Monthly Archives: October 2004
Advertising within video games
The answer to advertisers’ sagging return-on-investment from television and print? If you believe this Yankee Group article, marketers are setting their sites on video games. Is there no sacred ad-free space left in our consumerist world that someone won’t sell out on?
Computers: A Family Evolution
I went to a public seminar at gameCODE yesterday afternoon which addressed results from an ethnographic study on internet usage for kids between the ages of 7-17 (might be a little off on the age range)
For the most part, the quotes used from the children to make her point about perceptions of the internet, mp3 sharing and the ‘dangers’ lurking online were comical but rang true – as a mother of two (8 & 12) internet using children.
In a connected house such as ours – half of our double living room is dedicated to a network of three computers and a laptop on the wireless network – computers and the internet is the most common form of entertainment, communication and academic tool. After Leslie Shade’s talk, I started thinking about my beginnings in computer usage, and how, with each generation the perception of the virtual – being connected – becomes blurred into what i see with my girls as part of their daily reality. They understand the idea behind the virtual and the tangible, but it is so much part of their lives, that there is little seperation between the two – if any at all.
I think about my father, who was always up on the latest technology, had the home computer introduced to him in his early thirties, I think of myself, where my first home computer was in my early 20′s, my oldest daughter was 4 (i think) when we bought it, and my youngest daughter was born into the house that had a computer…
I remember having to create a simple (asc11 i think) program in grade 7 on our schools commodore 64′s…simple “if x = y then goto” type lines that ran the user through a series of jeopardy type questions.. and I look at the type of things my children use the computer for .. homework, MSN with schoolmates, surfing the net (instead of the channels) when bored…
Getting a chance to touch the computer was such a novelty for me when i was young – and now i think about the fact that my girls have their own today … I guess I’m just starting to feel a little old seeing how far technology and childhood has come … heh
Another Way of Looking at Multi-Tasking
As a woman who played massively multi user online role playing games while raising a family, I had no choice but to multi-task – you know, cast a heal, run downstairs to turn the dryer on and run back up in time to cast another heal while my fellow playmates were none the wiser of my absence.
I had a recent conversation with a professor in the leisure studies department who did her MA thesis on Elite Female Power Gamers – and while discussing my multi-tasking abilities, she introduced me to the term “time deepening”. Many people, when they think of multi-tasking think of it in linear terms of time. The concept of time deepening puts the depth of the tasks per the time it takes to do it. Easier way to conceptualize the sense of depth is: when you do 5 tasks (multi-tasking) in 5 minutes, essentially, you are getting 25 minutes worth of work done in 5 minutes, creating depth to the concept of time, instead of its common linear perception.
How do you spell relief?
After much hard work – thank you sashay for all of your guidance and advice – my presentation has been delivered to rave reviews. The slides worked well, and the content was well received and like most things i work on, there is room for about 5 more papers stemming from this point.
Much to my chagrin, i inadvertently started this current piece of work from the structural functionist perspective – how role identity is constructed to serve the purpose of the overall structure of the institution (of society that is). Now, upon first glance this could have been seen (and was on my part) but the good news is, i found out after a well needed chat with my advising professor that in essence, the foundation of my work was indeed based in role theory, but that my arguement actually demonstrated the deconstruction of the theory in terms of role identity and definitions within the game of EverQuest. Alas! Another paper has been born.
The work is paying off – it felt great to present what has been in my head and on many pieces of paper to a productive group of people. It has given me the confidence in what i am doing, which has been something else i have been working on.
A well-earned drink will be consumed after my exam tonight I promise!
Procrastination or Inspiration?
I have never been one for oral presentations, and so it is normal that i am stressed about delivering the state of my current research. In this light, while i should be dotting i’s and crossing t’s, i have been thinking about my research overall – the virtual book in my mind that all these paths of interest will someday converge.
For the last year, i have tried to make sure that all of my university classes spoke to my interest in video game theory/studies. In some way, shape, or form i have managed to make classes such as sociology of occupations, or social change, speak to this interest. Even within my contemporary social theory course i managed to sneak in a paper on Rational Choice Theory and Everquest guilds.
But it has come to a point where, as a current prof and potential mentor has put it, i am flirting with academic ethical issues of using one paper to serve another (as in all works being part of the same topic or take off points). In theory, this isnt a problem if the boundaries and issues dealt with in one paper are clearly seperated from one another. And so here my problem lies.
Over this past year, each paper topic has rolled out of another as my interest snowballed… but unlike the snowball analogy – which would usually signify something growing larger and larger, i have been suffering from a case of tunnel vision, trying to define each term, each idea, that i have not been able to actually step back and look at the big picture.
After a productive discussion with my professor, i think i see the light. A way to seperate the three conflicting papers – and work them so that they are still useable in a larger context.
Literature Review for 498 – Which will allow me to paint a broad picture of the literature within the field of video game studies; my work in progree for the [crosses my fingers] DiGRA conference, and a sociological look at the processes of identity creation (per differing perspectives) related to games that illustrate these processes. (thank you A. for clearing this up
and leading me in the right direction)
This brings me to procrastination…as i excitedly flesh out which theorists and games i would be interested in looking at, i have an unfinished presentation to clean up…
Alter Ego: Pixels & Pores
(cross posted with gamecode)
The idea of people creating their avatars as representations or escape of self is something that i have been exploring throughout my avatar work over the last year.There is currently an exposition running at a gallery in england that shows pictures pf players and their avatars, some of the resemblances are uncanny while others are great departures from the self.
What i like about the exposition is the choice the players made in deciding to participate in the exhibit. There is something in that moment when you share your avatar with the world. It connects the person with the avatar in a way that makes it more concrete – more of an actual part of yourself. The avatar is not merely another interface a player has to go through to get to the game.
I remember the feeling of pride that i had when Bart used an image of Velixious at one of his IGDA presentations…part of me was embarrased as if he was showing baby pictures of me to a large crowd, while on the other hand, i felt that Velix was getting the recognition she deserved (apart from me).. as an individual – an entity onto herself, that deserved the reward of wider exposure, beyond the game space.