December 4, 2003

A Trip Through the Thickets of Law and Computer Games

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 8:40 pm

At Law Meme, James Grimmelman has written an excellent article in the wake of the State of Play conference: “Free as in Gaming?.” Grimmelman’s article follows up (extensively) on a question posed by Yale Law Professor Yochai Benkler at the conclusion of the conference, after Second Life had announced its decision to allow players to retain copyright to in-game intellectual properties:

“You’re creating this world in which people come to play and be creative, and yet you’ve given this world a system that has been extensively criticized as limiting creativity. Haven’t you just given them a new set of hurdles to creativity?”

Magic Crayons and More

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 9:32 am

Recently I made some free time to fully read Chaim Gingold’s Masters thesis on game design and interactive narrative, which we briefly posted about last May. I’m going to offer some informal feedback and comments in this post. Frankly I found this thesis as substantial and useful as most PhD dissertations in the field. It could also serve as a game design handbook! Chaim’s really trying to present theory and make it accessible and useable to practitioners, which I found impressive. (This should have been turned into a paper presentation at LevelUp, not just a poster…)

The title, “Miniature Gardens & Magic Crayons: Games, Spaces, & Worlds,” is a bit misleading; at first I expected the thesis to focus exclusively on microworlds, and in a sense it does, but in fact it goes pretty broad with several universal design principles for enjoyable interactive experiences, about more than just “games”.

Jaded Behind the Scenes

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 8:56 am

There’s a good discussion over at gamegirladvance about that jaded feeling that can set in with art/entertainment when you become a creator of it.

Update: More “behind the scenes” links just discovered, minus the jaded part.

A NYTimes article about game modding, amateur video game making, and the recent Unreal University symposium held at NC State. (I know Michael sent a few of his students there.)

Let’s Go! Virtual Worlds

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 8:47 am

Here’s a new, handy site, Virtual Worlds Review. (via Terra Nova)

December 3, 2003

The Politics of Information

The Politics of Information is an essay collection in five parts edited by Marc Bousquet and Katherine Wills. This fall it’s been appearing at electronic book review, and garnering some interesting responses. I’ve been happy to see a few contributions from folks I’ve met at DAC and ELO gatherings: Matt Kirschenbaum’s essay compels us to go further with the notion of “software studies” (see also Matt’s blog); Laura Sullivan’s essay reports on teaching a course that brings together radical politics and hypertext production; and an email roundtable proposed by Geert Lovink discusses net.activism with Chris Carter, Ricardo Dominguez, and Bruce Simon.

December 1, 2003

Twisty Little Passages

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:01 am

Recently I’ve been reading Nick’s new book, Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction. Of course, I liked it right off (how can you not like a scholarly book with the spoilers marked?). But today, reading further, I realized that I’ve been waiting for a book like this.

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