April 13, 2009

Submit to IndieCade This Month

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:30 pm

IndieCade (International Festival of Independent Games) invites submissions now for the 2009 festival. The deadline is April 30.

April 10, 2009

ICIDS 2009 Call for Papers

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 8:42 pm

The Second International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS 2009) is happening in Guimarães, Portugal on December 9-12 2009. This conference series continues to investigate the areas that were covered by TIDSE (Technologies for Interactive Digital Storytelling) and ICVS (Virtual Storytelling – Using Virtual Reality Technologies for Storytelling).

Interactive entertainment, including novel forms of edutainment, therapy, and serious games, promises to become an ever more important market. Interactive Digital Storytelling provides access to social and human themes through stories, and promises to foster considerably the possibilities of interactive entertainment, computer games, and other interactive digital applications. ICIDS also identifies opportunities and addreses challenges for redefining the experience of narrative through interactive simulations of computer-generated story worlds.

World in the Integrated Circuit

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 7:46 pm

The very clever School of Perpertual Training by Stephanie Rothenberg offers you a virtual trainer and four web-cam mini-games (based on Tapper, Dig Dug, Space Invaders, and Tetris) that model less glamorous processes involved in the gaming industry: mineral mining, PCB assembly, box building, and shipping. Authors and artists, from Donna Haraway to David Byrne, have long called attention to the less pleasant sorts of labor involved in computing, but in the era of EA Spouse, when many of the really unpleasant jobs have been shunted offshore, it’s useful to remember the global implications of the gaming industry. This piece operates on a lot of levels, deploying information about global labor practices deftly, through intro screens and spoof news articles, but also parodying animated characters and showing through its functioning how games make drudgery into fun.

April 5, 2009

Poems of Darkheartedness

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 6:00 pm

. . . .
This strange world. Not a blank
space of delightful mystery, a light
heart, its black thoughts, its body at rest.
Were we men enough to affirm
the whole universe? No one knew.

April 3, 2009

Surveys on Recordkeeping in the Game Industry

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 2:24 pm

Rachel Donahue of the University of Maryland, College Park is gathering information about records management and preservation of video games with a survey – two surveys, actually: One for those in industry and another for the gaming community. She’s seeking your responses now, as she’ll be presenting preliminary results at the end of the month.

Digital Arts and Culture 2009 Call

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 10:32 am

DAC09 (a.k.a. Digital Arts and Culture 2009) will be held stateside, at UC Irvine, and is sure to offer a fantastic collection of papers, events, art, and discussion. “This iteration of DAC will dwell on the specificities of embodiment, cultural, social and physical location with respect to digital technologies and networked communications.”

This year’s DAC will feature several themes, and papers are to be submitted with one or more of these in mind:

  • Embodiment and performativity
  • After mobile media
  • Software/platform studies
  • Environment/sustainability/climate change
  • Interdisciplinary pedagogy
  • Cognition and creativity
  • Sex and Sexuality

March 31, 2009

Sign up, Show up, Party, Program

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 8:55 am

Processing Time

Processing Time is a party and competition where individuals and pairs will code up beautiful programs. It’s happening at MIT on May 2 as part of the Boston Cyberarts Festival. We hope you can join us!

March 29, 2009

Awards, Articles, Conclusions

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 4:23 pm
  • The 2008 XYZZY awards, the Oscars of interactive fiction, were handed out yesterday. IF Comp winner Violet by Jeremy Freese garnered the big prize of Best Game as well as three other XYZZYs. Congrats also to winners Eric Eve, C.E.J. Pacian, Jim Munroe, Renee Choba, Paolo Maroncelli & Alessandro Peretti, and all those whose games were nominted.
  • A new issue of Eludamos has been published with articles on video game literacy, serious games, Loom, wipEout HD, and more.
  • I’m told that GDC is over.

March 28, 2009

Wolf Downloads

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 8:51 am

Go ahead. They’re little and red. By Tale of Tales, by Tomas Nilsson, by Donna Leishman, by Jason Ermer, by Gammick Entertainment, by Nick Montfort, by Roald Dahl, by Monty Python, by Tex Avery, by Kenneth Whitley.

The Society for Textual Scholarship Plays the Changes

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 7:50 am

Last week (March 18-21) I was at the Society for Textual Scholarship conference in New York City, at NYU. I took a few notes on the talks that seemed like they’d be of most interest to GTxA readers:

From the panel “Textual Studies and Video Games”

Matt Kirschenbaum: Preserving Virtual Worlds

The project takes a broad view of virtual worlds, from Zork to Doom to Second Life. They are fun, economically important, and platforms for creativity – and threatened, hard to preserve. Companies don’t preserve their own IP. DRM hinders preservation. Funded by NDIIPP. UIUC, Maryland, Stanford, RIT, Internet Archive, Linden Labs. Research preservation problems and approaches. Strategies: store, migrate, emulate, reinterpret. We deal with software, not data, and there’s a strong argument for emulation, as with facsimiles.

March 16, 2009

Chiptunes in a Nutshell

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:08 pm

Kevin Driscoll and Josh Diaz have a new article on the history of chiptunes in the Journal of Transformative Works. It comes complete with video clips that document game sounds with the images and game play that accompany them.

March 13, 2009

Works in a Row

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 8:33 am

Works, Nick Montfort

In preparing for my reading at MIT yesterday, I put together a page listing my various works of literary and computational art, collaborative, translated or adapted, and individually created. You should notice the new addition to the main page of nickm.com if you happen to visit.

The list includes some new pieces: Taroko Gorge, a poetry generator written originally in Python, presented here in my port to JavaScript, and ppg256-2, the second of my 256-character poetry generators written in Perl. You can see the former running on its Web page; the latter can be copied and pasted onto the command line of systems with Perl installed (that’s Mac OS X and Linux, by default) or consult the full instructions.

March 10, 2009

Racing the Beam Review and Interview

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 7:31 am

I’m glad to see these recent items about the book I wrote with Ian Bogost: Michael Agger reviewed Racing the Beam in Slate, providing a very nice description of our investigation of the VCS and the concept of platform studies. And, in The Boston Globe this Sunday, there’s an interview of yours truly by Geoff Edgers. In the interview, we discuss the lasting importance of the Atari VCS and some interesting aspects of the platform.

Update: Immediately after I posted this, I noticed Troy S. Goodfellow’s review that is just out in Crispy Gamer, “Print Screen: ‘Racing the Beam’ and ‘Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li’ – One of these is good.” He warns, appropriately,

March 6, 2009

Tune to Interview for Channel F

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 7:39 am

There’s a fascinating recent interview with Gerald A. Lawson, who was behind the Fairchild Channel F. The system was originally called the Fairchild Video Entertainment System or VES, and was the first cartridge-based video game console. Among other things, the rollout of this system apparently prompted Atari to finish and release one of my and Ian Bogost’s favorite systems, the Atari VCS, which had been in development.

As it happens, Jerry Lawson is black and was the son of a longshoreman. In the interview, he mentions his experience with TV repair – something he has in common with the first Atari employee, Al Alcorn, who Lawson knew. I sense from the interview that Lawson was the more text-oriented of the two:

I tried to sell Alan a character generator. He showed me the way he was doing it, which was much simpler, and I said, “Heck, there’s no sense using a character generator.” ‘Cause what he did was he decoded segments to make block lettering, numbering for score keeping [in Pong]. He really didn’t have need for anything else that was character oriented.

He did help fix Atari’s coin mechanisms, though – kids has been exploiting them to get free games.

March 5, 2009

ebr‘s Ebullience

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 4:09 pm

Threading through ebr (Electronic Book Review) in recent months are two longer pieces, “Electronic Literature: Where Is It?” by Dene Grigar and a mega-review called “Locating the Literary in New Media,” by Joe Tabbi. Also, note the response to Second Person and review of Half Life (the novel by Shelley Jackson, not the game) that are up.

American People: Please Oppose H.R. 801!

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 10:01 am

We’ve had some sometimes heated discussions on here about open access and academic publications.

Now, here in the U.S., Representative John Conyers (D-MI) has revived a bill that would reverse the NIH open access policy and ban other federal agencies from adopting similar policies. (There’s a longer, more detailed analysis of this H.R. 801, the Fair Copyright in Research Work Act, online, too.) It’s a real disappointment to me to see backtracking on one of the few areas where academics have been doing something really new and of social impact, making use of the Internet to better share our work. If you feel the same way, please write your representative about it. Of course, you can write if you feel differently, too, and in any case you can tell us why you stand where you do, by sharing your letter here or by leaving some other comment.

Here’s what I wrote to my representative:

March 4, 2009

Box Art Ain’t What It Used To Be

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 9:33 pm

Some claim that today’s video game box art isn’t up to par with, say, … Atari 2600 box art.

March 3, 2009

Play Call of Duty … If You Adhere to the Geneva Convention

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 4:47 pm

“Someone surrenders and you don’t just go and kill them anyways.”

March 2, 2009

Bot Colony to Generate and Understand Langauge

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 9:41 pm

North Side, Inc. is set to show a protoype of their sandbox adventure Bot Colony at GDC at the end of this month. Their page for the game promises:

This prototype will demonstrate the dialogue engine powering Bot Colony™, which implements Natural Language Understanding, Natural Language Generation and reasoning on very large knowledge bases. The game characters are intelligent agents that react to their environment. They have perception, exhibit goal-oriented behavior, and are capable of learning.

February 27, 2009

How to Startu^H^H^H^H^HWrite

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 9:33 am

From outline to full text, witness here the writing of 13 (annotated) sentences about startups in EtherPad. Thanks to Charles McKenzie for this nugget.

February 26, 2009

The Birth of the Digital

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:16 am

Stephanie Strickland’s article “Born Digital,” describing electronic literature as a practice distinct from the publication of e-books and entwined with programming, is now up on the Poetry Foundation’s site. If you yourself are curious yourself about what characterizes e-lit, or if you’re hoping to be able to better explain the concept to others, I suggest you take a look at what Strickland has insightfully written.

February 25, 2009

Games from an Old Kid on the Block

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 4:47 pm

Michael Jackson’s arcade games are being auctioned off. He will still apparently maintain two ping-pong tables in his basement.

UOC: Please Reconsider

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:27 am

I learned in the past few days that Laura Borràs Castanyer of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) is apparently being dismissed from her position at UOC.

This comes as quite a surprise, as Professor Borràs directs Hermeneia, a major European research group on digital literature; is also organizing the 2009 e-Poetry conference; has been overseeing the Ciutat de Vinaros Prize for digital literature; and is serving in the editorial collective for The Electronic Literature Collection, volume 2, the follow-up to the first volume that Scott and I worked on with Kate Hayles and Stephanie Strickland. Without having heard the complete story, the justification for this action apparently has something to do with her not having performed adequate service. This justification is also rather surprising, given only these activities that those of us in the Electronic Literature Organization know about.

February 24, 2009

Vanderbilt Seeks Creative Enterprise and Public Leadership Prof.

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 11:58 pm

We have news of a faculty position in creative enterprise and public leadership at Vanderbilt, one that is open to those working in digital media:

Vanderbilt University is seeking an innovative and entrepreneurial tenure-track scholar to help build a new program in Creative Enterprise and Public Leadership. The program includes graduate and undergraduate courses, internships, and hands-on creative practice and is part of a larger Creative Campus initiative described below.

Atari Teenage TIA

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:11 pm

Karen Collins, author of Game Sound, did an amazing study in which she traces how the peculiarities of the TIA (Television Interface Adapter) may have influenced the tonal sensibilities of Western youth and may be linked to the later use of flat seconds in rave, heavy metal, and industrial music. The article is “Fine Tuning the Terrible Twos: The Musical Aesthetic of the Atari VCS” (PDF version, deprecated HTML). Thanks much to 8-bit and 1-bit artist Shifty for handing me a copy of this paper last week.

<- Previous Page -- Next Page ->

Powered by WordPress