- Ludic Cartography. Mapping Gamespaces
- Past Projects
- Preserving Virtual Worlds
- Research and Publication
That Leeroy is the game's biggest failure rather than its highest achiever may explain why he's transcended the self-referential sphere of World of Warcraft and moved into the realm of pop culture. Everyone everywhere has pulled a Leeroy. "There's something more universal about this guy who screws things up for everybody than someone who is the best at something," says Henry Lowood, curator for film and media collections at Stanford University. "If you're not a player in the game, you are not going to be that interested in how spectacularly good a player is.
A significant amount of How They Got Game members attended the recent Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Among the others are Galen Davis, Douglas Wilson and Waynn Lue who wrote a series of not-to-be-missed articles for GameSpot.
Henry Lowood and Matteo Bittanti recently participated in "Ten Games You Need to Play: The Digital Game Canon", a roundtable discussion at this year's Game Developers Conference. Both contributed two games to the canon, Lowood selecting Spacewars! and the Warcraft series, and Bittanti contributing SimCity and Sensible World of Soccer.
Rene Patnode of the How They Got Game group is currently teaching in Harbin, China. As he gears up for a return to the U.S. and the life of a graduate student, he has started up a weblog that reflects his current research and interests in Chinese media and popular culture. It's called Pop China.
The current featured pick over at the Machinima Archive is "The Hotel That Time Built: The Regenerated Dante Hotel, Phase 1." This movie made in Second Life documents a Stanford Humanites Laboratory (SHL) project called "Life to the Second Power: Animating the Archive," conducted in collaboration with the film and media artist Lynn Hersh
Euclidean Crisis, an innovative real-time strategy game designed by a group of Stanford students with close ties to the How They Got Game project, has been selected as a finalist at the 9th Annual Independent Games Festival, Student Showcase Competition. It was one of ten finalists chosen form more than 100 entries.
Matt Kirschenbaum of the University of Maryland has just launched a new game studies blog called Zone of Influence . He created it "to combine my academic interests in modeling, simulation, and technologies of representation with my hobbyist interests in games, particularly board wargames."
Here is some more of what Matt has to say about the blog and the subjects he will cover:
As a life-long player of historical simulations and games, I have long been interested in the ways in which games can be used as a narrative medium about history. I've called this HistoryTelling and spoken about the ways in which it has been attempted and also about how I think it might work with digital games.
An interesting post in Alexander Knorr's Xirdalium blog ties issues around accepted uses of source material in Wikipedia to my own work in the history of machinima. So I can't resist posting an excerpt here:
Henry Lowood will be on panel titled "The Future of Digital Education" sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation on Berkman Island, in Second Life, on Nov. 13th, 4pm PST.
Berkman Island was set up by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society (Harvard Law School). Organized by Steve Anderson, the panel will also feature Douglas Thomas, Anne Balsamo, and Mike Eisenberg. Please stay tuned for more information about the event.