Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Internet as the megaphone, rather than the cause

From apophenia (db's) blog, a great entry regarding the recently released report on Enhancing Child Safety & Online Technologies.

In her entry, her statement that most resonated with me:
"I strongly believe that we need to stop talking about the Internet as the cause and start talking about it as the megaphone. The Internet makes visible how many kids are not ok." [bold, my emphasis]

Yes. YES YES YES. In my own research I have been trying to show how important the offline factors are (than we typically like to acknowledge) when examining online phenomena.

You know, blaming video games for suicide sells newspapers and it's a whole lot easier to witch-hunt the medium of the hour than examine other more complex social reasons. As McLuhan would say though, media are extensions of the self.

More often than not, I come across people who are able to -defer- destructive behaviour because of what technology affords in the way of providing alternative coping strategies. At any rate, if people need more research to believe it, then more research they shall get.

Executive Summary PDF here>>

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Abstract help (funny)

Spring is always a busy abstract season, when many proposals are due for conferences in which one wishes to participate for the Summer and/or the Fall.

Saw this comic which is a cheeky look at the construction of -the abstract-... made me giggle. Enjoy.

PhD Comics: Abstract Mad Libs>>

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Postdoc position at Concordia, Montreal

For wide circulation:

Concordia Research Initiative in Technoculture, Art and Games
Job Opening: Postdoctoral Research Associate

Hexagram Institute for Research/Creation in Media Arts and Technologies
Concordia University, Montreal

The Research Initiative in Technoculture, Art and Games at Concordia University in Montreal invites applications for a postdoctoral research position in game design/game studies. The position is for one year (June 2009-1010) with the possibility of renewal for one more year. The postdoctoral researcher will work as designer/design consultant and researcher on projects related to gestural interface design in digital gaming and/or non-realist documentary expression in games. At Concordia, these projects are led by Bart Simon, Lynn Hughes and Elena Razlogova, and are part of a broader initiative involving several researchers working in game studies, digital culture and new media arts and design.

Responsibilities would involve developing one or more game prototypes and demonstrations in connection with one or more TAG based projects. We seek candidates with backgrounds in fields such as game design, game studies, new media arts, digital humanities, communications, media studies and computer science who have some experience working in an interdisciplinary and teamwork based setting. The ideal candidate would be an experienced game designer working within the broader context of digital game studies. The position will be full time, with a yearly salary of $28-35,000 plus benefits, and the researcher will be expected to be in residence in the Montreal area.

Applications may be sent electronically and should include a CV, a cover letter including a personal statement, and a brief statement of research interests and experience related to game design/game studies. Two signed letters of recommendation should also be sent directly by the writers via regular mail or fax. International applicants are most welcome but are subject to Canadian Immigration requirements regarding work visas. The deadline for receipt of all application materials is February 30, 2009.

For applications or queries regarding TAG or the postdoctoral position please contact:

Dr. Bart Simon, TAG Director

Email: simonb at alcor dot concordia dot edu
Fax: 1-514-848-4539
Phone: 1-514-848-2424 x2164
Mail: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd W., Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1M8.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

The battle for sunlight, sleep, and happiness.

Some interesting Korean news articles in the last few days:

The battle for sunlight>>
The battle for sleep>>
The battle for happiness>>

... and a resolution to get more of all these little big things that should not be taken for granted. They are all too easily deferred.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The 2008 KOGIA Plays of the Year

KOGIA, which is the Korean Games Industry Association (founded by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 1999 for the purpose of developing the game industry as the key future strategic industry of the country) has announced the winners of its first Global Online Game Awards for 2008.

It probably comes as no surprise that Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft was voted as the world's best role-playing game, and that Nexon's Kartrider handily got the nod for best racing/casual game.

"Other award winning online games include Valve's Counterstrike Source for best first-person shooting game, NCsoft's City of Heroes/Villains for best adventure/action game, EA Sports' FIFA 09 for best top sports game, and CCP Games' Eve Online for best strategic simulation game."

Read the story from Gamasutra here>>

While I'm on the topic of movers and shakers in the games industry, a reminder that the LOGIN 2009 conference (Seattle, May 11-14) call for speaker submissions goes on for another two weeks.

The Call for Speakers is open to all online game industry experts worldwide, whether for console, PC or mobile platforms. Candidates are asked to review the topics of interest and session submission tips on the LOGIN 2009 website and then submit a completed session proposal form and speaker application.

Details here>>

By the way, I'm still in the midst of conducting interviews with those involved in the Korean Games Industry, so if you're based here in Korea, or making a trip here within the next two months send me a note. It's the home stretch now!

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