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You searched for "Video games". Your search returned 30 results.

Video game semiotics

Many video games require the player to investigate and solve mysteries, to read the signs, gather evidence and follow leads. I think this is the area in which semiotics can be applied most usefully to computer gaming and game design. Semiotics is the study of communication from the point of view of signs and symbols, and how … Continue reading

Nature games

Can you learn about nature from computer games? According to one commentator, video games “remind us of how we create, and have always created, ‘nature.’ They signpost the virtuality of the real. They show our seemingly endemic proclivities to make over the natural” (411). That’s from cultural theorist John Wills writing about video gaming in 2002: … Continue reading

The secret life of games

Broadcast media have latched onto the public desire to get behind the scenery and see what goes on in private. Most of us have an appetite for knowing how things work, or at least seeing the preparations for the big event, how the frocks got onto the catwalk, the coach psyched the team, the camera … Continue reading

Deviant play

I just watched a team of gamers play Fortnite Battle Royal. You don’t need to play a video game to get the gist. You can watch others play it on Youtube. Fortnite is a war game where you form teams and hide out in photo-real buildings while you shoot enemies. One of the gamers remarked … Continue reading

The magic circle

When I was a kid, the Magic Circle was well known as an association of stage magicians. Those within it knew the rules of the illusions and had to keep them secret. The other meaning of magic circle is obvious: a circle that is magic. Perhaps it’s the former that the philosopher Johan Huizinga had in mind when … Continue reading

Cute and cuddly

Who could miss the palpable cuteness of puppies and kittens on YouTube, and their mass produced surrogates in cartoons, video games, on logos, as branded accessories and as soft toys. The word “cute” is an abbreviation of “acute,” meaning clever, keen-witted, sharp, and shrewd, according to the OED. In her extensive exploration of cute as a viable contemporary aesthetic category, … Continue reading

Stupidities (Why cartoons have animals 3)

We don’t just consume animals for nutrition, but consume them culturally. They are “painted, written, construed, arranged, stuffed, chained, trained, dissected, imagined,” according to cultural theorist Randy Malamud, and this happens “with an iron-fisted sense of entitlement and control on the part of the cultural hegemons, that is, us” (2). Malamud outlines evidence of the “digital approximation of taxidermy” … Continue reading

Post-digital humanities

This week I’ll participate in a round table discussion about the digital humanities at an event called Methodological Intersections at the Trier Digital Humanities Autumn School in Trier, Germany. We’ve been presented with 5 questions, which I’ve reformulated here in my own words — with some tentative responses. Q1: The digital humanities (DH) presents itself as cross disciplinary. Does the idea of the digital humanities weaken the … Continue reading

The Internet as research tool

Good research draws on evidence — at the very least a body of literature that supports the answer to a research question. Can you draw on the Internet for evidence? As well as a body of literature most researchers would admit as evidence the results of experiments, observations, surveys, interviews, and questionnaires. In architecture, the arts and some other fields (engineering, … Continue reading

Do digital devices influence your mood?

I put this question to a class of students in digital media and culture. As if we were ever in any doubt, most people agree that technologies do influence the way you feel, and networked, social-media-enabled mobile and laptop devices offer more than other tech. At the very least they provide channels for mood altering entertainment. … Continue reading

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