AoIR8 Day2: Friday early afternoon: Gamestudies

1. Saturday morning cartoons go MMOG: Cross-media integration, branded play and the migration of children’s television to massively multiplayer online gaming – Sara Grimes
Convergence of media and play.. Toys, cartoons, games, etc.
A look at different websites and online games.

[Very similar to what Jen Stone did with kids’ use of websites but more focused on online games and about the commodification of games and product ties.]

Massively single-player online games. Neat?

Not much difference between these MMOGs and the previous advergames that could be found on the net.

2. Age of Korean empires in the new media: A critical interpretation of the online game industry –
Dal Yong Jin & Florence Chee

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Three major issues:

  1. ownership
  2. government policies
  3. transnational flows

Used ethnographic methods to look at these.
First Dal gave a basic overview of the state of gaming in Korea. He wants to focus on socio-economic factors.
Florence did the ethnographic bit. Presented some of her work in Korea. Showed us some of the games they play in Korea.

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Pictochatting and (semi) live-blogging

3. Regulation and online social softwares: Old institutions meet emergent media – Sal Humphreys
[Okay, I stopped paying attention, thanks to Casey and TL Pictochatting with me…]
Discourses in MMOGs and issues that come up out of each:

  • as text – IP, classification, trade, free speech
  • as games – separate jurisdiction, private law and policing
  • as community – consumer protection, cultural policy
  • as data – privacy/consumer protection
  • as creative industry – industry development
  • as production network – labour/consumer protection
  • as global media – cross-jurisdiction

Boundary crossings:
product and service
users are both consumers and producers
environments are private and quasi public
[and I missed the last two…]

4. Owning avatars: Legal control of human and non-human data representations – Dan Burk
dan burk.jpg

Maple Story and its avatars. Compared with his publicity photo from university. Totally staged. You can tell status, etc. with his photo just as with his avatar.
Showed us a cool video of a modded Gene Kelly singing in the rain for the Golf GTI commercial.
Player stats become another persistent data.
Lots of examples of various representations that are faked (Barry Bonds, Britney Spears, etc.), so how are avatars much different?
Convergence of avatars/data representations.
Dan showed us a framework with 4 possible ways of approaching understanding data reps.

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ephemeral ftw! but wait… archived indefinitely on the web ftw!

5. Virtual economies of race and embodiment: The case of Asian ‘farmers’ in MMORPGs – Lisa Nakamura
Identity politics that were talked about in 90s is still going on now. South Park episode is an example where girls and Koreans are seen as a bad thing.
Lisa talks about avatars 1.0 as therapeutic whereas avatars 2.0 is more about profiling.

[Surprised she is just reading her paper… still, like Sean yesterday, really interesting stuff. Also, Lisa supplemented with videos, so it was still really engaging. Oh, and I just found out she’s a Reedie!]

Cites Dibbell and Yee. But surprising number of Chinese leisure players who aren’t farmers. [But those who aren’t farmers, aren’t they on the Asian servers?]

Looks at machinima styles: Ludic vs. cinematic vs. polemical. Polemic is using either ludic or cinematic to make an argument about laws, policies, or culture.

Showed us “Ni Hao” video. Nick Yee wrote a good article about this stuff.

[So, if we’re dealing with the same shit for decades; what the fuck do we do about it now? And on a side note, how does an individual make sure he or she doesn’t get completely depressed and overwhelemed by the systemic marginalization going on?]

TL wondered if Lisa knew Constance’s stuff. [While seeing Lisa is a Reedie, I also saw she’s at U Wisconsin-Madison, so you’d think she does know Constance, right?]

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