Talk about hardcore gamers. Next week, I’ll be taking a 37 hour flight (changing planes 5 times) in order to get to Japan to attend to the Tokyo Game Show, which will be happening on September 26-28. Here’s a list of the games that will be announced. My fascination with Japan is not only due to their games but also because I think it is the culture that has taken simulation to a degree that we Westerners can only dream about. The Japanese live in a highly constrained environment and that makes them seek solutions not only in representation, but particularly in simulation. Pets are too expensive? Let’s simulate them. Mountains are too far? Let’s simulate a ski slope. Barbecuing is complicated? Let’s make a simulator out of it. Humans have trouble socializing? Let’s install a virtual girlfriend. Of course, this can seem to be a bit simplistic, but the fact is that you can breathe simulation in Tokyo. A thorough understanding of Japanese culture is needed in order to better understand games and simulation. Thankfully, some researchers (i.e. William Huber) are working on that direction.
"The Terra Nova weblog provides commentary on the rapidly emerging synthetic worlds of cyberspace." This group blog is written by Edward Castronova, Julian Dibbell, Dan Hunter and Greg Lastowka. The blog has been running just for a few weeks, but it already has a ton of very useful links and interesting reads.
Play the news. Ludology.org launches Newsgaming.com rThe first in a series of explorations on serious games. Videogame theory becomes practical. Games meet political cartoons. rThe first game we are launching is called "September 12th" and deals with certain aspects of the war on terror.