April 3, 2004

War Games and Game Wars

by Michael Mateas · , 8:56 pm

Those GTxA readers in New York City should consider attending the seminar:

Playdate #1: War Games and Game Wars
Friday 9th April 1-3pm Wolff Conference Room
The New School 65 5th avenue (at 14th st)
Free. All welcome. Lunch provided.

Ed Halter will present War Games: Digital Gaming and Military Culture, and Alex Galloway will present Social Realism in Gaming. Perhaps someone who attends the talks can post something about them here.

Via Rhizome.

Continue reading for more detail about the two talks.

Ed Halter
War Games: Digital Gaming and Military Culture
An audio-visual presentation on the interconnected histories of computer gaming and the culture of war, including the military prehistory of video games, how real wars have been depicted in games, and new ways in which the US military is working with commerical gaming companies.

Ed Halter is a regular contributor to the Village Voice and other fine publications. He has organized the New York Underground Film Festival since 1995, and has curated film, video and media exhibitions for various other events and spaces.

Alex Galloway
Social Realism in Gaming
On March 21, 2003, a day into the war in Iraq, Sony filed a trademark application for the phrase “shock and awe,” apparently for future use as a PlayStation game title. The phrase, and the American military strategy it describes, was in fact not such an unlikely candidate for the PlayStation. The console system has long flirted with game formats based in realistic scenarios, from Sony’s own SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals to Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL. A month later, responding to criticism, Sony dropped the application, stating they did not intend to use the expression “shock and awe” in any upcoming games. But they have not dropped their fetish for realistic gaming scenarios This talk will examine the possibility of true realism in gaming, with reference to current global geopolitics.

Alexander R. Galloway is assistant professor of media ecology at New York University. Galloway previously worked for six years as Director of Content and Technology at Rhizome.org. He is a founding member of the software development group RSG, whose data surveillance system “Carnivore” was awarded a Golden Nica in the 2002 Pri x Ars Electronica. Galloway’s first book, “PROTOCOL: How Control Exists After Decentralization,” is published by The MIT Press.