When it comes right down to it…. A good friend …

When it comes right down to it….

A good friend and intellectual nemesis sent me this link last night. We all get wrapped up in the world we live in, but sometimes, we need a reality check … a few minutes to step back, look at ourselves, our lives, our society and our future and say “when it comes right down to it…”

Well worth the 4 minutes of your time. Enjoy


Game Studies in Montreal: Upcoming Event The Mon…

Game Studies in Montreal: Upcoming Event

The Montreal GameCODE Project, in collaboration with the Department of ArtHistory and Film Studies of the University of Montreal, present:

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell : Analysis Is The Only Option.
This Is Not a Post-mortem.
April 1st 2005 at 14h00Room B-43153200 Building,
Jean-Brillant StreetUniversity of Montreal (Côte-des-Neiges Metro)

Papers/conférences :
Sébastien Babeux (UQAM) : Des murs et des corridors. Espace de jeu etespace d’appropriation dans Splinter Cell.
Carl Therrien (Université de Montréal) : Immersion fictionnelle…immersion médiatique? La posture ambivalente proposée par Splinter Cell.
Bart Simon (Concordia University) : The Solo Game as Oxymoron: A Commentaryon the Sociologics of Playing Splinter Cell.

Description – This special digital game studies event features an afternoonof papers and discussion focused on the Ubisoft game “Tom Clancy’s SplinterCell” and subsequent sequels (www.splintercell.com). The goal of thissymposium is to generate an innovative dialog across disciplines,universities and languages with respect to a shared and local object ofanalysis. Anyone with an interest in new media theory and design, digitalgame studies, and/or digital culture is invited to participate and playingknowledge of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell is not required.For more information contact Bernard Perron (bernard.perronb@umontreal.ca)or Bart Simon (simonb@alcor.concordia.ca) or consult the website athttp://www.gamecode.ca

Academic Loop-Holes & Pot-Holes The last few month…

Academic Loop-Holes & Pot-Holes
The last few months, I have been working diligently towards a career in academia. The first year and a half of my BA was spent floundering around random classes and mild interests, and to be honest, my grades reflect that. In the last year and a half, as may be evident with past posts, I have found my academic niche in video game studies and sociology, and my grades have been quite impressive (especially as a mom of two!). From this newly discovered passion, I made it through a few academic loop-holes, with special letters and extra-curricular interests.

But now, it seems I am stumbling in some of the academic pot-holes. Each university, province, state and country have different curriculums, and I can only speak of the two universities I have experienced. One was bore a rigid program structure where most of your classes were predetermined in a building block fashion while the latter is based on it being the responsibility of the student to make sure they fulfill the degree requirements with a skeletal progressive structure.

I am close to graduation, and am venturing towards realms of academia they dont much discuss at the undergrad level. Papers that are longer then 10 pages are rare for most (with one course and honours thesis aside). Theory is often (but not always – as I have been lucky) is taught in a memorize and re-iterate fashion, rarely giving the student the chance to think outside the box, or learn any element of theory that they can apply it to something and make it their own. Yet I find myself in a position where, in a few short months, 10 page papers are a weekly requirement (according to an MA friend) and the theoretical framework is to help structure our own ideas pertaining to our research.

My question is – when did they teach me this process? I am heading into writing my own research that requires a level of writting and theorizing that I dont feel I have learned anywhere.

There are so many other pot-holes that are not filled, and when I ask about them, I get these blank looks and weak responses that it is not necessarily their place to help me. I am venturing into the world of requesting funding for conferences and travel. With these requests, I am told I have to ‘sell myself’ – you know, convince those doling out the money, that my research is the one they want to fund. But again, my question is … where am I supposed to learn this? I have been asking around, even to those who have applied for funding before, and I continuously get the same weak comments…

Why doesnt the university prepare students for all elements of academic life? I know I have been told that a BA today is the equivalent a high school diploma 20 years ago, but at least in high school we had shop and home-ec to teach us the basics of day to day life mixed in with the great literary classics and complex physics equations.

Born Again N00bies A recent post on old and new pl…

Born Again N00bies
A recent post on old and new players and experience expectations over at Academic Gamers got me thinking about my gaming status in Everquest. Back in the proverbial day, I was a high level shaman with elite armor and a master alchemist. (no easy feat in EQ at that time!) After we hit the peak of our game, three years of intense weeks, many many hours later, our guild started splintering off to do other things, play different games and generally, just getting on with life.

In recent weeks, after an almost 2 year hiatus, of nothing but puttering around to say hi to old friends, I have decided to come back and play again (for both personal and research purposes).
After about a week of puttering around, trying to get my sense of direction and remember the mental maps in my head of zones and whatnot, I realized … I am a well equipped n00bie! Sometimes i feel that i might as well have bought Velixious (my shaman) on ebay!

I have enjoyed many deaths and looking silly in front of others for the last 2 weeks, and am trying to get the courage to start ‘LFG’ (looking for groups) again. But I have been feeling painfully shy about my aging skills and comparatively tattered armor – I cant believe how far behind the success game i have fallen.

I feel like they should put my character’s creation date over her head along with her name to give her some cred when it comes to getting a group to play with.