Category: Game Politics

Games and politics — now that’s some kinda fun!

September 3, 2015

In Soviet Russia…

Once it was determined which games would be produced, the blueprints were allegedly sent to military factories that primarily made electronics used in nuclear testing and weapons. These were perhaps the only places in the USSR that had the manpower and the means to understand the engineering required to build the arcade games.

The Alternate Universe of Soviet Arcade Games

May 5, 2015

Character Assassination

Though they foreground models over characters, systems-oriented video games can’t evade the issues of identity politics

The pedagogy of simulation games — city simulators in particular — is worth meditating on. They are, ostensibly, about engaging with complex (though still incredibly simplified) models, coupled with rule sets that mark discrete goals. These range from the practicable (make sure there are water lines in your new residential zone so the houses can have plumbing) to the whimsical (call down an alien invasion). By being told to use a set of tools in a particular way, an individual can be taught how to engage with a system — the system that is the game.

March 15, 2015

GamerGate’s impact on academics and archivists

GamerGate is killing video games. "There are a number of us in academia who love games, care about games, and believe games are important. We have been working for years to make games a legitimate tool for education and for study, and we were making progress. People were starting to take games seriously. And then came GamerGate. I have seen the careful progress of a decade come crashing down, and now, when I go to talk about games to industry groups or fellow academics, GamerGate always comes up as an example of how terrible and immature people who play games are. It will take years and years to repair the damage, and it is absolutely devastating to the serious study and application of the power of games to real problems. We are going to have trouble getting grants, getting foundations to fund games, and getting people to take us seriously. It is devastating and makes me very sad."

October 3, 2014

Revenge of the Nutters

In the continuing saga that is #GamerGate, Intel today pulled its ads from Gamasutra under pressure from activists involved in Operation Disrespectful Nod.

Gamasutra's response.

BoingBoing: Intel pulls ads at site critical of #GamerGate
Verge: Intel buckles to anti-feminist campaign by pulling ads from gaming site
Slate: GamerGate Fights Corruption in Journalism By Encouraging Corruption in Journalism

June 12, 2014

Women are so hard to animate

So, Assassin's Creed: Unity is going to have four-player co-op. None of the characters available, however, are female. "It was on our feature list until not too long ago, but it’s a question of focus and production," explains technical director James Therien. "So we wanted to make sure we had the best experience for the character. A female character means that you have to redo a lot of animation, a lot of costumes. It would have doubled the work on those things." [more inside]

May 28, 2014

Creating Games For Journalism

We as journalists can learn a lot from video games. They can help players explore unfamiliar worlds and experience stories, almost literally, through the eyes of another person. Designed well, video games guide players to feel emotion and conflict, as well as learn the intricacies of complex subjects and systems. They engage users in a highly meaningful, memorable and influential way. [...]

As journalists, games can be a great tool for us to use to reach, inform and engage our readers.

May 14, 2014

So This Is A Thing Now

I had no idea that this was a thing that was happening, but apparently it is, and now I know. (The growth of mercenaries and for-profit private military contractors isn't news to me; game companies producing journalvertising about it is). Activision has apparently produced a 'documentary' short film called "Superpower for Hire" in association with Vice and the advertising agency 72andSunny in order to promote their latest warpornmanshoot Call of Duty opus. Robert Rath at Escapist has a fair bit to say not only on the fact that it exists, but how fast and loose it plays with the product-pumping information it presents as factual.

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