infovore + ianbogost   21

In The Shadow of the Holodeck – Charles J Pratt – Medium
This is really good. I had some beginning-threads of thought at the time of the Bogost article that I just couldn't frame, and in the meantime, CJP has run with similar threads, a good dose of history, and come to some sharp conclusions, and basically reminded me what I actually think. So I'm just going to point at this to say "yes, I think this, and this is better expressed than I could ever have put it". Strong stuff.
games  narrative  charlesjpratt  ianbogost  writing  story  plot  interaction  design 
8 days ago by infovore
Ian Bogost: Play Anything |
"The lesson games have for design is not really a lesson about games at all. It’s a lesson about play. Play isn’t leisure or distraction or the opposite of work. Nor is it doing whatever you want. Play is the work of working something, of figuring out what it does and determining how to operate it. Like a woodworker works wood. By accepting the constraints of an object like a guitar (or like Tetris), the player can proceed to determine what new acts are possible with that object. The pleasure of play—the thing we call fun—is actually just the discovery of that novel action." Not just this quotation, but all of this article, really. So good. Immaterials, again.
ianbogost  games  design  play  interaction  materials  immaterials 
october 2016 by infovore
Ian Bogost - 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10
"My next book is even stranger than my last. It's an entire book, 65,000+ words worth, about a single-line Commodore 64 BASIC program that is inscribed in the book's title, '10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10'... Despite it's relatively simple form and structure, the program produces a surprisingly intricate maze pattern using the C64's unique PETSCII graphical characters. The book discusses many aspects of this feat from different perspectives, including the history of mazes, porting, randomness, the BASIC language, and the Commodore 64 platform. It's interspersed with short "remarks" (get it, BASIC dorks?), among them discussions of assembly, the demoscene, and a variety of ports, including one I somehow wrote to run on the Atari 2600." I would like to buy this book.
ianbogost  programming  c64  books 
july 2012 by infovore
Ian Bogost - Aliens, but definitely not as we know them
"Rather than wondering if aliens exist in the cosmos, let's assume they are all around us, and at all scales - everything from dogs, penguins and trees to cornbread, polyester and neutrons. If we do this, we can ask a different question: what do objects experience? What is it like to be a thing?"
alien  ianbogost  phenomenology  things  philosophy 
april 2012 by infovore
Ian Bogost - Making Books
"In my forthcoming book Alien Phenomenology, at the start of the chapter on Carpentry (my name for making things that do philosophy), I talk about the chasm between academic writing (writing to have written) and authorship (writing to have produced something worth reading). But there's another aspect to being an author, one that goes beyond writing at all: book-making. Creating the object that is a book, that will have a role in someone's life—in their hands or their purses, around their mail, in between their fingers. Now, in this age of lowest common denominator digital and POD editions, it's time to stop writing books and to start making them." I am not totally sure I buy all of Bogost's argument, but I like his points explaining the role of artefacts. However, POD is weirder than he gives it credit.
ianbogost  books  pod  making 
february 2012 by infovore
Ian Bogost - The Virtues of Long Compiles
"The point isn't nostalgia, that things were better in simpler times, but that the conditions we create (deliberately or accidentally) for and around the practices we pursue have a tremendous influence on the ways we carry out those practices. In the case of computer programming in particular, the apparent benefits of speed, efficiency, accessibility, and other seemingly "obvious" positive virtues of technical innovation also hide lost virtues, which of course we then fail to see." Culture as a byproduct of conditions.
culture  programming  trends  downtime  compiling  ianbogost 
december 2011 by infovore
Ian Bogost - The Illusion of a Literal Description
"A photograph has to be rational. It has to be rational in itself. It has to be rational and complete. ... it is the illusion of a literal description of what the camera saw. From it, you can know very little. It has no narrative ability. You don't know what happened from the photography. You know how a piece of time and space looked to a camera." As usual, I'm reminded how much I love Gary Winogrand.
ianbogost  garywinogrand  photography  spacetime 
october 2011 by infovore
Ian Bogost - Gamification is Bullshit
"I am not naive and I am not a fool. I realize that gamification is the easy answer for deploying a perversion of games as a mod marketing miracle. I realize that using games earnestly would mean changing the very operation of most businesses. For those whose goal is to clock out at 5pm having matched the strategy and performance of your competitors, I understand that mediocrity's lips are seductive because they are willing. For the rest, those of you who would consider that games can offer something different and greater than an affirmation of existing corporate practices, the business world has another name for you: they call you "leaders."" Ian's whole article is great, and the comment thread is eye-opening.
ianbogost  games  gamification  business  marketing 
august 2011 by infovore
Why Debates About Video Games Aren't Really About Video Games
"It's not enough to hope that games might be redeemed as fine art or to be played by people of all ages and backgrounds. Instead, video games' cultural future depends on a rich, diverse, magical ecosystem of weird games of all shapes, sizes, and purposes helping multitudes of people pursue a variety of goals and passions. It's not that games need to "rise to the level" of books and films and the like, but that they need to spread like those media into all the nooks and crannies of human activity. The more deliberately creators populate such an ecosystem, the harder it will become for games to become pawns in the debates of others."
games  ianbogost  rhetoric  culture 
august 2011 by infovore
Ian Bogost - Procedural Literacy
"I want to suggest that there is a utility for procedural literacy that extends far beyond the ability to program computers. Computer processing comprises only one register of procedurality. More generally, I want to suggest that procedural literacy entails the ability to reconfigure basic concepts and rules to understand and solve problems, not just on the computer, but in general."
literacy  systems  procedural  play  ianbogost 
july 2011 by infovore
Ian Bogost - Cowclickification
"Here at the Cow Clicker ranch, we've learned an important lesson about cow clicking: people don't just want one chance to click a cow every six hours. They want as many opportunities as possible to click a cow every six hours." And then Ian launches the API. And Connect. And everything else. And wins again.
cowclicker  socialgames  gamification  ianbogost  games  brilliant 
january 2011 by infovore
Ian Bogost - Reality is Alright
"And I don't think games are happiness engines, either. They are complex, rusty machines built to show us that the world is so much bigger and weirder than we expected. I play games to remind me of this. I make them for that purpose too." Lots of great stuff in here, especially the stuff about "winning" versus "coming to understandings". As someone whose happiest experiences of media are often the slow, subtle, dawning ones, I think I might be on Bogost's side here. But: I haven't read the book yet.
ianbogost  games  janemcgonigal 
january 2011 by infovore
Gamasutra - Features - Persuasive Games: Free Speech is Not a Marketing Plan
"Crucially, Goodrich entreats the public to note the following: "this change should not directly affect gamers, as it does not fundamentally alter the gameplay." This one statement should cause considerable distress, as it suggests a troubling conclusion about Medal of Honor as a work of public speech.

To wit: it suggests that the Taliban never had any meaningful representation in the game anyway. If a historically, culturally, and geographically specific enemy can simply be recast in the generic cloth of "opposition," then why was it was called "Taliban" in the first place?

And if the Afghan war in which the new Medal of Honor is set was one explicitly meant to drive the Taliban from their strongholds in Afghanistan, why should it matter that the game is set in that nation in the present day at all? In short, how was this Medal of Honor title meant to be a game about this war in particular?" This is a marvellous, critical piece of writing from Bogost.
games  medalofhonor  freespeech  meaning  ianbogost 
october 2010 by infovore
Ian Bogost - Cow Clicker
"In cinema and theater, we often hear about method acting, a technique by which actors try to create the situations, emotions, and thoughts of their characters in themselves in order to better portray them. In creating Cow Clicker, I rather felt that I was partaking of method design, embracing the spirit and values and ideals of the social game developer as I toed the lines between theory, satire, and earnestness." Bogost calls it Method Design; I've been describing it as "systemic satire" - the making of satirical mechanics.
games  criticism  mechanics  satire  socialgames  facebook  ianbogost  cowclicker 
july 2010 by infovore
Gamasutra - Features - Persuasive Games: The Picnic Spoils the Rain
"...there is something far more interesting at work in Heavy Rain: its successful rejection of the primary operation of cinema. The game doesn't fully succeed in exploiting this power, but it does demonstrate it in a far more synthetic way than do other games with similar goals. If "edit" is the verb that makes cinema what it is, then perhaps videogames ought to focus on the opposite: extension, addition, prolonging. Heavy Rain does not embrace filmmaking, but rebuffs it by inviting the player to do what Hollywood cinema can never offer: to linger on the mundane instead of cutting to the consequential." Ian Bogost is smart, and this is brilliant (and also provides a citation for "film is editing", which is something I've blathered about before).
games  ianbogost  heavyrain  editing  prolonging  writing 
may 2010 by infovore
Ian Bogost - Guru Meditation
"Guru Meditation also reminds us of the long history of experimentation with physical controllers in the mainstream consumer videogame market, even when both that market and its critics would have us believe that physical interfaces are as new as DDR or Nintendo Wii." A game for Atari 2600 + Joyboard, and also available as an iPhone port; make the yogi fly by sitting perfectly still, and perfectly upright. Written in assembler, and everything.
games  software  atari  vcs  balance  meditation  ianbogost 
may 2009 by infovore
Gamasutra - Features - Persuasive Games: Familiarity, Habituation, and Catchiness
"...let's end the era of Bushnell's Law, not because it's useless or base, but because it's wrong. It doesn't explain the phenomenon we have assumed it does. Or more precisely, let's excise the first half, and keep the rest: 'A game should reward the first play and the hundredth.' How? By culturing familiarity and constructing a habitual experience. By finding receptors for familiar mechanics and tuning them slightly differently, so as to make those receptors resonate in a new way, and then coupling those new resonances with meaningful ideas, practices, or experiences." A rather good - and certainly thought-provoking - Ian Bogost piece over at Gamasutra.
games  familiarity  culture  playability  mastery  ianbogost 
april 2009 by infovore
"I still have nothing but respect for my more traditional industry colleagues, but I’ve stopped worrying about impressing the games industry and its pundits. Or at least, I’ve stopped worrying about impressing them first. Instead, I’ve started focusing more on the people who might be interested in different kinds of game experiences. People who fly for business more than three times a month, or people who read all of the Sunday newspaper, or people who have kids with food allergies, for example. I am sure these people read magazines and watch television and listen to the radio. But it would be short-sighted to label them ziners or tubers or airwavers. They are just people, with interests, who sometimes consume different kinds of media." Bogost is right, and I'm concerned I'm always going to be ashamed I chose to use that word.
games  culture  casual  ianbogost  pervasive  gamer  langauge 
january 2009 by infovore
Gamasutra - Persuasive Games: Windows and Mirror's Edge
"Mirror's Edge is not a perfect game, perhaps, but it is something more important: it is an interesting game. It can be played and experienced on its own terms, for its own sake, if players would only allow themselves to take a single videogame specimen at face value rather than as yet another data point on the endless trudge toward realistic perfection." Ian Bogost taking a considered approach to Mirror's Edge.
games  play  gamasutra  innovation  experience  mirrorsedge  ianbogost  seeing  looking 
december 2008 by infovore
Versus CluClu Land: Essential Jargon: Procedural Rhetoric
"What I like about the rhetoric idea is that it places the accent on how the work operates on the player, and this is essential for an interactive medium. What I don't like is that it's a resolutely utilitarian framework for critical analysis: it focuses in on the way that games might change our opinions for good or ill at the expense of the way games might transport, entertain, humiliate, and ravish their users." Pliskin on Bogost's Procedural Rhetoric; both the post and its comments are smart, nuanced discussion around the idea.
games  criticism  rhetoric  ianbogost  iroquoispliskin  proceduralrhetoric 
december 2008 by infovore
Ian Bogost - Persuasive Games
"I call this new form "procedural rhetoric," a type of rhetoric tied to the core affordances of computers: running processes and executing rule-based symbolic manipulation. Covering both commercial and non-commercial games from the earliest arcade games through contemporaty titles, I look at three areas in which videogame persuasion has already taken form and shows considerable potential: politics, advertising, and education. The book reflects both theoretical and game-design goals." Add to cart.
ianbogost  games  play  book  rhetoric  proceduralrhetoric  influence  argument 
november 2008 by infovore

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