Pokemon Go & post-pandemic mobility expectations

I haven’t played Pokemon Go since the early days of its release. It was nearly impossible to avoid the buzz surrounding the game’s launch. And as I wrote back in July 2016, the hype around the game was infectious and the game itself offered an exciting new way of interacting with public spaces in your … Continue reading Pokemon Go & post-pandemic mobility expectations

Interpassivity, Reaction Videos, and Emotions as Content: Why Pablo Hidalgo is (maybe) Right

Amidst all the Cyberpunk 2077 discourse over the past month-and-a-half, I was struck by the opinion expressed by gamepressure’s Michael Chwistek that the game perhaps offers more potential as an interactive movie than as an open-world RPG. The article begins thusly: “I don't like games that complete themselves. Take Telltale games, for example. I only … Continue reading Interpassivity, Reaction Videos, and Emotions as Content: Why Pablo Hidalgo is (maybe) Right

The Soul in Cyberpunk: Consciousness, Higher Selves, and the Tarot of 2077

“The tarot will teach you how to create a soul.” Jodorowsky, The Holy Mountain Cyberpunk 2077 released last week, and like so many others I’ve been exploring the game (to the best of my ability considering the performance issues on my console hardware...but that’s currently being discussed ad nauseum across the Internet, and I am … Continue reading The Soul in Cyberpunk: Consciousness, Higher Selves, and the Tarot of 2077

Watch_Dogs: Legion, part 1: Open Worlds

I love the Watch_Dogs franchise. Or rather, I want to love it. I certainly love the overall concept. The distinguishing features of the series incorporate some of my favorite elements from video games in general, as well as more particular niche interests. For one thing, the games  are set in contemporary urban open worlds that … Continue reading Watch_Dogs: Legion, part 1: Open Worlds

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

Urban Communication: media ecology & infrastructure, neighborhood narratives, rhetoric & rebranding, and more

In Urban Media Ecology news, several recent studies reported correlations between characteristics of the built environment and human health. A study from the University of Kansas (in my birthplace of Lawrence) found that "neighborhoods that motivate walking can stave off cognitive decline in older adults": The researcher judged walkability using geographic information systems — essentially … Continue reading Urban Communication: media ecology & infrastructure, neighborhood narratives, rhetoric & rebranding, and more

McLuhan Monday: Print and Islam, mobile gaming medium theory, McLuhan’s relevance, and more

In an article for Haaretz reflecting on last week's terror attacks in Paris, Michael Handelzalts invokes McLuhan's infamous aphorism in relation to the emergence of print culture in the Islamic world: So, in the Muslim world, books and literacy became generally accessible (instead of being accessible only to the educated male and the wealthy) about a … Continue reading McLuhan Monday: Print and Islam, mobile gaming medium theory, McLuhan’s relevance, and more

Gamification: educational applications and the rise of engagement

This EdTech article by D. Frank Smith showcases an app designed by a UW-Madison professor to teach campus sustainability through gamification: One of the app's games lets students practice waste sorting to reinforce good habits in distinguishing waste from recyclable materials. Different objects scroll down the side of the screen on a conveyer belt, and … Continue reading Gamification: educational applications and the rise of engagement

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

Video mélange: David Harvey, Antonio Negri, and Saints Row IV

David Harvey has a new book out, Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism. In this video Harvey speaks about the contradictions of capitalism (approx. 19 mins): I recently stumbled across this nearly hour-long documentary on Antonio Negri, titled The Revolt that Never Ends: Lastly, this video from Errant Signal considers Saints Row IV as … Continue reading Video mélange: David Harvey, Antonio Negri, and Saints Row IV