More Books

And I complain about the lack of time for reading! However, I am extremely excited about the two that arrived today; Rodowick’s Reading the Figural, or philosophy after the new media (odd, I must have received the last one as it is now temporarily unavailable to order from Indigo Online … weird) and Massumi’s Parables for the Virtual; Movement, Affect, Sensation. Both are directly relevant for what I need to accomplish in the next few weeks – I am glad free shipping only took 3 days!

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A Few (Random) Things

This seems to be a recurring post title .. however, when no cohesive theme is present, the most apt.

First of all – ever since I installed the blog stats add-on, I have been (obsessed is too strong of a word ..) at looking at it every day – not to see how many hits this space receives, but rather, to see who is reading and how they got here. Lately, I have been getting hits from www.blogshares.com – which is a “Fantasy Blog Share Market”, I am thinking much in the same vein as fantasy sports leagues(?). From my understanding (which is very little at the moment) people buy and sell “blogs” based on their value… how that value is determined, how it increases or decreases, I am not sure (as I have not read the whole info page yet). This is the entry on my blog:

URL https://digitalconversations.wordpress.com/
BSID # 11340395
Valuation B$24,444.89
Added 06:56 22 May 2007 by [ID] -fit-
Status Available to Trade.
Industries University Female English Sociology Montreal
Video Games Graduate School
[Vote for which Industry this blog belongs to]
[Who voted this blog’s industries]
Problem? Report an Error with this listing

More information on the trade value of this blog can be found here. Honestly, I find the whole thing a little strange… intriguing .. but strange!

In other randomness, I have been working on my dissertation proposal the last few weeks – and it is not as easy as I had thought (hoped or wished!). While I have the general 5 lines to explain what I am doing to anyone who asks, I realize that writing 35-40 pages on it is … well… harder. Now, I know this is all part of the process – and if I plan on being able to write 60,000 – 80,000 words (what I am told is standard North American dissertation length, than I have to work through the brick wall that is writing the proposal. I must admit, I have turned to a few books for help (like this one and this one). While I am a firm believer that the drive to write a dissertation must come from somewhere inside of you – a passion to get the ideas on paper, if I am to be honest, it is the work ethic / method that I am struggling with. It is not that I am lazy, but that there is always something else to be working on, not to mention a thousand books worth reading!

On the game play front, while I have not had nearly as much time as I had hoped, I spent a little bit of time with Mirror;s Edge. While I really enjoy the concept behind the game, I must admit that not being adept at the 360 controller has severely hampered any sort of success. The speed of button combining required for gameplay is something I need to practise (alot) more. I never had any trouble playing on the pc  – the mouse/directional arrows is a much easier tool to navigate (imo). I really hate to admit it, but eventually, I had to ask my partner to play a bit so that I could enjoy the aesthetics of the game. My goal is to conquer this hand eye coordination issue over the holidays.

Ahhh the holidays, so close, but with a wall of work between me and the cozy days of Christmas vacation. Best get started!

A Few Good Books

On the walk home yesterday, I popped in the bookstore looking for a few holiday gifts. I ended up leaving with a few for myself as well (always a good thing!). One book that I am eagerly looking forward to reading cover to cover is Ricoeur’s Oneself as Another. Although I have used excerpts in the past, I haven’t read the book from end to end. In response to some conversations about the difference of the reference to the real in video games as opposed to cinema, I picked up Zizek’s Interrogating the Real – and then being in the “Z” section, picked up Zizek’s The Indivisible Remainder: On Schelling and Related Matters. I have always enjoyed Zizek’s ability to write complex ideas in a way that felt like he was having a conversation with me. I am hoping these two books follow that same style.

While I am eager to cuddle up with a coffee, pencil and notepad, I have to manage my time wisely over the next few weeks. It is the end of my last semester of “in-class” classes and I want to give it all I’ve got. I know I’ve mentioned this last class bit before, but as someone who has been in school since 2002 (returning to my Undergraduate career), I have been in classes every semester since then except the winter session of 2005 – where I wrote my MA thesis. After this, it’s comprehensive exams and thesis writing!

Getting Back Into (a) Game: Mirror’s Edge

I haven’t been much of a console gamer over the last few years. With MMO’s taking up most of my time since 1999, I have never quite mastered the console controller. As someone who gets scared quite easily,  playing games like Resident Evil and Gears of War became quite futile since my fear has always gotten the better of me – which almost always resulted in a quick and sure death. But with the release of Mirror’s Edge, I have been tempted to pick up the controller again, attempt to (re)learn the buttons and try this game out. The animation looks hot, the gameplay is intriguing and in a current market full of survival horror and action fps’, the game seems to have an interesting story to go along with its sharp, clean lines. Definitly looking forward to getting some time to give it a go.

Crunch Time

November has barely started and I am already exhausted. You would think that this would teach me to stretch everything out over the course of the semester; to strategically plan work so that is flows with my (social/family) life instead of violently clashing with it.

I have so many things that I wanted to blog about over the course of my semester – perhaps I can still get a few belated posts out before I start the all encompassing process of writing a final paper in a subject that I know little about beyond the course material. Don’t get me wrong – it’s great to be forced to jump into the deep end of the pool – always a gem or two at the bottom.

In the meantime – all I can say is WOW – I can’t believe it’s November and it is 18 degrees celcius in Montreal!