Symposium: Virtual Reality, 1 September 2016

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Now that the commercial release of several VR platforms has arguably made virtual reality a market and/or cultural force, it seems like we might spend an enjoyable hour talking about whether there’s anything new here where immersion is concerned. My hypothesis, after putting my Oculus Rift through its paces: no and yes.No: the Iliad is just as immersive as DiRT: Rally VR or ADR1FT, or maybe more interestingly Minecraft played in virtual reality, when it comes to identification with rulesets. Yes: something about how our brains can be tricked into accepting what we see in the VR headset as “real” seems to me to enchant and lure despite the clunkiness of much of the current state of the VR art.

Conversation via Skype starts at 9:30 Eastern/6:30 Pacific!

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, August 25, 2016

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Minecraft this Thursday: 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT.

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Symposium: World of Warcraft, August 4, 2016

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With over a decade of on-going development and an active player-base in the millions, World of Warcraft stands as one of the most renowned MMORPGs ever. However, for as vast as the game as become through multiple expansions, at its root is a process which is highly dependent on its users for interface improvements.

Assimilating player-created modifications and UI changes through patches and updates, the designers and programmers behind WoW are in a constant ‘red queen race‘ with players seeking to optimize and improve their virtual lives and seeing those improvements incorporated into the mechanics and visual metaphors of the game itself.

We’ll be meeting on Thursday, August 4 at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT with voice chat over Skype to discuss the gaming behemoth that is WoW and how its interfaces, users, and the collision between the two have influenced its own evolution and that of its sisters and cousins games within the MMORPG genre.

Additional Readings:

A Study of User Interface Modifications in World of Warcraft

Co-Creative Interface Development in MMORPGs: The Case of World of Warcraft Add-ons

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, July 28, 2016

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Minecraft this week! Thursday, July 28 at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT.

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, June 23, 2016

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We’re doing Minecraft a week early this month (and we’ll be skipping the July Symposium entirely): Thursday, June 23 at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT.

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Symposium: Alien Isolation, June 2, 2016

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In this month’s Symposium, we’ll be talking about Alien: Isolation.  I’ll be leading the discussion; my main area of interest is how the smaller scale of the game leads to increased focus, and how that interacts with the game’s stealth mechanics.

We’ll be meeting on Thursday, June 2 at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT; voice chat over Skype.

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Gaming Session: Minecraft, May 26, 2016

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It’s Minecraft time: Thursday, May 26 at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT!

 

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