research in wiki

Thinking about the strengths of new media forms is an interesting undertaking. Are there new possibilities opened up by new applications and services? Or are traditional means actually still better? Is new media actually just old wine in new flasks?

After some days of experimenting with my OpenWiki, I think that wikis are Internet like it was planned in some of the early, utopian visions (for the better or worse). Collaborative projects are clearly the forte of this tool, as projects like Wikipedia prove. Thinking about it, my own wiki might best be used to gather together some research resources I have find useful, particularly as our facilities like Digital Library do not work yet like they should. (There is work undergoing there, too.) A wiki is perfect for this purpose, as anyone can add or correct entries in it freely.

modification times

Originally, I thought that January would be a rather quiet month, but it has proved to be the opposite, and February does not look like any better really. I restarted playing Fable, with the “evil” options this time, but there has not really been time to look into it any deeper, or anything other than the most urgent work matters. The Creative Gamers seminar last week was success by many criteria, and it inspired me to take a look at some SWG Cantina Crawls and other Machinima projects. It was also fun to take a look back at the original Star Wars, albeit in somewhat edited shape (the special editions from the new DVD box release). I suppose one should get used to that kind of “retouched history”, but I found myself fascinated and horrified, at the same time, of what had happened with that SF classic. Ok, need to get those next week’s lectures, project documents and DiGRA conference reviews ready during these weekend hours…

give an idiot a camcorder

This weekend I’m finally going to learn some DV video editing. I suppose some skills are just required media literacy, this day, and/or future. Don’t know, really. Desire to know is a curious thing. We have discussed a lot “personality types” and “motivations” lately, and I just realised that I’m that sort of person who wants to see the bitrate while seeing a movie, or what was the aperture while looking at photos…

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syndicated nights, simulated lights

This night, I have been learning about syndication of this medium (Atom and RSS converted XML feeds the result) and ruining my eyes by doing it in front of a TV screen. The resolution, sharpness and refresh rate of a CRT-based television set is just not yet up to the point where you could actually work in front of it. Video streams and digital photographs look nice, but everything else makes my head hurt. When I closed the browser finally, after several hours, to turn away from the shiny world of bits and simulation, and clicked the remote, the first thing to catch my eye was a documentary about original Matrix movie (in SubTV). Talking about serendipity…

infra kicks

After spending best part of the weekend finishing couple of games articles and the course materials I have been working on, I decided to reward myself somehow. In this weird nerdie way, it definitely had to be something media-tech related (but not too expensive, since most of my money is already going to all this stuff). So I bought a Logitech wireless keyboard & mouse combo (the MX version), and then amused myself by configuring the output of my media server to the big-screen television for the rest of the evening. Since this thing does not have proper inputs (and it is not the LCD/plasma one I will get next) the outcome is only half satisfying. But: I can now have web information services, a game, a TV channel and a Winamp running simultaneously on the same big screen. Ok, when I started Word to write this note, I had to close a couple of windows, but yet. It is curious to study oneself and see what are the sources of pleasure. I had a Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided free 14-days download & account deal waiting there, too, but instead I ended up doing this. Perhaps this feels more like an “own” thing to do? Or then, perhaps I just get my kicks from working at the infrastructure level, rather than with the content. Hard to say.

home from dublin

Last week I joined HIIT guys in a three-day trip to the Dublin’s Media Lab Europe. Many thanks to Simon Jones and all others in MLE who took time to discuss with us and present their work. Interesting stuff. And the beer was great, of course! (Janne and Fernando here, in the mood…)

digital evenings

Hm. Having recently played through the Xbox treat, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II with Laura, I find myself reluctant to take up another big game. I ended up “playing” with the new Winamp 5 with its easily accessible “Internet Radio” (streaming mp3) and “Internet TV” video channels; the semantics of “play” were what we also discussed with Satu and Britta, after Satu’s presentation in the Game Studies Seminar. I really enjoy all these toys — but so do I enjoy also books. Yet, can a book be a toy? Probably not if it is perceived as literature (Espen might disagree)? Saw a kid playing with a book in Akateeminen Bookshop yesterday, though. One of those musical books, makes an endless melody when you open it and play with it. That was a toy book, definitely. Escaped after two minutes of that.