The unreal urbanism of Pokémon Go

Earlier this month the mobile-app game Pokémon Go was released in the U.S., and the game has been ubiquitous ever since. Aside from being a sudden pop culture phenomenon, the game's success poses some significant implications. First of all, this is clearly a breakthrough moment for augmented reality. Pokémon Go is not the first augmented reality game, … Continue reading The unreal urbanism of Pokémon Go

Ludology grab bag: video games and authenticity, semiocapitalism, and geography

Tim Biggs wrote an article at IGN considering video games in relation to the human search for authenticity: The postmodern condition presents a constant struggle and conflict between our own desires and a world that seems fully available to experience but devoid of concrete or objective meaning. Video games, by virtue of their most basic … Continue reading Ludology grab bag: video games and authenticity, semiocapitalism, and geography

Technology, hyperemployment, and femininity

Ian Bogost devoted a recent Atlantic op-ed to the subject of hyperemployment, his term for new economic realities introduced by technology and the proliferation of smartphones and online services: If you’re like many people, you’ve started using your smartphone as an alarm clock. Now it’s the first thing you see and hear in the morning. … Continue reading Technology, hyperemployment, and femininity

Mike Gane interview: Baudrillard, academia, more

The upcoming issue of the International Journal of Baudrillard Studies features an interview with Baudrillard scholar Mike Gane. The interview touches upon a variety of topics, including Gane's interactions with Baudrillard, media coverage of Margaret Thatcher's death, and hypothesizing what Baudrillard would be writing about were he alive today: One could ‘see’ the specific things … Continue reading Mike Gane interview: Baudrillard, academia, more

Ender’s Game analyzed, the Stanley Parable explored, Political Economy of zombies, semiotics of Twitter, much more

It's been a long time since the last update (what happened to October?), so this post is extra long in an attempt to catch up. I haven't seen the new Ender's Game movie, but this review by abbeyotis at Cyborgology calls the film "a lean and contemporary plunge into questions of morality mediated by technology": … Continue reading Ender’s Game analyzed, the Stanley Parable explored, Political Economy of zombies, semiotics of Twitter, much more

Manifesto for a Ludic Century, ludonarrative dissonance in GTA, games and mindf*cks, and more

Kotaku recently posted a "manifesto" by game designer Eric Zimmerman declaring that the 21st century will be defined by games: Systems, play, design: these are not just aspects of the Ludic Century, they are also elements of gaming literacy. Literacy is about creating and understanding meaning, which allows people to write (create) and read (understand). … Continue reading Manifesto for a Ludic Century, ludonarrative dissonance in GTA, games and mindf*cks, and more

Bogost on Facebook feudalism, narrative possibilites in games, the gamification of sex

Media theorist and ludologist Ian Bogost recently penned some thoughts on Facebook's development platform (referred to as "Facebook's bleak new feudalism" in the title of Kotaku's repost of the original piece): The short truth is this: Facebook doesn't care if developers can use the platform easily or at all. In fact, it doesn't seem to … Continue reading Bogost on Facebook feudalism, narrative possibilites in games, the gamification of sex