academic

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Episode 6: Collection Obsession, Motion Gaming, SSI Goldbox, Persuasive Games

It's that time of the month again--Armchair Arcade Radio time, that is! Check out Episode 6, which features over 2 hours of retrogaming eggnog spiced with rum and boasting a nutty (as a fruitcake) aftertaste. This episode features exclusive content from Chip Hageman, Rob Daviau, Nathan Tolbert, Bill Loguidice, and yours truly, Matt Barton.

Click here for awesome.

Segments and approximate times below:

  • Chip's Picks: Steel Storm Ep. 1, Space Chunks, Rocky Memphis, and more (00:04:09)
  • Bill's Motion Gaming, continued: Sega Activator, XaviX XaviXPORT, and more (00:13:35)
  • Rob's Collection Obsession (00:40:07)
  • Nathan on the SSI Goldbox series (01:05:34)
  • Matt on Unit Operations and Persuasive Games by Ian Bogost (01:18:48)

As always, we'd really appreciate any feedback you have to offer on the episode. You can leave comments here, email us, or review the show on iTunes. You can also subscribe to our RSS Feed.

We'd also really appreciate anything you can do to help spread the word about our podcast. Don't be a lamer. Post about us on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or whatever dens of iniquity in which you lurk.

Enjoy the show!

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Persuasive Games by Ian Bogost

Persuasive GamesPersuasive GamesYou may remember a review I posted a few weeks about Unit Operations, an academic book on videogames by Ian Bogost. That book, while certainly useful and insightful, is probably of interest primarily to game studies scholars. His newer book, Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames, seems destined for a larger audience. It's a very good book with great insights and plenty of examples, especially for fans of retro and homebrew for the Atari 2600 and other early platforms. See below for my detailed review.

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OT: The Rhetoric of Wikileaks

Last week, Konstantinos Dimopoulos of Gnome's Lair asked me to post my thoughts on Wikileaks. I've been keeping tabs on the story as it unfolds, though naturally the sheer bulk and speed of all the coverage (in all media) quickly overwhelmed me. However, when I saw that someone had already created a persuasive game about Wikileaks called Leaky World, I knew I had to try to collect my thoughts on the matter.

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My Thoughts on Ian Bogost's Unit Operations

Unit OperationsUnit OperationsI just finished reading Ian Bogost's book Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism, a book that is probably already considered a foundational work for game studies. The book is clearly written for professional academics steeped in literary theory and with some smattering of reading in computer science, philosophy, and other fields. I can't tell if his tongue is in his cheek or not when he writes in the preface, "Jargon and obfuscation is a way of laying groundwork for novel production" and that his theory, like any other, "can't be obvious" (ii). However, there are plenty of kernels of interest to anyone with a serious interest in understanding games and, perhaps more importantly, the role they play and can play in our society and culture. In this review, I'll try to break down the book's key ideas.

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Rhetoric/Composition/Play CFP Extended to June 1, 2010

My friend Matthew S.S. Johnson sent me a note to let us know that the deadline for Rhetoric/Composition/Play: How Electronic Games Mediate Composition Theory and Practice (and Vice Versa) has been extended to June 1, 2010. I've attached the PDF below, but here's a blurb describing the collection:

Rhetoric/Composition/Play will be an edited collection designed for scholars new to computer/video games as well as those who are more expertly versed. The book will consist of academic essays that assess, theorize, and contextualize computer/video games vis-a-vis composition-rhetoric. We invite 900-1200-word proposals for this proposed collection.

I intend to submit a proposal, though I'm not sure what I'll do yet.

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