IDtension is an interactive drama project designed by Nicolas Szilas. The site includes a description of the project, articles, thoughts and a list of definitions in order to situate the author's ideas.
Last minute call, since the call for entries expires...today. But if your artwork deals with play, you may want to check garage 2002, an art festival to be held in August in Germany (thanks Julianne Chatelain)
First things first. The commenting feature has been down for almost two weeks -the provider of the service has been having some problems. Until it is fixed, I am going to use a very simple script -sorry, no message counts. In a couple of months I plan to bring the site to its own server, so I will be able to implent some extra features.
I will be leaving for Japan in less than two weeks in order to attend to IWEC 2002. If anybody out there also plans to attend, drop me a line. There is already a couple of nice guys I know that will be there, but as they say, the more, the merrier. Besides, we may need company for those awesome multiplayer games at the Sega arcades...
My dream came true. For years I have dreamt of designing videogames that would serve as a brochure for politics. That's videogame rhetoric to the edge: how to create a game that conveys a political message. I have been working on the subject for a couple of years now and the now former wrestler Governor Jesse Ventura goes for it! "_People called me crazy, Igor, but now, it's alive!!!!" Ventura's not exactly the politician that I originally had in mind -although his choice makes total sense-, but this is certainly historical! My excitement is due to the fact that this is a big legitimation for games as a medium -and they are definitively speech, no matter what media illiterate judges think. Note: a reader points out that political games have been around for a while. Yes, that's true, but they are parody. Trying to convey serious political content through game is quite diffferent -well, I know it's hard to take Ventura seriously -or, since the last election, American democracy- but, like it or not, he's a Governor of a State of the most powerful country on Earth, whatever that means. And he's serious about political games: he wants to use them to gather voters and that's as serious as it gets.
It was bound to happen. Following other online mags -like Salon.com- Gamespot.com is announcing "Gamespot Complete", an ad-free site with unlimited downloads and videos for $4.95 a month or $19.95/year. They will keep their regular service, including those nasty full-screen flash ads which make you dream about fragging their marketing department.
And I thought I was wasting my time focusing on game rhetoric… A Federal Judge has ruled that videogames are not forms of speech and, therefore, not constitutionally protected. After reviewing some games, the judge found “"no conveyance of ideas, expression, or anything else that could possibly amount to speech. The court finds that video games have more in common with board games and sports than they do with motion pictures." You can read the full article (thanks William Huber!)
You already heard all the fuzz about the Xbox - not-so-great sales, Seamus Blackley leaving, etc. If you didn't, or if you want an update and a look on the new book on this console, you can read the article that the people from Salon wrote because they were a bit tired of writing soft-porn for nerds.
It's really interesting to see how the term "ludology" has been catching on the videogame research community. The term has existed for a while, usually associated to board game studies. I proposed to use it for describing the yet-non-existing discipline of formal game studies back in 99, when I wrote my article "Ludology meets narratology". Then, Jesper Juul used the term in an article he presented at a DAC conference. Within a short time, to our amazement, people were referring to us as “ludologists”.
The funny thing is that it seem that the term has several meanings now. Obviously, I do not own the term and I am pleased to see how it has been evolving. For what I have seen recently, several people are using it in opposition to narratology, usually differentiating researchers and designers as “ludologists” or “narratologists”. Others seems to use ludology for describing abstract games without “narrative elements”, such as Tetris. Several –including Edge mag- refer to Espen Aarseth as a ludologist. Is he? I have no idea. I think he doesn't either. Actually, I am not sure if I consider myself a ludologist at all. I mean, I guess I am, since I am interested in ludology, but the term seems to have so many meanings that it may be dangerous to be branded as so. It would be really interesting to see how the term settles –if it does at all. Eventually, it may be possible that it acquires a total different meaning and I would be forced to switch my domain name and discipline(!)
Too bad the commenting feature is still down –it seems it should get back next week :( - since I would love to hear how you readers would define the term. I encourage everybody to email me with a definition, so maybe I can build a page with them later. Don’t worry if it is limited or does not comply with my personal understanding of the term- again, words are social products. Actually, I would love to see definitions that challenge mine. If you want your definition to be anonymous, just let me know. The point here is not to get it right, since there is no "right" at all.