythology, Religion, War, Violence & Terrorism

Dear Chris,

You have recently returned from patern­ity leave, and have wit­nessed the birth of your second son, on which again my con­grat­u­la­tions! As you wrote on your own blog, you’d like noth­ing more from your read­ers as a gift than an open let­ter, so who am I to refuse?

After I fin­ished read­ing the final draft ver­sion of your upcom­ing book, Chaos Eth­ics, some­where last year, I wrote to you in an email that I thought it would be an inter­est­ing idea to start a let­ter series on the topic of Chaos, in the broad­est sense. It is not some­thing you touch upon extens­ively in your book—understandably so, since it is about eth­ics first and foremost—but know­ing you slightly, I sus­pect you will have some addi­tional things to say on the concept.

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.

The Future of Videogame Logging

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

In an inte­resting self-reflec­­tional turn, blog dis­cus­sions about the nature and future of blog­ging have recently been re­open­ed in cer­tain cor­ners of the inter­net. I con­tri­buted a little bit to the dis­cus­sion with my earlier mus­ing on the nature of online con­ver­sation, and Chris Bate­man has sum­marised some of the thoughts ga­ther­ed in our ‘bloot’ (blog-moot) in his wrap-up post. In short: I’m con­vinced that mea­ning­ful online con­ver­sation is pos­sible, about any sub­ject, but that it requires invest­ment of time and atten­tion, as well as con­veni­ent technology.What I want to focus on this time is video­game blog­ging in par­tic­u­lar. This month’s theme on Blogs of the Round Table (hos­ted by Crit­ical Dis­tance) is “Blog­ception: What is the future of video­game blog­ging?”. Before I want to say some­thing about the pos­sible fu­tures, we should turn to the cur­rent state of video­game of blog­ging.

Ludus Linguarum (This Is (Not) a Game)

Posted 10 CommentsPosted in Digital Media & Videogames, Languages & Linguistics, Social Interaction & Networks

It is a dis­cus­sion that crops up from time to time: what is a game? This would be a fairly aca­demic defin­i­tion ques­tion, were it not that it finds a much lar­ger battle­ground mostly out­side aca­demia, where con­sumers and crit­ics of video games are the par­ti­cipants.

The dir­ect cata­lyst for the most recent iter­a­tion of this dis­cus­sion was the release two days ago of Pro­teus, a game developed by Ed Key and David Kanaga. This work, as I briefly explained in my piece on Noc­tis, is all about free explor­a­tion of an island and its flora and fauna, about build­ing a soundtrack by mov­ing around. It is lim­ited in its inter­activ­ity com­pared to many other video games, and this has sparked the dis­cus­sion on whether or not Key and Kanaga are right to refer to Pro­teus as a game.

2012: A Year in Books

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Astronomy, Languages & Linguistics, Magic, Mystery, Mythology, Poetry & Prose, Politics, Religion, Science, War, Violence & Terrorism

What did I read in 2012? I’ve found look­ing back at my last year in books helps me chart some themes and devel­op­ments in my (men­tal life), so I’ve decided to do it again this year. I read 92 books in 2012, a little fewer than in 2011, but they were big­ger books, and my page total ended up higher. This doesn’t count all the art­icles I’ve read, but we’ve got to draw the read­ing ner­d­age line some­where. It’s all slightly arbit­rary any­way.