On Mortensen

“From being a hobby for programmers at MIT in 1961-1962 (Kent, 2001), creating computer games today is a job for graphic designers, composers, scriptwriters, animation artists, game designers, and in many cases living actors. The audiovisual aspect of creating games as well as playing creates a multimedial business surrounding each game” (Mortensen 400).

avatars & appearance

"Do You Wanna Date My Avatar": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urNyg1ftMIU

On Gitelman

To start things off, here's a gorgeous rip of a 6" acetate from an old novelty that sat atop the Empire State Building's observation deck. This is from the late 30s, long before reel-to-reel players, and so while being able to play pre-recorded music at home wasn't big of a deal, being able to record yourself still was. And so in novelty parlors and tourist stops across the country they had these booths where you could pay two bits, talk into a tube, and have your voice directly imprinted on a little piece of 78 RPM vinyl you could take home.

The dirty business of becoming the other

Leonard’s piece is short, so he doesn’t go into much detail about anything. His best point, imho, is his discussion of how the presentation of racialized stereotypes in games reinforces normalizing notions that lead to the perpetuation of direct state violence, like in Iraq, and semi-direct state violence, like in New Orleans. The most interesting part of the article, though, is the linking of games as a modern day minstrelsy, which is a term I like a lot more than blackface since it implies that there’s more going on here than something that’s viscerally unappealing.

Fun! And theory?

A few classes ago, we spent some time discussing fun and what makes something fun. I'm not sure if there is an "official" fun theory, but Volkswagen seems to think that it has at least a say in it. Someone posted on facebook a link to the Fun Theory website, which is an initiative (apparently) of Volkswagen. Apparently there is some sort of contest where people submit ideas to make the mundane or annoying fun. Here's the site if anyone is curious:


Language Maintenance and the Internet

I was talking yesterday about how I'd been learning Gaelic online. Here's the BBC-sponsored website where I began:


And here's a friendly English language forum for Gaelic learners and users:


Finally, one where most of the threads are in Gaidhlig (though English is not forbidden):


This is just one example of how the Internet is being used to resist language death. I'm sure there are others. If you know of any (Emily?), please share.


I thought this is an interesting video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIvmE4_KMNw

Video Games and History, or something related to Bogost...

So, I'm in the Digital Archives class and we ended up reading "Digitizing Historical Consciousness" by Claudio Fogu. In a really concise summary, it's all about historical video games changing our notions of history (think Hayden White, revisionist history with a digital spin and postmodern explosion). I thought it was fantastic and wanted to share.

You can ignore my highlighting...



So, I really like when my distractions tend to cross over into my studies. Well, sometimes. Anyway, while perusing NPR today I came across this article. Ok, that's a lie. Because I'm a fan of NPR on Facebook, this is the article that popped up in my feed:


Back Channel?

Back channel goes here (if you like).

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