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Got Game?

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the got-blog dept.

Games 56

Hylton Jolliffe writes "Hey, thought you might like a new blog we've just launched on gaming by RIT professor Andrew Phelps. He's going to be writing about a whole host of things: the gaming industry, the rapidly expanding user base, the role of gaming in the entertainment/media spectrum, the technology and standards that undergird today's games, the emerging social phenomena surrounding them, the future of wireless gaming, the study of gaming in academia, blah, blah, blah. Neat stuff and Andy's already in full stride - see this as a possible starting point."

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Heh. (4, Funny)

Soko (17987) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621703)

...the emerging social phenomena surrounding them, the future of wireless gaming, the study of gaming in academia, blah, blah, blah

Welcome to slashdot.

Soko

(back to alt.sysadmin.recovery. And my Segrams V.O. bottle.)

FREEDOM POST ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5621742)

CLAIMED.

For great justice !

Re:Heh. (1)

Peterus7 (607982) | more than 11 years ago | (#5622436)

the study of gaming in academia...

Yeah, the study of gaming in academia... Whenever my classes get boring, I do some heavy studying of gaming.

Then the teacher yells at me and tells me to turn down the volume on my GBA...

Re:Heh. (1)

Ponty (15710) | more than 11 years ago | (#5623111)

Or as sensible people call it, playing games. I don't know why, but the term 'gaming' really irks me. I think I might be responding poorly to people who aren't doing anything really worthwhile convincing themselves that they are and giving it a worthwhile-sounding name.

Something to ponder (1, Funny)

Tmurder (661223) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621704)

From one of the blogs "Professor Edward Castronova placed Norrath (the virtual world of Everquest) as the 77th richest world economy, based on the value of the items in the world adjusted to their value in then-current Ebay auctions." hmmmm.... I wonder where France is? T

Re:Something to ponder (2, Funny)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621818)

I wonder where France is?

Retreating, over there [points]

I know it was a joke, but France is No. 5 (2, Informative)

MyNameIsFred (543994) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621891)

I know it was a joke, but France is number 5 based on GDP. And the U.S. is larger than the total of countries 2 through 6. Source [216.239.33.100] USA! USA! We're number 1.

Re:I know it was a joke, but France is No. 5 (1)

twalk (551836) | more than 11 years ago | (#5622234)

Yah, but for how much longer?

Re:I know it was a joke, but France is No. 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5622298)

Based on historical data from the last hundred years or so, quite a while. The most likely thing to diminish U.S. economic power is the E.U.

Another wonderful, intelligent site on ludology... (5, Informative)

onemorehour (162028) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621705)

...can be found here [gamegirladvance.com] .

gamegirladvance has been kicking around for some time now, and has provided a great combination of gaming news, personal stories, and theoretical discusisons.

Re:Another wonderful, intelligent site on ludology (1)

schmink182 (540768) | more than 11 years ago | (#5622431)

gamegirladvance has been kicking around for some time now, and has provided a great combination of gaming news, personal stories, and theoretical discusisons.

Theoretical discussions? If they're so great and they only have *theoretical* discussions, just imagine how great they'd be with actual discussions.

*Rimshot*

cLARK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5621706)

I GOTTA SON NAMED CLARK

Re:cLARK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5621709)

awesome

Re:cLARK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5621910)

Congratulations! Just eighteen more years till he's killed in another of your imperialistic wars.

Hrmmm (1)

jade42 (608565) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621730)

Maybe I should re-think this atheism thing; becasue I've been praying for something like this for a long time. It's so refreshing to have someone talk about games in relation to reality.

I'm sorry.... (3, Funny)

mekkab (133181) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621850)

It's so refreshing to have someone talk about games in relation to reality

I'm sorry, this is related to academia, reality has nothing to do with it!

gaming industry??? (4, Funny)

Lolaine (262966) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621748)

Oh... right, you are talking about E.A. ... go on please ...

Re:gaming industry??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5622017)

about your clever sig....
an integer is a real number. Maybe something like, "God is real, until multiplied by i"
Still stupid though.

'Gaming Industry' is Australian for 'Gambling Ind' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5621763)


Here in [South] Australia, the 'gaming industry'
provides all-day/all-night poker machines (aka,
'pokies') to mugs, so they can blow all of their
children's education fund, the rent & food money ... as well as -lots- of their employer's money
and - in the case of South Australia's Chief
Prosecutor - working-time (He was caught - by
local media - while 'working at home' - making
ten's of trips out to gamble...

Of course, he still has his high-salary job,
but may have had to promise not to do that
any more... naughty boy syndrome :-)

With public servants like -that- is there any
wonder why Australia could be pusuaded to send
so much of its -scarce- military resources to
this year's Iraq war...?!? )

Anyway, did you mean -that- industry ???
(unlikely)

If not, what -did- you mean...?

Okay... (0, Troll)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621768)

Neat idea, but since are Slashdot in the business of pimping blogs?

Academic Discussion of Gaming is a Good Thing (4, Interesting)

ThresholdRPG (310239) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621769)

I am continually encouraged to see how gaming is getting serious treatment in areas of academia and business.

While there are downsides to this attention, for the most part it is legitimizing the industry and will hopefully result in gaming have equal or greater importance than television and movies (and god, what a relief it would be to minimize the power and influence of those morons).

Re:Academic Discussion of Gaming is a Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5621844)

I don't know - it all sounds a bit boring and pointless to me. Grab a game, play it while you're waiting to go out, or someone to come around, or the kettle is boiling. To take it THIS seriously however...i dunno - isn't there a language you could be learning? Couldn't you be helping organize anti-war protests, or do some work at your local hospice? I don't know, it just strikes me as a sad waste of a life.

True (2, Insightful)

No Such Agency (136681) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621884)

I don't know about "legitimizing the industry", but as a mode of human cultural expression, computer games are worthy of academic scrutiny, as are "Gilligan's Island" and "The Old Man and the Sea" for that matter. All can reveal deeper truths about the societies that spawned them, and be fodder for interesting examinations of humanity (or at least a few graduate theses).

Re:True (1)

bbtom (581232) | more than 11 years ago | (#5622751)

I'm just waiting until Steiner writes a full postcolonial criticism of a bunch of Quake 3 Arena or Unreal Tournament chatlogs.

Just think about that for a second: George Steiner writing about the meaning, usage and a critical response to "w00t w00t! 1 frGGed u! i @m 7h3 13373zt h4x0rRrzsZz l0l l0l l0l!!!1!!!"

That would honestly be the greatest piece of academic writing, ever!

Re:Academic Discussion of Gaming is a Good Thing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5622074)

Minimize the power of those morons?! No. 'Legitimizing' the gaming industry will bring it under the power of those same morons. We want to have games legitimized like we want to be torn apart piece by piece with rusty hooks.

Re:Academic Discussion of Gaming is a Good Thing (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5623247)

A valid point. In the last few days there's been an upsurge of people in the press claiming that games like Battlefield 1942, America's Army, Ghost Recon, etc. are numbing us to murder and turning people into sociopaths.

Even though for most players it's really about using your skills at memorizing a playfields strong and weak points and out-thinking the enemy, rather than "kill, kill, kill", the more legitimacy that is given to gaming as a social and learning tool, the more ammunition is given to people that say "games with real or implied violence are destroying society!"

So oddly enough, by taking computer gaming and showing that it's not just mindless fun we give the "saviors of society" more fuel to add to the fire.

Re:Academic Discussion of Gaming is a Good Thing (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5624194)

The beauty of the situation, of course, is that there should be nothing anyone can do to stop violent gaming, at least for adults. Our lovely Bill of Rights protects forms of expression like video games...barring stupid, myopic federal court decisions [salon.com] .

Re:Academic Discussion of Gaming is a Good Thing (1)

ramzak2k (596734) | more than 11 years ago | (#5622832)

I am continually encouraged to see how gaming is getting serious treatment in areas of academia and business

Gaming is getting a serious treatment in politics also - check this out [msn.com]

Re:Academic Discussion of Gaming is a Good Thing (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 11 years ago | (#5625731)

"legitimizing the industry"?

wtf crack are you on? Video games make more money than all movies combined. Im tired of people who like to play games thinking they an under-dog boosting their hobby so "normal" people will see what it is. Face it video games are huge... yah HUGE... so of course we are going to get all kinda of people writing abou different aspects of it.

WAIT WAIT WAIT (2, Funny)

packeteer (566398) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621781)

HOLD ON A SECOND... i dont believe it... you mean someone is going to write about games and the game industry on the internet? i cant believe this what a new fresh idea.

Time to dust off the old hype. (4, Funny)

Rhinobird (151521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621808)

Take everything from, like, 5 years ago and replace all instances of 'web' or 'internet' with 'blog'

hence:
We plan to leverage the power of the internet to transform our b2b infrastructure into a whole new paradigm...

transforms into:
We plan to blog the blog of the blog to blog our blog-2-blog blog into a whole new blog.

Which makes about as much sense.

Re:Time to dust off the old hype. (2, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621876)

wow, sounds like you write for Business 2.0. [business20.com]

holy (1)

Rhinobird (151521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621957)

holy shit, you mean people actually write crap like that?

Re:Time to dust off the old hype. (1)

chrisseaton (573490) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621877)

But the web and internet are still here. So perhaps blogs will survive too?

I just realized something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5621984)

that works with 'smurf' too...

We plan to smurf the smurf of the smurf to smurf our smurf-2-smurf smurf into a whole new smurf.

don't eat yellow snow! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5621825)

Dreamt I was an eskimo.. du duu duu boo bo. Wearing my boot around my toe. Stepping the ground below. It was a hundred degrees below zero. And my babe cried. Don't be an eskimo. Say your money don't go to the show. Well I turned around and I said wou ho! And the northern lights they shone. Bo Boo woo hoo! Right about that time people, a deathtrap who was strictly a commercial. Strictly commercial. Yellow yellow taxi behind my igloo. A man standing behind me with his snow shoes. Pick a boo, pick a boo! Let me rain with your snow shoes! He was the meanest eskimo any eskimo boy can be. The deadly yellow snow right from that husky flow... People from this area. The circular moment. It's a rabbit! It's a rabbit! Temporarily! Well a death trap stood there trying to figure out what to do with his itching eyes! If anything bad anything ever happens it's a tundra that's shouting! Temporarily! Temporarily! It was that precise moment when I remembered that ancient eskimo lore. If anyones name is Nanok the only way we can escape is to shoot a capsule out to the skies!

other gaming blogs/sites of interest (4, Informative)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621841)

There is a growing number of other sites that have the same goals in mind. here are a few of the one's I visit pretty regularly:
Probably my favorite is Gonzalo Frasca's Ludology.org [ludology.org] .
Also occasionally of interest is Lars Konzack's Ludologica [blogspot.com]
Greg Costikyan's Games * Design * Art * Culture [costik.com] has gotten a fairly good amount of press.
and to toot my own horn, there is my blog Popular Culture Gaming [popularculturegaming.tk] .

Re:other gaming blogs/sites of interest (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 11 years ago | (#5622026)

I'm a big fan of Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] .

Tyco writes good commentary and Gabe draws a mean comic.

Don't De-Emphasize Tools - Make Better Ones (3, Interesting)

Babbster (107076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621851)

While the professor has some interesting things to say (in the linked entry which I read), I wonder if one of the barriers to creativity is in the way modern games have to be built by teams. While I confess I haven't worked in a creative field before (apart from a short stint aiding in the production of an independent feature film), in my experience teams of people - particularly teams built by a company hiring a bunch of individuals with an eye only on the individual - hinder creativity more than they encourage it.

A real world example to look at is in professional sports. There are many examples of teams that "look good on paper" with many star players who individually have the potential to do well, but often these groups of talented people end up losing games because they never gel as a team.

In the gaming industry, at least viewed from the outside via the media and hearing from game designers themselves via interviews, teams are either built at the corporate level or are formed in the gathering particular people with particular skill sets by a lead designer (the chief inventor, so to speak) and designed to service his or her ideas. While I'm sure that individual ideas on enhancing the game are accepted and encouraged, the fundamentals of the game are already laid out and the team mainly executes those fundamentals while tweaking them. That's overly simplistic, but based on what I've read it seems true in the main.

I know I haven't hit my subject line yet, but it's coming.

In the past, games could be conceived, designed, built and even distributed to an extent by individuals. Whatever some might think of Richard Garriott these days, Ultima 1&2 were good, inventive games produced by one person. SimCity came from one Will Wright. Sid Meier, David Crane, and the list goes on.

So why were individuals able to develop compelling games in the past. Mostly, it comes down to their relative simplicity. Making a bunch of 30x30 sprites (and that would have been LARGE back "in the day") doesn't require the intervention of an artist. Making a world displayed at a maximum of 320x240 doesn't take a graphic designer. Filling a 170k disc (again, a rather large game in the early 80s) with code could be done with relative ease by one person.

So the question to my mind is how do we put more power into the hands of the really inventive people again who might not know how to write every kind of code and provide advanced 3D art/animation?

One way is to build better teams and keep them together. Microprose was a company I was a great fan of and even by the time they had huge teams producing games, the same names would pop up with every game as lead designer, lead programmer, lead QA, etc. - this went on for years and they produced some amazing games. It seems these days that talented people who produce a great game are often off to another company before their product even hits store shelves - more money, more creative control, etc. drive them to other opportunities. You can't blame them for wanting to improve their situation, but I think you can blame their employers for not recognizing the value of a good team and giving them incentive to stay together.

The other way to give more control to fewer people (the KEY people) is with better tools. There are so many disciplines that have to be combined to make a modern game that it's impossible for any one team member to have a grasp on much beyond their own small piece of the puzzle. John Carmack has gone a long way in this area by providing engines which simplify constructing a first-person shooter but I wonder if this can be extended to other genres, both the ones in existence and the ones so far unimagined? Quake/Half-Life in particular have proven that given the tools, small groups of people can produce amazing results - TFC, CS, DoD, etc., etc. (deserving at least two "et cetera"s).

Again, I'm not an expert in game development as the professor here in this case. But I think the focus needs to be less on figuring out how many more people the gaming industry needs and more on how to maximize the people it already has (such as with better team-building and better tools for design) -- after all, most people going to college to learn game design aren't going to be lead designers right out of the gate unless they form their own companies and instead are going to be in supporting roles while they learn the reality of the business.

Of course, this is only assuming that innovation in the gaming industry will be rewarded by publishers/development houses and gaming consumers. That's another argument entirely, and given the amount of rehashing done by the industry as a whole I'm not terribly optimistic about the mainstream's ability to be either innovative or inventive.

My apologies for the rambling. It's late and I think I need to sleep this off.

Re:Don't De-Emphasize Tools - Make Better Ones (1, Interesting)

Khakionion (544166) | more than 11 years ago | (#5622013)

Well, that's why there's people who make mods for games. One person can't make Unreal Tournament 2003, that's for sure, but one person CAN make a kick-butt mod of at least decent caliber. The (extremely) technical side has been taken care of, so you just model, texture, code, make some sounds/music, and slap it in. As for retail games...uh, just license the engine :D

8bit graphics (5, Insightful)

pommiekiwifruit (570416) | more than 11 years ago | (#5622437)

Making a bunch of 30x30 sprites (and that would have been LARGE back "in the day") doesn't require the intervention of an artist.

Whoah! I have to disagree with you there. Artists entered the industry in the 8 bit days and were very much needed. "Programmer graphics" is a well-used insult. We may be able to draw 8*8 monochrome characters (e.g. text) but when you get up to 16*16 by 4 colours, you really need an artist, or an artist/programmer, not a straight "i can't draw for toffee" programmer like myself.

Even for icons in tools, artists make an improvement in looks (a specialist graphic designer might be even more useful).

Re:Don't De-Emphasize Tools - Make Better Ones (1)

stpats (147682) | more than 11 years ago | (#5624234)


A real world example to look at is in professional sports. There are many examples of teams that "look good on paper" with many star players who individually have the potential to do well, but often these groups of talented people end up losing games because they never gel as a team.

Let's go Rangers!

euphemism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5621890)

And I thought this was just a silly euphemism for gambling

Nice (2, Interesting)

mono_indy (203761) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621934)

I am impressed that this site actually caters to people who want to read information about the industry instead of bogging everything with tons of graphics. Very nice.

Another Site Coming (1)

Bruha (412869) | more than 11 years ago | (#5621989)

Warcry Networks is in early phases of a Massive Online Multiplyer gaming site to represent the linux gaming community. I've read this site and hopefully I'll be able to link to a lot of their stuff as it applies to the linux gaming community.

this is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5621997)

a blog with 3 entries from someone of no particular note ... and this is news?

Talk about close to home... (1)

Blacklotuz (575879) | more than 11 years ago | (#5622018)

I took Interactive Digital Media with Professor Phelps 2 quarters ago! Hes a great guy and he realy knows his stuff, this should be an interesting blog.

Re:Talk about close to home... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5622067)

I took a web design course with him a couple years ago.. I thought he was a bit aloof. But he was definitely wacked out about gaming and I believe he was writing a thesis about MMORPGs. (Also note that he's an assistant professor.)

RSS Feed? (2, Insightful)

Kip (659) | more than 11 years ago | (#5622245)

It would really be nice if Corante would provide RSS feeds for these blogs. Most of the weblogs tools in use today offer RSS feeds and quite frankly I find it a lot easier to keep up with many weblogs if I don't have to visit each and every page every day, I don't have that kind of time. :)

Re:RSS Feed? (1)

unixfd0 (587586) | more than 11 years ago | (#5622626)

That's the first thing I looked for (that little XML icon). I'd probably never go back because my browsing habits have changed since I discovered RSS.
ie. Look for RSS feeds of interest at syndic8.com and add the feed to my custom home page.

Phelps (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5622401)

I took this guys game programming class the first time it was offered at RIT and the damn thing blew my mind.. This guy really knows his stuff when it comes to gaming and I think I'm gonna be a regular at the blog.. PS.. Heres his site.. I couldn't find any of his teaching material though, which is a shame because it's pretty damn good.. http://andysgi.rit.edu/andyworld2/twilight/indexie .html

Take it with a grain of salt (1)

Nighton (91578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5622952)

For those of you who are unaware, RIT has Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, and Computer Science departments in addition to the IT department which Phelps is a professor for. In essence, he's not teaching about software development. That's not to say he can't make some good points, or that his classes are worthless, but remember where the words are coming from.

jolliffe? (1)

joFFeman (574971) | more than 11 years ago | (#5623460)

did snoop dogg get ahold of my name or something?

blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5624550)

I hate the word blog and will not take seriously anyone using it. STOP IT. Goodbye!

BLAH (1)

Roland (61) | more than 11 years ago | (#5625041)


I hate blogs.

Last Post! (0)

alpg (613466) | more than 11 years ago | (#5719767)

Dear Emily:
Today I posted an article and forgot to include my signature.
What should I do?
-- Forgetful

Dear Forgetful:
Rush to your terminal right away and post an article that says,
"Oops, I forgot to post my signature with that last article. Here
it is."
Since most people will have forgotten your earlier article,
(particularly since it dared to be so boring as to not have a nice, juicy
signature) this will remind them of it. Besides, people care much more
about the signature anyway.
-- Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette

- this post brought to you by the Automated Last Post Generator...
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