Principles of Virtual Sensation

What is the “feel” of a game? Every gamer knows it and can easily recall the sensation, the kinesthetic feeling, of controlling some virtual avatar or agent. It’s what causes you to lean left and right as you play, swinging your controller wildly as you try to get Mario to move just a little faster. It’s the feeling of masterfully controlling some object outside your body, making it an extension of your will and instinct. This “virtual sensation” is in many ways the essence of videogames, one of the most compelling, captivating, and interesting emergent properties of human-computer interaction.

Steve Swink – Principles of Virtual Sensation.

James Wolcott on Reality Television

The influence of Reality TV has been insidious, pervasive. It has ruined television, and by ruining television it has ruined America. Maybe America was already ruined, but if so, it’s now even more ruined. Let us itemize the crop damage.

James Wolcott – I’m a Culture Critic … Get Me Out of Here!

One Book, Many Readings

[R]ather than being a definition retrieval system or associative datastore, their interactive function is to create a gameworld for the reader. This is part of the wonder of these books – they took a pre-existing set of interface conventions designed for utilitarian search tasks and mapped a new activity onto it. They were effectively a new kind of software application for the oldest information-display platform we have.

Christian Swinehart – One Book, Many Readings

Science Fiction in Romania up to 1990

Science Fiction in Romania up to 1990

Romania has had a long history of science fiction from the end of the 19th century. This article summarises the highlights up to 1990

„Why So Socialist?“: Unmasking the Joker

[T]here’s a very real chance that the Obama/Joker image is in itself meaningless. This is not to say, however, that the context is meaningless, or that the image is worthless. Quite the contrary, in fact – just because we can’t affix objective meaning to a given cultural artifact doesn’t mean there is nothing to learn.

Whitney Phillips – Unmasking the Joker

A plan for the movements of Hulot and the camera down the escalator and among the cubicles in Play Time

hulot

A plan for the movements of Hulot and the camera down the escalator and among the cubicles in Play Time. Via Observations on film art and FILM ART : Where in the world is M. Hulot?

Ian Bogost – Media Studies and Realism

[T]he horizontal symmetry apparent in many Atari VCS games could be attributed to trends in the history of art or as a reference to the bilateral symmetry native to earthly animals. But such a response would fail to take into account the fact that the production of symmetry on the device is a convenience afforded by its hardware design, which provides memory-mapped registers capable of storing 20 bits of data for a screen-worth of low-res background graphics 40 bits wide. Doubling or mirroring the left half of the screen involves a single assembly instruction that flips a bit on another register. That convenience was further inspired by the way people conceived of videogames at the time. In this case, the relationship between design, material constraing, and individual expression is complex, irreducible to appeals to any one factor alone. The 20 bits of storage in registers PF0, PF1, and PF2 do not determine the aesthetics of a game like Combat, nor are they simple constructions of social practices.

Ian Bogost – Media Studies and Realism.

Primer: Transmedia Storytelling and Alternate Reality Games

Transmedia Storytelling and Alternate Reality Games: A primer for non-specialist audiences.

Monday – 20th July 2009 @ 09:42:01 AM

Henry Jenkins on Transmedia – November 2009 from niko on Vimeo.

Henry Jenkins is the director, Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT. In this viral-info-snack he discusses the power of media in a 21 century trans-mediated world. A world where converging technologies and cultures give rise to a new media landscape.

Essays in Humanities Computing

Essays in Humanities Computing

Compilation of essays related to the use of computers in humanities-based research.