Matt Kirschenbaum's Zone of Influence

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 both extreme limit cases of complexity and physical systems in games, as well as "cardboard computers" aimed at the representation and simulation of complex historical events, board wargames have much to offer to contemporary academic ludology. At the same time I hope some of my game playing friends will drop by and add their perspectives to the conversation.

There are a series of opening entries, including "Welcome to ZOI" (which talks about my goals for the blog), "Anatomy of a Wargame" (useful for those who aren't sure what I mean by the term "wargame"), and finally "Why Wargames?" which explains why I think this is a promising area for game studies."

As an old board wargamer myself (see Matt's "I was a teenage grognard" to get an idea of where we are coming from), as an historian convinced of the importance of these old-school "historical simulations" (as they have been called for decades) for contemporary game studies, and as a fan of Matt's work (look for his Mechanims: The Forensics of New Media from MIT Press later this year), I am already very impressed by Matt's new blog.