Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

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Commerce, Contracts, & Coders

April 10, 2009

sanfranWhile attending one of my business-entertainment seminars we were on the subject of contracts, more specifically actor contracts negotiation. Basically, the discussion culminated to how actors and their agents bargain for salary ceiling and so forth. It eventually culminated to one student—possibly future industry agent—asking a question that I will now paraphrase:

Student: If say a high salary actor [insert celebrity] can bargain for $25 million in his contract for a movie, why would he decide to risk a lower salary for a less successful film?

Professor: You have to understand, actors are also artists.

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Reiteration, remediation, & recourse (Part 2)

March 14, 2009

madbraidI spoke last time about reiteration without touching upon the importance of remediation. Especially for new media, remediation functions as an access point presenting the new with the familiar. It is no surprise that we see in videogames the necessity to invoke and relate to the cinematic experience as a starting point for new gamers. The advent of music games, Wii titles, and casual games are perfect examples of using these sorts of access points to introduce a new audience. But while remediation functions wonderfully in new media, its use in game design is questionable. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Reiteration, remediation, & recourse (Part 1)

March 11, 2009

gameboysHaving recently completed Resident Evil 5, it became apparent to me how the game is structured in both narrative and mechanically almost identical to the previous Resident Evil installment. This posting, however, will not be a discussion about the game but instead, something that has continued to nag at my brain for the past couple of weeks: the notion of reiteration in videogames or rather, more specifically, the philosophy of technological development that has “plagued” game design and mechanics for these past decades. Read the rest of this entry ?

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A lot of something out of nothing

February 23, 2009

noby-pressThere has been little or no discussion of Katamari Damacy designer, Keita Takahashi’s PSN game Noby Noby Boy. Of the few articles I’ve found, reviewers have noted its eccentric charm, simplistic design, and lack there of on any sense of traditional conceptions of what makes a game. There is no goal; no objective; no threat. What instead has occurred is that many people have settled on the notion that Noby Noby Boy is basically a toy. Reviewers have either decided that it is a fun little demo that requires a short period of your time to get the gist of what the game is all about and then put it down forever or that the game provokes a sense of play that many gamers had in their childhood when picking up a videogame for the first time. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Cracks in the business design

February 19, 2009

themoviesAt the start of the week Slate Magazine’s N. Evan Van Zelfden posted an article called “What is killing the videogame business?” In it, he provides many interesting numbers on the massive growth of videogame sales the past year adverse to the numbers of massive layoffs we have seen within the industry during this recession. He concludes that the fault lies on the major development houses transitioning their financial production models to the Hollywood business model. High production costs and low returns are the culprit. I have posted about this subject previously, but not with the same level of specificity and investigative research that Zelfden has done in his article. But he is missing an aspect of the Hollywood studio business model that is glaringly absent in his article. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Negative egress, capability

January 8, 2009

freemanvssnakeProminent scholar Henry Jenkins wrote a post about the concept of “negative capability” on his blog, Confessions of an Arca Fan. Taking the term from Jon Keats, Jenkin’s effortlessly provides the reference,

“Consider, for example, a horror film where the monster remains in the shadows and thus becomes more terrifying as we flesh it out in our minds. The less the filmmaker shows us, the more we are able to imagine something that terrifies us. The minute the monster comes into the light, we are stuck with whatever the filmmaker thought we would find fearsome.”

In the text he relates the concept in the use of fan fiction, where writers have taken advantage of this character attribute and have proceeded to continue the tales of their favorite cult universes or characters. Read the rest of this entry ?