Syllabus: Gaming and Feminism

The New Inquiry compiled a syllabus on gaming and feminism in response to the current online harassment. They write: “We wanted to highlight, in solidarity with feminist critics and thinkers everywhere, some of the wonderful, complicated and powerful work that has been done against, outside and in spite of gaming’s heteropatriarchal structures”.

Read the full syllabus at: http://thenewinquiry.com/features/tni-syllabus-gaming-and-feminism/

And thanks Hartmut for sharing this!

MA Thesis: games to stimulate critical thought

A Master Thesis by Aleksander Nikulin, advised by Miguel Sicart.

From the abstract: “Player emotions can be generated in a variety of ways. Encouraging the experience of critical thought – a type of gameplay experience which the players consider as having value beyond “fun” – is a key problem in both game design and my master thesis. The emotional affect associated with critical gameplay causes players to experience deep levels of personal significance and bonding, resulting in very deep and profound levels of engagement with the game. In this thesis work I explore the different practical techniques for designing such critical game experience in-game and suggest them as a direct toolkit game designers, level designers and game artists can use.”

Read the full thesis at http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:aalto-201409182659

Paper: Augmented Reality and Narratology

A paper by Roy Shilkrot, Nick Montfort and Pattie Maes on Augmented Reality and Narratology. From the abstract: “This paper presents an examination of augmented reality (AR) as a rising form of interactive narrative that combines computer-generated elements with reality, fictional with non-fictional objects, in the same immersive experience. Based on contemporary theory in narratology, we propose to view this blending of reality worlds as a metalepsis, a transgression of reality and fiction boundaries, and argue that authors could benefit from using existing conventions of narration to emphasize the transgressed boundaries, as is done in other media. Our contribution is three-fold, first we analyze the inherent connection between narrative, immersion, interactivity, fictionality and AR using narrative theory, and second we comparatively survey actual works in AR narratives from the past 15 years based on these elements from the theory”.

Read the full paper at http://fluid.media.mit.edu/sites/default/files/nARratives_ISMAR2014.pdf

Article: Speedrunning Through Space With de Certeau and Virilio

Rainforest Scully-Blaker published a paper about the practice of ‘speedrunning’. “By using Michel de Certeau’s notion of a spatial practice and Paul Virilio’s discussion of the violence of speed as frameworks for the discussion, this paper articulates two conceptual definitions by which to classify speedruns – finesse runs and deconstructive runs”.

Read the full paper at: http://gamestudies.org/1401/articles/scullyblaker

Blog: When a serious game is a simulation?

Igor Mayer makes a very good distinction between a simulation and a serious game – based on the idea of a box: with a serious game you are inside the box playing the game; with a simulation, on the other hand, you are outside the box, manipulating some variables and watching what happens to the result.

Read the full blog post at http://seriousgamessociety.org/index.php/2014-07-11-14-15-51/explore/134-media/812-when-is-a-serious-game-a-simulation

 

Free tabletop game: MultipliCITY (Molleindustria)

“MultipliCITY is a basic framework for a city planning board game for any reasonable number of players. Players are split in groups with different interests and build a city together negotiating their often-conflicting agendas. MultipliCITY is meant to be discussed, extended and modified (modded) in a workshop context, therefore the game balance was not a primary concern while designing it”.

MultipliCITY can be downloaded for free at http://www.molleindustria.org/blog/multiplicity/

Blog: Save the Date – Cross-session Memory, Metanarrative and a Challenge to Endings

Hartmut Koenitz writes: “At the start of Save The Date, the player invites a romantic interest – Felicia – to a dinner date. For this purpose, the player can chose from a variety of restaurant options. However, regardless of the particular choice, the date will invariably die. Hence, the goal of the game is to literally “save the date,” which turns out to be rather difficult. […] Save the Date is a real gem from the perspective of interactive digital narrative. This game puts the affordances of digital media to great use by demonstrating how procedurality and interactivity can extend narrative. At the same time, this work challenges long-standing conventions in both games and narrative”.

Read the full blog post at http://gamesandnarrative.net/save-the-date-cross-session-memory-metanarrative-and-a-challenge-of-endings/

Interactive Narrative: Ice-Bound

Ice-bound is an upcoming narrative experience combining a printed book with an iPad app. Telling a multi-layered story about a polar base sinking into the ice, a famous author’s unfinished final novel, and a doubt-riddled artificial intelligence given an impossible task, the project uses procedural generation and augmented reality to help create a truly unique experience where story and gameplay melt into one another.

A collaboration between Aaron Reed and Jacob Garbe, two award-winning writers and game artists, and inspired by the fractal narratives of Borges, Danielewski, Calvino, and Nabokov, Ice-bound is expected to debut in early 2015.

The official website for Ice-Bound is http://www.ice-bound.com/

Aaron A. Reed has shown projects at IndieCade, IGF, and the Slamdance Guerrilla Gamemakers Festival. His 2009 interactive fiction Blue Lacuna was named one of the top ten text adventures of all time by the IFDB, and he served as lead writer for the ambitious AI-driven storygame Prom Week, which garnered both IndieCade and IGF nominations in 2012. His experimental narrative collage-maker 18 Cadence was a Kirkus”Best Book App” of 2013 and an IGF Nuovo Honorable Mention.

Jacob Garbe is a writer and new media artist working with augmented reality and procedural narrative. He was the recipient of the 2010 International Aeon Award for short fiction, and was recently featured as an electronic literature artist in the Pathfinders: 25 years of Experimental Literary Art exhibit at the Modern Language Association. He is currently working with Storybricks exploring dynamic text generation for the upcoming MMO Everquest Next.

Game: Curtain

Curtain is a lo-fi narrative about destructive relationships by indie developer llaura dreamfeel. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete, and it is available for Win/Mac/Linux with a pay-what-you-want formula.

Danielle Riendeau writes on Polygon: “Curtain is less a cautionary tale and more a cathartic exploration of a terrible, complex situation. It’s real-life horror, with a “monster” that’s infinitely more complicated and human than anything in fiction”.

Get the game at http://dreamfeel.itch.io/curtain and read the piece on Polygon at http://www.polygon.com/2014/9/12/6136433/curtain-indie-game-abuse

Game: FOTONICA

FOTONICA, a game by Italian designers Santa Ragione, has just been released for iOS. It is a first-person game about running, jumping, sense of speed, and discovery.
One-handed controls: hold your finger down to run, release to jump, hold in mid-air to dive and land.
The key is timing, the goal is exploring and traveling flawlessly through the environment. The setting is an abstract – mainly duotone – outlined world, with a look reminiscent of geometrical abstractions and the 3D low-poly gaming era.

The trailer for the game is at http://vimeo.com/105807370 and the App Store link is http://www.appstore.com/fotonica