IR11 Online Fantasy Panel

I will be presenting today some of my analyses of the cultures of fantasy gaming in Internet Research Association’s conference (IR11) in Gothenburg. Together with Sebastian Deterding, Ashley Hinck and Ulrika Bennerstedt we will have a panel session titled “Fantasy and the Net”, based on our short papers. My own piece is titled “Aporias in Gaming Fantasy” where I look at some of the elements that complicate perception of fantasy as straightforward fulfilment of desires, and also point towards complexities in the construction of identity for ‘fantasy gamer’. Link to IR11 pages:

Yearbook 2010 / Pelitutkimuksen vuosikirja

Here is some information about the new Finnish Yearbook of Game Studies 2010 (English abstracts available in the downloadable PDFs, linked below):

Pelitutkimuksessa ajankohtaista etenkin rahapelitutkimus

Pelitutkimuksen vuosikirja 2010 on ilmestynyt sähköisenä osoitteessa
Vuosikirjassa tarkastellaan jälleen niin digitaalisen pelaamisen historiaa,
nykytilannetta kuin tulevaisuuttakin.

Pelitutkimuksen vuosikirja on vertaisarvioitu, avoin tiedejulkaisu. Continue reading “Yearbook 2010 / Pelitutkimuksen vuosikirja”

Light and strong

There are many things online apps, netbooks or tablets are enough, but when you need to do multimedia editing, gaming and publishing work while on the go, there are actually not so many alternatives. A thin, light yet powerful laptop computer is something that many professionals develop almost a symbiotic relationship with. I try to keep my eye on the developments on this field, so here are some links (to Finnish publisher pages, for my own convenience mostly) about some of the most important representatives of this species.

Sony Vaio Z series

  • I am using a Sony Vaio Z series laptop as my main workhorse, and the new models have features that continue to improve it – I have yet to find something that really rivals the “Z”:
  • Macbook Pros are very pretty devices indeed. Pity they are a bit too heavy for real, ultraportable category (and Macbook Air, on the other hand, does not have the required multimedia and gaming power). OS X is not the optimum for gaming purposes either, but you can always multi-boot. Link:
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X301 used to be the business users optimum model in the ultralight category – but I am not sure whether this model is available any more from Lenovo, or what is its current successor?
  • Fujitsu LifeBook S760 Premium is an interesting model from a company that usually makes less inspiring devices:
  • Others: There are several manufacturers that are not so well represented over here in Finland, but which have competitive models in this category. For example: Toshiba (with their Portégé 700 line), Alienware (which has the interesting ultraportable M11x line) – also Asus, Dell, Samsung and several others have improved their lines, but I have not yet found immediate competitors to the aforementioned. HP has copied much of the Macbook Pro design into their Envy line, while being more budget oriented (one review of Envy 14 is here:

The best of all? The jury is still out, but personally I have been happy with the Vaio Z series and would probably stick with it, if I’d need to choose a new portable gaming/workstation right now.

Frans Mäyrä Daily

One of the clear strengths of social media lies in its capabilities for filtering – sometimes dubbed ‘collective intelligence’ by a fancy name. Wisdom of the crowds helps in finding those golden nuggets among all that chaff. One of the most useful tools (apart from Flipboard for iPad, which is sort of half-way there) is the web-based service which builds a news-site style layout of the most popular materials that have been circulating among your Twitter contacts during the last 24 hours. Rather than trying to follow the buzzing stream around the clock and checking out everything personally, it is now possible to see what were the ‘trending topics’ that were recently shared and discussed in the network. This is still an ‘alpha’ release, but already rather usable and worth testing out. Here is link to “Frans Mäyrä Daily”: Frans Mäyrä Daily

Solution to the iPad wifi issues?

As a somewhat sad and ridiculous conclusion, it seems that the most certain way to get iPad to connect via wifi to Internet is to replace your current router with a new one — made by Apple, of course. I ran out of options with my Belkin N+ Wireless Router, at least. It was possible to open the network and leave it totally unprotected – iPad accepted it only then – but I did not prefer to have it set up that way. So, Cupertino, here we go again (AirPort Express works fine with iPad & iPhone, of course). This must be part of Apple’s not-so-secret plan of world domination?

iPeng repeat issue

I love iPeng, the plugin and versatile iPhone remote app for Squeezebox players – the extensive range of features comes with with the price, though. iPeng is not the most simple of players. It took me some time another day to debug a little problem, for example: iPeng appeared to be stuck on repeat. Songs I added were included in the playlist, but player would not move forward. A single song would only repeat. It took some time to find where the repeat setting was: you needed to tap once the play (cover view) screen, after which further settings would be revealed, including a symbol for controlling repeat settings. Repeat to off, and the problem was solved. – An example of more ‘expert’ style app/interface design than what I consider desirable today — great to have this level of control, on the other hand (after you have done your homework).

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