back seat gaming Podcast 001

17 04 2009

backseatgaming episode001.mp3 – backseatgaming

In this first episode we struggle to get used to podcasting, discuss Mirror’s Edge and discuss a fan made Mirror’s Edge tribute you can watch below.





Working to Play in a Digital Age

9 04 2009

This is an essay written in my second year of undergraduate studies. The essay explores how the distinction between our notions of work and play have become intertwined within the digital era. Specifically, how do we separate notions of work and play within our leisure time in this new age?

Working to Play in a Digital Age

Introduction
A new era of digital entertainment is upon us and it seems that no longer are we restricted in the ways in which we interact with technology for the purpose of entertainment. In the most basic sense we are no longer are limited to a predetermined scheduling of television programs, if we can afford and choose such a feature. More complexly, no longer are we restricted to the boundaries of our physical reality when seeking out technologically enhanced entertainment. Such is the case with the internet and video games. With statements such as these it would seem that the advancement of technology and media has allowed for us the ability to partake in greater experiences in leisure, that which we seek to obtain apart from the daily grind of work. Yet these statements alone would only represent a technologically determined thinker’s work. A more appropriate consideration of the effects of technology on work and leisure would consist of an assessment of not only technology, but apply a broader range of theory, ranging from an analysis of the reasons in which content is produced, and perhaps to the point of consumption as well. What will ultimately be argued in this essay is that an analysis of commodification of culture in a digital age will find that the line between work and leisure has become perpetually indistinct.
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Papercraft and Video Games

23 03 2009

Just wanted to update with something interesting that looks at another example of the inspiration video games bring to individual creativity. Over my time on the Internet I have seen a number of video game themed papercrafts featured on gaming sites and around the net. For example, Nintendo Papercraft is a site that catalogs papercrafts of Nintendo video game characters and objects found around the net that can be constructed by downloading, printing out and constructing the model. Below is an example of a finished model of Samus from Super Smash Bros Brawl found on Nintendo Papercraft in front of other papercraft models, including some from the series.

Samus from Super Smash Bros Brawl in Papercraft





Understanding the “Internet Meme”

4 03 2009

WARNING, SOME OF THE LINKS CONTAINED WITHIN THIS ARTICLE MAY LINK TO OFFENSIVE MATERIAL. ATTEMPTS WILL BE MADE TO FORWARN OF ANY LINKS THAT MAY LEAD TO OFFENSIVE MATERIAL.

All non scholarly references will be made in-line via hyperlinks. Scholarly references will be included in a references section at the end of the case study.

Understanding the “Internet Meme”

Introduction
What is a meme? What is meant by the term meme, or what does one even look like? To those savvy with specific communities of the internet, a meme is easily recognizable, but at this juncture two understandings will have to be made. The first is of the meme as the “internet meme”, that of the “inside joke” passed on through the web (Such as Dramatica’s definition I will outline later). The second is of the meme as coined by Richard Dawkins, which I will return to later. This distinction will allow for a more understandable analysis of the two concepts later on in the study. While the internet meme is a subject that could fill a book with a thorough analysis, I will attempt to assess the concept in a manner that provides a detailed outline of some of the key issues surrounding it. Essentially, this case study will boil down to an analysis of the legitimacy of the term meme as a descriptor for the notion of the “internet meme” and find that a better framework is needed for analysis of these cultural objects as merely placing the notion of the “internet meme” into current frameworks becomes problematic.
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Who Will Be the King of Kong?

28 02 2009

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters movie poster

While I normally post stuff to watch on back seat gaming this will be one of the first documentaries that will be featured on the site.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters is a documentary about a rivalry between Billy Mitchell, reigning champion of the Donkey Kong arcade cabinet as well as restaurant chain owner and newcomer Steve Wiebe, junior high school teacher.

The documentary essentially follows the lives of both contenders as Wiebe is shown as having moved from obsession to obsession until settling on Donkey Kong, where he becomes engrossed in mastering the game and hoping to eventually beat Billy’s high score. Billy is portrayed as a the cocky high score holder and seemingly antagonized in the film.

The film is an interesting look into one sub culture of competitive arcade cabinet video game playing, as it documents the politics of competitive video gaming, and how Steve Wiebe faces off against them. Click read the rest to see the trailer for the film.
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Valentine’s Day for Gamers

13 02 2009

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! Why not mix it up with gaming?

Blizzard created some wallpapers for the day based on the Zerg, Protoss, and Terran of StarCraft fame. You can get them at the wallpaper page of starcraft2.com. All three feature a witty line and symbolic construction related to the game. Check out the Terran one for example, which features what looks like a Terran construction in the shape of a heart and the line “Hell, it’s about Valentine”. Read the rest for more on Valentine’s Day and gaming.

Terran Valentine
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The Death and Re-Birth of Video Games

11 02 2009

Just a quick update this week with something hopefully interesting. Here is a quick example of how video games can live and die through the people who play them.

Here is an image acquired from Kotaku of many copies of the soon to be defunct, due to a low player population, MMORPG Tabula Rasa from NCsoft in the dumpster behind an EB Games in Canada. Read the rest to see how Tribes 2 is being brought back.

Tabula Rasa behind an EB Games Canada

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