multiculturalism in games cultures

After two days in Berlin (IPerG EB meeting), next a couple of hours sleep in Tampere and then an early morning train to Helsinki; we have got visit from Seoul, Korea, and there is going to be talks about multiculturalism and comparative studies of games cultures. Please check out professor Sang-Min Whang’s public lecture, titled “Youth culture in online game worlds: Emergence of cyber lifestyles in Korean society”. Link: Games and Storytelling schedule page. for games

Home, working on an article discussing the concept of digital culture, and listening on Typing “trip-hop” as the tag into the tune-in box, it can find me my daily doze of Portishead, Lamb, Goldfrapp and Radiohead. There are attempts to add more profiling and recommendation functionalities on the online services of Xbox Live, PS3, and I suppose that probably also Nintendo’s WiiConnect24 (or whatever it will be) will include something similar. But currently, it is up to searching blogosphere to find games you like. (Revisiting my old favourite Samorost, I also did find out all the other ‘Samorost-style’ games Blue Tea has been blogging about.)

power of narrative

march of penguinsthe winged migrationContinuing on the subject of DVD and broadening scope of media available in general, some days ago we watched two nature films after each one: La marche de l’empereur (March of the Penguins, 2005) and Le peuple migrateur (Winged Migration, 2001). Both are semi-documentary, French big-screen nature movies (a rather rare species, even with its own tradition, going back to the days of Jacques Cousteau). I liked both, but the Penguin one I truly enjoyed. There was several unforgettable scenes in the Winged Migration, conveying the sense of flying among birds better than anything before, but the March of Penguins was a coherent, powerful narrative. And in a linear, narrative media that truly appears to be an important part.

PS. Check out this year’s programme in Games and Storytelling (starting in Tuesday with Sandy Stone’s presentation); the theme this year is ‘multiculturalism.’

indexing movies with google

I have recently updated my dear DVD movie collection pages (maintained with Movie Collector software, handy for its Internet database integration search functions), and the public index is here:

Having some kind of search in this folder is important when I try to check some details of my collection while on the road, but it appears that search is not easy, at least, not in this case. I have attempted using some javascript search functions, and then moved to use the Google search, which almost always works, more or less. But now, for some reason, this folder remains outside Google’s index (even if their robots should reach it just fine), or then there is something else wrong in my search page…

Edit: I worked with the Movie Collector and the Aqua Frames template a bit more, and now the javascript version of search is working. There remains some issues with the template, though.

philips light emitting textiles

Now this looks fun: Lumalive, light emitting textile technology by Philips Research:

They have had some interesting ambient media projects before, but this time this really looks like something that could transform the way urban nightlife and streets look like, if this tech gets a hold. Great!

juha arrasvuori's phd defence

juha arrasvuori’s phd defence
Originally uploaded by FransBadger.

Today there is the PhD thesis defence of Juha Arrasvuori in University of Tampere. Juha has worked on digital music, mobile media and games for numerous years, long working in Nokia Research Centre. When I first learned to know Juha in the DAC study group of digital culture he was researching synthetizer music of Jean Michel Jarre, but, today his finished thesis discusses the interplay of games (and game studies) with the playful creation of digital music. The opponent, professor Paul Théberge from Canada started by giving Juha credit for developing a consistent framework for discussing music composition and game play in close contact to and informing each other. The opponent also expessed concern about the possible culturally or artistically restricting consequences if ‘music games’ would become the major means for learning to create music.

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