Thursday, August 02, 2007

Readings, 8/2/07


What if, instead of trying to reconcile all video games with one monolithic set of laws for design and reception, we admitted that video games have many possible goals and purposes, which couple with many possible aesthetics and designs to create many possible player experiences, none of which bears any necessary relationship to the commercial video game industry as we currently know it. ...

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. - Ian Bogost, "How I Stopped Worrying About Gamers and Started Loving People Who Play Games" [Gamasutra]
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The only way to support the view that Exile [on Main Street] is best listened to as an album, in other words, is to dismiss the actual preferences of most of the people who like the Rolling Stones. Carr sets about this task with gusto:
Who would unbundle Exile on Main Street or Blonde on Blonde or Tonight’s the Night - or, for that matter, Dirty Mind or Youth and Young Manhood or (Come On Feel the) Illinoise? Only a fool would.
Only a fool. If you are one of those people who has, say, "Happy" on your iPod (as I do), then you are a fool (though you have lots of company). And of course this foolishness extends to the recording industry, and to the Stones themselves, who went and put "Tumbling Dice" on a Greatest Hits collection. (One can only imagine how Carr feels about Greatest Hits collections.) - Clay Shirky, "New Freedom Destroys Old Culture" [Many 2 Many]
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The onslaught of recalled toys and food originating from China continues with yesterday's recall of nearly one million Fisher-Price Toys sold between April and July 2007, due to lead paint. ... When looking at the sea of toys, one thought pounded in my head: I would never have bought any of these products for my daughter.
  • Elmo's head on a toy power drill
  • Elmo and Cookie Monster on a shape sorter
  • Elmo's face on a 6-key musical keyboard
  • Cookie Monster on a toy saxophone

What does Cookie Monster have to do with sax music? When we buy out-of-context licensed characters we are following a marketer's agenda for our children. - AJ, "Elmo's Head: An Analysis of Recalled Fisher-Price Toys" [Thingamababy]

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