Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip Fruin, and Mary Flanagan, half of the art-theory collaboration Grand Text Auto, gathered at the Digital Games Research Association’s 2009 Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory in Uxbridge, UK. Mateas is speaking on “Operational Logics,” Wardrip Fruin’s paper is “Agency Reconsidered,” and Flanagan is presenting the co-written paper, “Anxiety, Openness and Activist Games: A Case Study for Critical Play,” and speaking in an interactive workshop called ““Some Assembly Required”: Starting and Growing a Game Lab.” In between these presentations, both of Flanagan’s more recent books (Critical Play and re:SKIN), and Wardrip Fruin’s Expressive Processing are available in the MIT bookshop on site!
September 1, 2009
August 26, 2009
Tiltfactor director Mary Flanagan was interviewed in, “Labeling Library Archives Is a Game at Dartmouth College” in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the new NEH project called “Metadata Games.” The interview perhaps overplays the “free labour” aspect of the game itself. Using play time in novel, productive ways likely harms no one. If the game is fun, engaging, and playful, it will attract players, and players will like to play regardless if the hours are “productive” or “wasteful.”
At Tiltfactor, we have a philosophy that play is not a useless activity. Players are constantly learning and growing through game play. Play promotes collaboration and experimentation. If it does even more than that? We say, YAY! – IF it contributes to the Commons and to access to knowledge for the public.
August 25, 2009
Social communications expert Clifford Nass, with researchers Eyal Ophir and Anthony Wagner, Stanford University, just completed a study of multitasking and productivity among college students. The resulting paper, “Cognitive control in media multitaskers,” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The results of “digital overload” were similar to past research: multitasking does not make one more productive. See the CNN article here. Do you self identify as a ‘chronic media multitasker’?
How nice that Grand Text Auto, a collaboratively written blog to which Tiltfactor contributes, is recommended in the 100 best blogs for new media students. This nice long list should serve as an excellent resource for students and scholars alike!
August 24, 2009
This blog post seems to be getting much more attention than we had expected. It was originally concocted to be a quick set of notes for an introductory “what is machinima” presentation conducted by students in our class… But, since there is interest, we’ll add our core screening list here, and add student final proejcts from class — once they are finished!
How should we approach the study of machinima?
How do the aesthetics of machinima differ from traditional video or film?
What is the role of the creator in machinima? Whose work is it?
August 21, 2009
Tiltfactor has been awarded a new National Endowment for the Humanities grant. Hear it from Peter Carini, Dartmouth College Archivist:
Dartmouth College, Metadata Games — An Open Source Electronic Game for Archival Data Systems
Mary Flanagan, the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities at Dartmouth College, in collaboration with Rauner Special Collections Library, has received an National Endowment for the Humanities grant to develop an open source computer game for the Internet that would supplement library metadata on holdings in collections with descriptions provided by the public.
Does Bejeweled calm the savage beast? In a recent study funded by the game makers Popcap Games reported in the Washington Post, researchers found improved moods and heart rhythms in players– coherent, equally spaced rhythms. The researchers note that mental health benefits for many could lie in the zone between stressful arousal and boredom.
August 20, 2009
the PLAYCUBE is home to a performative sweatshop today as students trace where all of their ‘free campus t-shirts’ come from; taking place on the Dartmouth College campus, 1-3pm today. Next week, on the 26th of August, we will host a locally produced Machinima show in the PLAYCUBE at 8pm in Hanover NH.
August 12, 2009
Mary just returned from showing the new work [perfect.city] at the Incheon Digital Art Festival. The work is a two channel video installation, projected on a double sided screen. One side features a Sims 3 slowed machinima of everyday life in New Songdo, the new economic freezone city of the east owned by the multinational Gale International. In the future perfect city, it’s, well, a bit boring. The reverse projection features a live action performance of Mary engaged as a member of Gale, dreaming of her own virtual utopian city and hacking the game in ’speed programming’ style. Thanks to Jennifer Jacobs, Peter Ciardelli, Thomas Garbelotti, and Steve Toole for their assistance with the project!
August 5, 2009
It looks like we have a bound book date for Critical Play, Mary Flanagan’s new book! The time is now! watch for it.
Eric Zimmerman says, “In Critical Play, Flanagan uncovers a secret history of games buried deep inside folk culture, experimental media, and the world of art. Critical Play should be required reading for anyone who cares about the cultural importance and future potential of games.”
Tiltfactor says, “HURRAY!” and is exited to launch the book.
August 1, 2009
Look what we’ve done to Hanover! <the mobile unit PLAYCUBE in action>
The PLAYCUBE, our unique mobile exhibition space, has been home to two events since its arrival on campus last week– and these have been entirely unusual + much fun! We’ve attracted an interesting cross section of students, faculty, staff, and community members; the most compelling aspect of the project thus far for me is the way in which the mobile unit attracts curious passersby to engage with creative ideas– and especially those who might not frequent arts events or a museum.
July 18, 2009
The ironic debacle this week – Amazon.com confiscating the mistakenly sold electronic books by none other than George Orwell from user’s Kindle machines across the country — stokes the already hot debate about technological devices and the rights of privacy, ownership, security, and autonomy of a user to his or her own devices.
Yesterday’s New York Times article describes how Amazon became aware they mistakenly sold the works 1984 and Animal Farm without the proper rights, then remotely deleted them on user’s kindles without warning with the same technology used to synchronize separate electronic devices. “I never imagined that Amazon actually had the right, the authority or even the ability to delete something that I had already purchased,” says one of those customers affected.
July 9, 2009
[xyz], a set of interactive poems about space, opened at the Strauss Gallery at Dartmouth College.
Consisting of Four computers / game engine / hardware / sound / custom code / text, the work presents as individual pieces the spatial metaphors inherent within virtual systems and on the grammatical and lexical notions in language itself.
In [xyz], the rules of game playing and the rules for language reside in the same location. Player-readers participate in the dynamic combination of new texts using the fundamental metaphoric system that governs the development of computerized spaces—namely, the 16th Century three dimensional Cartesian coordinate system, with axis lines x, y, and z.