Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous 10

May. 13th, 2010

Where's it at? My mind

 Well this is definitely late but I am on a writing roll today so I figured I get some of my missed posts out of the way:

So the question is, Where is my mind?

Well to be quite frank it is everywhere. I tend to be a bit scatter brained at times and don't really like to focus on one thing in particular unless it is really fascinating. So my mind is pretty much on what ever it is I'm thinking about at the time. Maybe it is split between writing a few paragraphs and watching Glee at the same time, and not to mention checking my email in between things. That is why they created tabbed browsing right? 

Read more...Collapse )

Apr. 6th, 2010

Questions for Bartle

 Well for a first question... When you first created the MUD did you see it going the direction that it eventually went or with such popularity, or did you picture the evolution of your concept differently? It is really interesting to see the amount of change that has occurred over the years in online gaming, and yet at their core they are generally all the same with many of the original principals introduced in the very first MUDs.

On a slightly different note, I was wondering about your four player types. The killer, explorer, achiever, and socializer are all rather simple player types but yet they fit most MMO gamers. However the game world is always changing and developers are constantly adding new material and concepts to make their games original. Do you see this ongoing change affecting the four player types and if so then where do you see it going? What would the new player types be?

John K

Mar. 10th, 2010


Have we become more or less accepting of the inorganic as a society? About a decade ago, people were fearful of genetically modified tomatoes, but not any longer. Instead we are want experts to seek out new foods that make us think better, run faster, work harder. Does the Food Network have a chance in a future where the effects of food are more important than taste? I'm just concerned about the limits we are willing to take to be healthy. This can also be applied on a more broader scope. In medicine, there are constantly new drugs for new diseases and new drugs for old diseases. We are so dependent on these new drugs that people are demanding the government allow easier access to them. So what does healthy really entail? If drugs are to cure all the impurities of being human, then won't we just homogenize into the same people? 
The media's obsession with outer-space instead of cyber-space is interesting. While both are classified as science-fiction, the realm of cyber-space addresses a larger spectrum of current issues. However, media doesn't exactly reflect this? We still have popular films like Star Trek and Avatar that show the longevity of our space-obsession. But society as a whole isn't worried about a giant meteor smashing into earth or an alien invasion so much as cyber hacking and technological oppression. Films like The Terminator or The Matrix taps into the human fear that perhaps, humans don't have autonomy. At what point are humans controlling robots and robots controlling humans? The idea of being a cyborg is enticing and frightening. Do you think that the current trend towards a more technology-dependent society is as futile as resistance or will the cybernetic future be bright and shiny? 

John K. with thanks to Harry Y. for his input

Feb. 27th, 2010

The Trans-Human Effect

It is interesting to  see the difference in stance that individuals take on transhumanism.  To truely grasp the various arguments one must first understand what exactly we are talking about. For this I am going to rely on the almost always trustworthy wikipedia: "Transhumanism is an international intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of science and technology to improve human mental and physical characteristics and capacities" That sounds about right to me, and these improvements can range all the way from the far fetched like superhuman powers or immortality to the understandable like curing cancer or making drought resistant crops.

When you take the basic arguments of the authors we have read recently the can be broken down and over simplified like this:
Leary: S.M.I.L.E. = Space migration, intelligence increase and life extension. The first step is breaking out and dusting off the technology for humans to migrate into space and then you increase their intelligence so they don't get bored in space. With the population problem solved by sending people to space they can live longer
Duncan: A little bit of rambling. Duncan mostly discusses the use of gene modification to increase the quality of human life in outside ways rather than actually modifying humans themselves (GM crops, curing disease, etc.)
Lynch/Block: A focus on neuroscience to like Kent end suffering. These two take a more scientific approach and inform the reader that this science cannot make the needed advance without actually experimenting on humans.
Kent: Kent is a vegan animal rights activist who sees transhumanism as a chance to end all pain and suffering with a similar effect to ecstasy but with more control.
Newitz: Transhumanism is fine when it comes to body modification but using it to cure disease and creating imortality is taking it to far.  People don't need to live forever at this point in time.
>Read more...Collapse )

Feb. 18th, 2010

My Computer is My Master

To be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely sure what to write about for this particular post. I found all of Shaviro's work to be interesting in its own right and to be well explained. I am however fascinated by his idea of, to put it simply, technology taking over the world. Now Shaviro elaborates and is much more elegant and thorough than I but in essence the majority of his writing culminates with technology and those who wind up controlling it ruling the world and the known universe. As Shaviro puts it, "It [the network] does not need to put us under surveillance, we belong to it, we exist for it already." I have to admit, when I think about it I completely agree.

As technology becomes more and more powerful, it is constantly generating new ways for individuals to control other individuals and making the old ones more efficient. Technology already allows for government officials to keep tabs on the general populace and as technology improves it is only going to become more extensive, but are we really complaining about it? Our world has become so technology friendly that much of this monitoring goes unnoticed or ignored because it has become common place. We are accepting these new technologies that will allow for our eventual control because they make out life easier.

I am interested to see where Shaviro's lecture leads. Because it is based on the film Gamer it could have some rather interesting connotations. After all what is Gamer really about but technology being implanted in the brain and used corruptly.

Feb. 11th, 2010

I Feel Like a Spy

It is really an odd feeling I am getting from watching these web cams for too long.  Many things are at play in my mind: I feel like I shouldn't be watching because it is taboo even though the webcam is in a library; I can't stop watching these rather boring scenes (I spent time arranging my screen so I could type and watch two webcams at once) just in case something happens, I want to be able to broadcast a message to the people I'm watching, I feel like I'm in a position of power because I can see them and they can't see me.

Read more...Collapse )

Feb. 1st, 2010

Digits for Democracy...

... an attempt at explaining some of the tales from Southland. I have looked at some of the various questions that we have been asked to consider, and one of the few that makes sense to me is the following:

At one point, the Neo-Marxists are shown to have a bag of human thumbs. What’s up with this? Why are they collecting thumbs?

This process to me seems to be one of the most straight forward parts of the film and is directly related to the political election occurring during the course of the film and the use of thumbprints as identification for USIDENT, the overarching government control on cyberspace.  The idea implied by the Neo-Marxists is that by mailing thumbs to different voting districts they will be able to use that person's identity to cast multiple votes thus swaying the outcome of the election.

Read more...Collapse )

Oct. 29th, 2009

Collaborative Research Research

Practical Engagements and Co-Created Research.
Jennifer Lyn Simpson, David R. Seibold (2008)
Journal of Applied Communication Research 36 (3) p. 266-280

As part of trying expand our knowledge on the growing realm of collaborative research we as a class accumulated research on just that.  The above article is the article that I found. It basically follows the idea of collaborative or co-created research and discusses the pros and cons.

The majority of the article itself seems to be an interesting conglomeration of previous research that has simply been compiled and organized by the author. In the body of the paper, the author proposes five main structures to help researchers evaluate the productiveness of using collaborative techniques. One of the unique features of this article is that it refers to this form of research as "engaged" research eluding to the fact that researches must allow themselves to be open to accepting outside help from not only fellow researchers, but the readers as well. One of the main cons of "engaged" research presented is the idea that many of the collaborative circles have been exhausted because of the limited nature of the current research systems.

Oct. 6th, 2009

Dungeons and Dragons Online vs Free Realms

While both MMORPGs in origin, Free Realms and Dungeons and Dragons online (DDO) are very different games. The differences can primarily be attributed to the different audiences that they are each geared towards. Free Realms is heavily designed around a much younger audience as well as the more casual gamer. These differences range from stylistic variations to game play, and even narrative design.


In DDO, there is a clearly defined main story line which can be followed by the character throughout the game. In Free Realms, there is no over arching plot or story, it is simply a combination of mini games designed to entertain the user and offer a wider variety of game play choices at any one time.  When comparing the styles of these two games, you notice that DDO has a much more realistic quality which is typical of more serious games as well as ones geared toward older audiences. Free Realms on the other hand has a very cartoon-like feel that makes the overall game its self feeling less sophisticated and younger.


One of the other aspects of these games that we have also looked at is the chat function.  When looking at the chat feature in Free Realms, one of the first things that you notice is the over zealous nature of the chat function’s profanity filter. It is incredibly hard to talk with even other group members because of the amount of editing that occurs. One of the other things that I found interesting was the lack of general chat in many areas of the game. In my experience with other games, the general chat and other open channels are generally very lively with all types of conversations.  In Free Realms the only real online chat I was noticing was that of my group who were players at the next computer.

Our Free Realms Group Portrait


J. Key

Wii Playground Design Proposal

We at Torchlight productions would like to present our latest game idea for the Nintendo Wii, Wii Playground.  Using the Wii technology and following the traditional Wii style, such as in games like Wii Sports, we have developed a game to bring the playground to the living room. Children will be able to build sand castles, play hopscotch, jump rope, and play catch as well as many other simple yet entertaining games while staying healthy. Parents can return to their own childhood and enjoy it all over again with their kids.


The target market for Wii Playground is most directly younger children as well as entire families. With “the most popular game genre once again was "Family Entertainment," (this accounted for 19 percent of all games sold in 2008, up from 9.1 percent in 2006. +),”[1] it is smart to invest in this type of game.  “In addition, of the games sold in 2008, 57 percent were rated "Everyone (E)" or "Everyone 10+ (E10)”[2] This game would generally be marketed to the younger audience, but would most likely appeal to all ages of casual gamers, those who play games that “are games that are easy to pick up and do not bug you down with needless complication and that can be stop roughly at any point.”[3].


We must also consider that the broadest definition of our audience will be those who currently own a Wii console. By marketing a game that uses the Wii’s unique controls and style, we are limiting ourselves to this audience, how ever it is not small. In its lifetime, the Wii has sold over 52.62 million copies as of June of 2009.[4]



Read more...Collapse )

[2] Entertainment Software Association (ESA) http://www.theesa.com/facts/salesandgenre.asp

[3] Poupart, Philippe. “Rise of the casual gamer.” 9/30/06. http://www.casualgamer.com/read.php?ai=63&pa=1

[4] Plunkett, Luke. “Nintendo Reveals Lifetime Wii, DSi Sales Figures.” 7/30/09. http://kotaku.com/5326205/nintendo-reveals-lifetime-wii-dsi-sales-figures

[5] http://www.esrb.org/ratings/ratings_guide.jsp

[6] Brathwaite, B. &Schreiber, I. (2009). Challenges for game designers. Boston, MA: Course Technology/Cengage center.


Previous 10