Gaming Session: Minecraft, November 20th, 2014

looking-up-at-ice-chapel-ceilingWe’re doing Minecraft a week earlier than normal this month, because of Thanksgiving, so it will be on Thursday, November 20th. The usual server and time (9:30pm EST / 6:30pm PST), with voice chat over Skype, see you there!

 

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Symposium: November 6, Antichamber

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This month, we play Antichamber (Steam), a game that, in many ways, subverts how we think about space within a game-world. By connecting different areas in non-obvious ways, Antichamber begins to prompts us to consider how a non-Euclidean world would work; one where some things might really be bigger on the inside than outside, or even attached back to its own beginning like a torus.

From this position of environmental interconnectivity, I want us also to begin to discuss how we might think about (dis)embodiment in first-person perspective games. That is, like many other games with this perspective, the on-screen avatar is exclusively a “gun” and a ‘body’ does not exist. However, we can easily bridge this ‘gap’ and navigate the strange spaces in the game. A ‘body’ is seemingly not needed for us to embody.

In other words, can/does a shift in projection (the illusion of depth and multiple dimensions rendered on a flat surface) help us to better understand perspective? How can a lack of a ‘body’ cause us think about bodies in these spaces? Does a change in interconnectivity of places cause us to ponder player materiality in games like this, or is there some ability of the first-person perspective that more easily inculcates us to a game’s symbolic order?

We meet at the regular 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT over Skype.

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, October 30th, 2014

site-for-house

It’s Minecraft time! The standard server, voice chat over Skype, this Thursday at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT.

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Symposium: The Walking Dead, Season 2, October 2, 2014

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Now that the second season of The Walking Dead is out, we’re going to get together to talk about it: what continues from the first season, what’s different, how do we feel about all of that? I’ll say that I personally felt that my perception of the conversations was different from those in the first season in a way that was interesting to me; I’m curious to see if other people had similar thoughts.

We’ll meet on Thursday, October 2 at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT, voice chat over Skype.

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, September 25th, 2014

looking-down-from-middle

We’re doing Minecraft this week. 9:30 pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT, same server as always, voice chat over Skype.

 

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Symposium: September 4, Half-Life

half-life

This month’s Symposium topic is Half-Life. Our discussion will be led by Patrick Holleman, who says:

Half-Life is an odd and wonderful game that stands astride two eras in videogame history.  Its release begins the era in which Western videogames (and the FPS in particular) would become ascendant.  It is, without a doubt, the most beloved single player FPS of all time, in a genre where multiplayer is king.  The game demonstrates a clear mastery of previous (Japanese) game design trends, and a clearly conscious step away from them.  In a sense, it is like Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony in its self-conscious manipulation and transcendence of what had come before it.  Although the FPS isn’t exactly VGHVI’s bread and butter, I think it will be interesting for all of us to take a look at how polished and relevant the game feels despite the explosive growth of games in the FPS genre in the post-Half-Life era.

Discussion will be on Thursday, September 4 at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT, and will take place over Skype; see you then!

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, August 28th, 2014

ice-tower-upper-walls

Minecraft this week! The usual server, with voice chat over Skype. We might actually start a little earlier – no earlier than 9:00pm EDT / 6:00pm PDT, quite possible at our normal starting time of 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT.

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