Gamifying Gamification by Making It Less Gamely

In a recent post on the group blog Play the Past, I wrote about the way torture-interrogation is often described by its proponents as a kind of game. I wrestled for a long time with the title of that post: "The Gamification of Interrogation." Why? Because I oppose the general trend toward "gamifying" real world… Continue reading Gamifying Gamification by Making It Less Gamely

CFP: Close Playing: Literary Methods and Videogame Studies (MLA 2012, Seattle)

A roundtable discussion of specific approaches and close playings that explore the methodological contribution of literary studies toward videogame studies. 300-word abstract and 1-page bio to Mark Sample (samplereality@gmail.com) by March 15. All participants must be MLA members by April 7. Also note that this is a proposed special session; the MLA Program Committee will… Continue reading CFP: Close Playing: Literary Methods and Videogame Studies (MLA 2012, Seattle)

Criminal Code: The Procedural Logic of Crime in Videogames

[This is the text of my second talk at the 2011 MLA convention in Los Angeles, for a panel on "Close Reading the Digital." My talk was accompanied by a Prezi "Zooming" presentation, which I have replicated here with still images (the original slideshow is at the end of this post). In 15 minutes I… Continue reading Criminal Code: The Procedural Logic of Crime in Videogames

Digital Humanities Sessions at the 2009 MLA

Below are all of the upcoming 2009 MLA sessions related to new media and the digital humanities. Am I missing something? Let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the list. You may also be interested in following the Digital Humanities/MLA list on Twitter. (And if you are on Twitter and going… Continue reading Digital Humanities Sessions at the 2009 MLA

Spring 2010 Course Descriptions

HNRS 353: Videogames in Critical Contexts T/R 1:30-2:45pm In this Honors Seminar we will study the history and cultural impact of videogames from a number of critical perspectives. As products of a complicated network of social, economic, and technological forces, videogames are dense cultural texts, deeply layered with multiple meanings. Whether we consider early arcade… Continue reading Spring 2010 Course Descriptions

The Uncanny Valley of Action in Videogames

The agility afforded by blogging means nothing if you sit on your ideas for months or let half-written posts rot in your draft folder. That's a lesson I learned today when I discovered a host of recent references to Masahiro Mori's famous graph of the uncanny valley, mostly in reference to zombies (see posts by… Continue reading The Uncanny Valley of Action in Videogames

Television Emulation for the Atari VCS

This is absolutely stunning: Ian Bogost had his computer science students at George Tech modify Stella, the opensource Atari 2600 emulator, to reproduce the same kind of visual artifacts you would've seen when you played the VCS on a CRT television (those big boxy TVs with tubes, for those of you who don't remember). Their… Continue reading Television Emulation for the Atari VCS