Tag Archives: dmitri williams

More on Cph (Friday the 17th)

So on Friday, I went to some morning stuff and then hung out with Roger Altizer in the afternoon. The plan was to meet up with some people and go to Tivoli, but we were slow going and ended up just taking our time and going to Rosenborg, the royal palace where they keep the crown jewels, instead.

As soon as we got out of Roger’s hotel (Copenhagen Strand), we saw two city bikes nearby and grabbed them! We had to fiddle with the locks a bit (you deposit a coin to activate the unlocking thingie and then when you return it to various places around the city, you get your coin back), but after that it was pretty awesome. I am so not used to pedal brakes. It’s not really the braking that was a pain, though. After I stop, I usually rotate the pedals backwards so that they’re at a good angle for me to launch off when I start again, but since they couldn’t rotate backwards, I kept fumbling my take-offs. We must’ve seemed like two total dorks, grinning like crazy, on our beater electic blue bikes, wobbly starts and unpredictable paths, and all.

Once we parked and got to the park outside the castle, we walked around checking out the public sculptures and birds and flowers. We tooke a while, and by the time we actually got to the castle, it was closed! We did see a couple of camo-wearing guards with their M-16s and bayonets patroling outside though. Roger turned to me excitedly and exclaimed, “It’s Metal Gear Solid! Quick, figure out where their patrol goes and then sneak between them!” To which I replied, “Dude, they have bayonets; I’m not gonna piss them off!” I imagine, two random geeky Americans have this conversation at least once a day there.

Anyway, after that we went back to the Hotel Maritime (my hotel) and met up with a whole slew of people incl. Sal Humphries, Casey O’Donnell and Andrea, Sean Lawson and Cynthia, Hector Postigo, Keith Cormier, Cassandra Van Buren, Shira Chess, and one or two others who I’ve forgotten…  hmm there was someone else from Australia I think and maybe Keith Massie was there…

We walked over to the main drag and a bunch of them decided to get dinner at the same restaurant I went to with Casey, Andrea, Roger, and Hector on Tuesday. So, some of us (Roger, Hector, Keith C., and I) decided to go meet up with Dmitri Williams and his wife Cindy, and Christian Sandvig (who I later found out is married to Lisa Nakamura, who, btw, is a fellow Reedie and games/online researcher that I met at last year’s AoIR conference!) at the Square Hotel.

From Copenhagen, Oct 17

On our way to the hotel, we passed by the main city square where we saw that there were a bunch of white legos that people could play with and make buildings out of. Not sure why everything was a building. Roger mentioned that here in the US, there’d be giant dildoes and shit like that instead. We’re crass like that.

Anyway, after we met up with the new party, we went to the Absolut Ice Bar. Kind of expensive for what it is, but, otoh, when the hell are you going to be in a room made of ice again? It was really cold. Cold even with the parka on. And the vodka drink I had was pretty good… a little too sweet maybe.

After that we walked over to Tivoli but didn’t go in. Instead we ate at a restaurant right outside of it (not the Hard Rock Cafe; the other one). Ribs were a mistake. I mean they were good, but what was I thinking? It’s not like they were slow roasted or anything.

During dinner, I think I over-exaggerated how awesome the Chinese food is in the bay area. I mean, it is really, really fantastic, but at one point I made a claim that you couldn’t find food like it anywhere else, even New York. I think it’s true, but, obviously, I haven’t been to a whole lot of places in New York. The corollary would also be true, though. There’s probably some awesome Chinese food in New York that you can’t find in the bay area.

From Copenhagen, Oct 17
From Copenhagen, Oct 17
From Copenhagen, Oct 17

During dinner, Christian told us about his experiences in Thailand and how amazingly surreal they were, while Dmitri and Cindy kept wowing at how they had completely different experiences of Thailand.

We asked a waitress what was something unique or quintessential about Denmark that we needed experience. She asked another waiter, since, as a native, she was having a hard time figuring out what was unique. The waiter, I think from Spain or Italy, said “porno.” Apparently, Copenhagen was once the porn capital of the world before LA and Florida took over (I’d guess with films and videos globalizing the porn market).

So, it was rather fitting that we took a walk down a famous street for hookers and drug dealers to hang out on. And, yes, we actually were greeted (“Hey”) by them as we walked down it and back. What’s funny is that it turned out to be the same street that Hanna Wirman, a visiting local (yes, that makes sense to me), led me down on the way to the train station after the In the Game dinner on Wednesday. Heh.

IR9, day 2, 9am: State of MMO game studies

State of MMO game Studies: Identities, Participatory Culture, and Structural Forces

Roger Altizer
For a Pound of Virtual Flesh: Tales of Trade in World of Warcraft


(TAP while playing)

bbc and Ge Jin’s accounts different (normal gamers v. poor laborers, etc.)

Gamer Generation//Revolution documentary

Dan Burk (UCI)
Copyright and Paratext in On-Line Gaming

gaming capital (accumulating expertise, social status, etc.)
drives play but also drives cheating

[Mark]but cheating seems to attempt to bypass in-game (ludic) capital, not necessarily social capital.. actually disengaged with social capital since leveling affords the time to gain social capital (and cultural capital)[/Mark]

Developers and others should think about designs, control methods, etc. that affect what you gain by cheating… how much of total gaming capital is derived from ludic expertise? Is the expertise performative or purely appearance based?

covers a brief history of copyright and derivitive work in other media and then games and different forms of control in games

Mia Consalvo
Translating Vana’ diel: The Hybrid Culture of Japanese and Western Game Players

ffxi and japanese influence of videogames
history of western adoption of japanese art (otaku going back to impressionists)

history and lore presented in game lets those who’ve played previous games display gaming capital

hybrid place that isn’t japanese and not western but allows players to encounter the other

Cassandra Van Buren
World of Warcraft Machinima Makers

foundations: film history, emergent participatory culture but becoming commercialized

reform game space into your own narrative

study is two fold: documenting and looking at machinima as posthuman creative activity (ethnography), wants to capture the different ways its done before they become standardized or commercialized(?)

Dmitri Williams (and Tracey Kennedy and Bob Moore)
Behind the Avatar: The Patterns, Practices and Functions of Role Playing in MMOs

looking at RP in mmoRPgs

mix between quant and qual work
Dmitri did the number crunching and Tracey did the ethnography
RP high groups tend to score higher in having been diagnosed with depression, addiction, etc.

used Nick Yee’s motivations scales (immersion, achievement, social)
RPers more focused on social and immersion and not so much achievement

the people that Tracey interviewed had very specific reasons for RPing… escapism, etc.
about half of them volunteered that they were using it as an outlet for therapeutic outlet

same numbers of RPers on all servers