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Current Topic: Games

Second Life
Topic: Games 11:51 pm EST, Feb 19, 2007

Most people who try Second Life do not like it.

Second Life

Video Games and Interactive Media: A Glimpse at New Digital Entertainment
Topic: Games 3:10 pm EDT, Aug 19, 2006

This book explores the development of the video game as a new form of interactive media and a template for future modes of entertainment. While television programs and movies are predominantly passive enterprises, video games engage the audience and provide not only audio-visual stimulation but also an enriching interaction that creates a heightened sense of immersion. Through a detailed discussion of gameplay and game design principles, Natkin explores the nature of this interaction and its impact on the entertainment industry. He explains the developmental process behind game design and the new concepts of narration and entertainment it has introduced. He then considers the future of gameplay with its potential for developing new means of artistic expression and its liability to be abused as an outlet for propaganda and coercion.

Video Games and Interactive Media: A Glimpse at New Digital Entertainment

Pushing a higher degree of success
Topic: Games 9:56 pm EDT, Apr 20, 2006

Juan Gilbert is developing a video game with his students at Auburn University that is designed to teach algebra through hip-hop music.

He says, "it's a national necessity - for our security and for our economy."

According to the National Science Foundation, in 1999, one-third of all people holding science and engineering doctorates in the United States were born in another country. Among PhD-holding computer scientists, half were born abroad; for engineers, more than half; and within the federal government, one-sixth.

Pushing a higher degree of success

Far-Flung Families Unite in Cyberspace -- And Kill Monsters
Topic: Games 9:56 pm EDT, Apr 20, 2006

The Holman family gets together practically every weeknight and most weekends these days, even though Jean is in Dupont Circle, her father and sister Susan are in Pennsylvania, and her uncle and cousin are in Texas.

Together, they're also in Tyria, the virtual world of a fantasy computer game called Guild Wars, where they form the "Jelo" team, fighting the undead and other groups of players as a family unit. Along the way, they also might plan vacations or share family gossip.

Although computer games have often been thought of as a pastime for the antisocial, communal online worlds such as the one in Guild Wars are the hottest things in games these days.

Far-Flung Families Unite in Cyberspace -- And Kill Monsters

InfoChess OnLine
Topic: Games 12:21 pm EDT, Apr  8, 2006

InfoChess OnLine is an engaging game of strategy and deceit that has captured the interest of some of the most prestigious strategists, tacticians, negotiators, creative thinkers and gamers throughout the United States and abroad.

Automating our popular board game of InfoChess´┐Ż, ManTech's National Security Solutions Group has taken the ancient wargame of chess to new levels. InfoChess´┐Ż OnLine now uses the exciting nature of online gaming to deliver an informative and exciting learning experience.

InfoChess OnLine

Dream Machines | Will Wright in Wired
Topic: Games 11:23 am EDT, Apr  2, 2006

Will Wright explains how games are unleashing the human imagination.

Dream Machines | Will Wright in Wired

First Person
Topic: Games 11:18 am EST, Apr  1, 2006

Electronic games have established a huge international market, significantly outselling non-digital games; people spend more money on The Sims than on "Monopoly" or even on "Magic: the Gathering." Yet it is widely believed that the market for electronic literature -- predicted by some to be the future of the written word -- languishes. Even bestselling author Stephen King achieved disappointing results with his online publication of "Riding the Bullet" and "The Plant."

Isn't it possible, though, that many hugely successful computer games -- those that depend on or at least utilize storytelling conventions of narrative, character, and theme -- can be seen as examples of electronic literature? And isn't it likely that the truly significant new forms of electronic literature will prove to be (like games) so deeply interactive and procedural that it would be impossible to present them as paper-like "e-books"? The editors of First Person have gathered a remarkably diverse group of new media theorists and practitioners to consider the relationship between "story" and "game," as well as the new kinds of artistic creation (literary, performative, playful) that have become possible in the digital environment.

First Person

Play Between Worlds
Topic: Games 11:18 am EST, Apr  1, 2006

In Play Between Worlds, T. L. Taylor examines multiplayer gaming life as it is lived on the borders, in the gaps--as players slip in and out of complex social networks that cross online and offline space. Taylor questions the common assumption that playing computer games is an isolating and alienating activity indulged in by solitary teenage boys. Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs), in which thousands of players participate in a virtual game world in real time, are in fact actively designed for sociability. Games like the popular Everquest, she argues, are fundamentally social spaces.

Taylor's detailed look at Everquest offers a snapshot of multiplayer culture. Drawing on her own experience as an Everquest player (as a female Gnome Necromancer)--including her attendance at an Everquest Fan Faire, with its blurring of online-and offline life--and extensive research, Taylor not only shows us something about games but raises broader cultural issues. She considers "power gamers," who play in ways that seem closer to work, and examines our underlying notions of what constitutes play--and why play sometimes feels like work and may even be painful, repetitive, and boring. She looks at the women who play Everquest and finds they don't fit the narrow stereotype of women gamers, which may cast into doubt our standardized and preconceived ideas of femininity. And she explores the questions of who owns game space--what happens when emergent player culture confronts the major corporation behind the game.

Play Between Worlds

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