The Ludologist http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist My name is Jesper Juul, and I am a ludologist [Noun. Video Game Researcher]. This is my blog on game research and other important things. Fri, 05 Feb 2016 10:46:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 The Consoles that wouldn’t die http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/the-consoles-that-wouldnt-die http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/the-consoles-that-wouldnt-die#comments Fri, 05 Feb 2016 10:46:34 +0000 http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/?p=2197 Continue reading "The Consoles that wouldn’t die"]]>

Remember when the current console generation was being launched, and there was a widespread idea, also shared by me, that the PS4, Xbox One and Wii U were going to fail in the face of tablets, mobile phones, indie games, and all? That the new generation was a “prayer to stop time“?

And many articles on “Why consoles gaming is dying“, “Consoles are dying“?

And yet here we are. Ars Technica has an article comparing sales across console generations, with the current generation doing much better than the previous one, on a quarter-to-quarter basis.

Console sales

I suspect that the story was that many critics, myself included, were personally jaded by console hardware, and much more interested in indie and experimental games than in the latest military shooter. But our sentiments just weren’t widely that shared. People still want new games on new hardware, even if they only look marginally better than those of the previous generation. The PS4 is slick, and the share button is worth paying for. You also buy a new console because that is where the games are going to be.

Also, cloud gaming never took off (and I suspect it won’t due to latency issues).

Yes, you can be wrong.

PS. And Super Mario Maker is also an exhilarating experience.

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Loading journal 9/14: Game Studies In Media Res http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/loading-journal-914-game-studies-in-media-res http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/loading-journal-914-game-studies-in-media-res#respond Wed, 16 Dec 2015 12:45:43 +0000 http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/?p=2190 Continue reading "Loading journal 9/14: Game Studies In Media Res"]]>

For your very real, theoretical pleasure:

Special Issue: Game Studies In Media Res

A Special Issue of Loading brought to you by University of Waterloo guest editors, Gerald Voorhees, Michael Hancock and Steve Wilcox.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Editorial — Game Studies In Media Res: Beginning From The Middle-State PDF
Michael Hancock, Steve Wilcox
Editorial introduction to this special guest-edited issue of Loading.

Articles

The Tyranny of Realism: Historical accuracy and politics of representation in Assassin’s Creed III PDF
Adrienne Shaw
Like other games in its series, Assassin’s Creed III (AC3) is heavily invested in a wellresearched, nuanced representation of historical…
Disability, Neurological Diversity, and Inclusive Play: An Examination of the Social and Political Aspects of the Relationship between Disability and Games PDF
Sarah Gibbons
This article explores existing connections between disability studies and game studies, and suggests how the two fields might greater inform each…
Renegade Sex: Compulsory Sexuality and Charmed Magic Circles in the Mass Effect series PDF
Meghan Blythe Adams
This article examines portrayals of sexuality in video games, particularly in terms of the increasing inclusion of queer and non-normative…
Cyborg Games: Videogame Blasphemy and Disorientation PDF
Elise Vist
This paper describes the genre of “cyborg games,” using examples of independent videogames (such as Gone Home) to illustrate the genre, as well…
Going Beyond the Game: Development of Gamer Identities Within Societal Discourse and Virtual Spaces PDF
Jan Grooten, Rachel Kowert
What is a ‘gamer’? And what does it mean to be a gamer today? This paper will address these questions through a theoretical discussion of the…
The Game FAVR: A Framework for the Analysis of Visual Representation in Video Games PDF
Dominic Arsenault, Pierre-Marc Côté, Audrey Larochelle
This paper lays out a unified framework of the ergodic animage, the rule-based and interactiondriven part of visual representation in video games….
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Call for Papers: Journal of the Philosophy of Games http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/call-for-papers-journal-of-the-philosophy-of-games http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/call-for-papers-journal-of-the-philosophy-of-games#respond Thu, 10 Dec 2015 20:56:25 +0000 http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/?p=2185 Continue reading "Call for Papers: Journal of the Philosophy of Games"]]>

CFP: Journal of the Philosophy of Games

The Journal of the Philosophy of Games (JPG) welcomes papers for the inaugural issue. JPG is an open-access publication hosted by the University of Oslo, Norway.

JPG aims to explore philosophical issues raised by the study of games, with a particular emphasis on computer games. We invite contributions both from traditional philosophers and from scholars in other disciplines.

Articles are subject to double blind review and evaluated on the basis of originality, philosophical argumentation and mastery of relevant literature.

The journal does not accept submissions that are under consideration for other publications.

Examples of issues for which we invite submissions are definitions of key concepts in the study of games, the ontological status of objects and events in games, the nature and role of mental attitudes central to game play, rules, the player-avatar relationship, the moral evaluation of in-game actions or the societal role of games.

Contributions should make use of specific examples of games and not merely invoke them in general terms.

We welcome book reviews. Please contact the editorial board to ascertain that a review would fit the editorial profile.

The submissions should be no longer than 7000 words and adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style, Sixteenth Edition. Articles are submitted electronically on the journal website. Please refer to the author guidelines. The final deadline for the inaugural issue is March 1, 2016.

A separate call will be issued in 2016 for a special issue about the theme “Meaning and Computer Games” (Editor Sebastian Möring).

Editorial board
C. Thi Nguyen, Utah Valley University, United States
Johnny Hartz Søraker, Department of Philosophy, University of Twente, Netherlands
Anita Leirfall, University of Bergen, Norway
Prof. Dr. Stephan Günzel, BTK – University of Art and Design, Germany
Patrick John Coppock, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
Rune Klevjer, University of Bergen, Norway
Olli Leino, City University Hong Kong, Hong Kong
John Richard Sageng, University of Oslo, Norway (Editor-in-Chief)

Advisory board
Olav Asheim, University of Oslo, Norway
Kendall Walton, University of Michigan; Stanford University, United States
Grant Tavinor, Lincoln University, New Zealand
Ian Bogost, Georgia Institute of Technology, United States
Espen Aarseth, IT-University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Luciano Floridi, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Graeme Kirkpatrick, University of Skovde, Sweden
Don Ihde, Stony Brook University, United States
Thomas Hurka, University of Toronto, Canada
Eric Olson, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
David Myers, Loyola University, United States
Jesper Juul, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Denmark
Dominic Lopes, University of British Columbia, Canada

https://www.journals.uio.no/index.php/JPG/index
https://www.facebook.com/gamephilosophynetwork
https://www.gamephilosophy.org

Journal of the Philosophy of Games

 

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The Chess set where Form follows Function http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/the-chess-set-where-form-follows-function http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/the-chess-set-where-form-follows-function#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 13:32:03 +0000 http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/?p=2177 Continue reading "The Chess set where Form follows Function"]]>

The Bauhaus Chess SetWhen discussing rules and fiction in games, I invariably show a picture of
the beautiful Bauhaus chess set, where the superfluous ornamentation and fiction of the standard chess set has given way to shaped pieces meant to indicate how each piece moves. And it is easy to illustrate how some pieces signal well – the bishop, the rook – where others quickly fail. How are you supposed to deduce en passant from the cube that is the pawn?

Artist Nova Jiang has now one-upped Josef Hartwig considerably with her Orthogonal/Diagonal art piece. Here, Jiang not only makes a better version of the pawn in Western chess (the pawn’s diagonal attacks are now suggested by the form), the work also includes a range of Asian chess variants.

Nova Jiang- Chess
Western chess
Shatranj
Shatranj

And of course – we never get to quite deduce the entirety of game rules from the shape of the pieces, but it’s just interesting to see that the basic question of how to shape chess pieces does not need to be left to the history books.

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New issue of Analog Game Studies http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/new-issue-of-analog-game-studies http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/new-issue-of-analog-game-studies#respond Tue, 10 Nov 2015 20:24:41 +0000 http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/?p=2172 Continue reading "New issue of Analog Game Studies"]]>

For your analog interests, here is Volume II, Issue VII of Analog Game studies.

Manipulating Environments in American Freeform – Jason Cox

Playing With Portals: Rethinking Urban Play With Ingress – Kyle Moore

The Eurogame of Heterotopia – Devin Wilson

The First Nations of Catan: Practices in Critical Modification – Greg Loring-Albright

In this final issue of the year, we are exploring material components of analog gameplay. The materiality of games is important to consider as it lends insight into the ways that games can be located within the clear parameters of space and time—often despite the best efforts of players and designers to otherwise construe them as timeless or nostalgic media. Additionally, materialities help to remind us of the limitations of play. Our bodies must navigate black-box theater rooms and city spaces, as manipulate pawns, chits, meeples, cards and other trappings of board games. These deliberate, sometimes awkward, yet often tacit negotiations help to remind us of the always-present stakes of materiality.

Jason Cox’s essay “Manipulating Environments in American Freeform” offers a starting point for those curious about the ways in which emerging practices of larp design offer more to players than just narrative—they tell stories about spaces as well, and attend to how environments affect our bodies. This is also what is at stake in Kyle Moore’s essay, “Playing With Portals: Rethinking Urban Play with Ingress,” a theoretical sketch of the ways that the game, formerly a Google product, compels players to experience urban space in new and often challenging ways. Finally, the last two essays in this issue, Devin Wilson’s “The Eurogame as Heterotopia,” and Greg Loring-Albright’s “The First Nations of Catan: Practices in Critical Modification”—both in dialogue with last year’s AGS essay by Will Robinson—take up critiques of the abstracted representations characteristic of Eurogames. Wilson’s piece argues for a new and less oppositional reading of abstract game materials, positioning them as a space of polysemic and potentially revolutionary interpretation. In contrast, Loring-Albright moves forward from the problematic of abstraction established by Robinson by offering a new critical ruleset for Catan that accounts for the erasure of indigenous peoples in the game’s narrative. And, in the spirit of materiality: we’ve included the rules as a bonus to our readers.

Thank you, readers, for an excellent year, and keep an eye out in the coming months for more exciting content!

-The Editors
November 9, 2015

 

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Futures: Journal of Virtual Worlds Research issue 8, 2 http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/futures-journal-virtual-worlds-research-issue-8-2 http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/futures-journal-virtual-worlds-research-issue-8-2#respond Fri, 06 Nov 2015 09:16:27 +0000 http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/?p=2168 Continue reading "Futures: Journal of Virtual Worlds Research issue 8, 2"]]>

For your theory itchJournal of Virtual Worlds Research issue 8, 2.

This issue presents six papers each reflecting on one angle to the future of virtual worlds: Four concrete views relating to: bots, head mounted displays (HMD), neuroscience and meditation, and eSports; as well as two theoretical views relating to the focus of virtual worlds research, and looking at virtual worlds as a mediator between “technology trends” and the “digital transformation of society and business.”

From the point of view of 2015: the virtual is becoming the real and the real is becoming the virtual.

Table of Contents

Editor In-Chief Corner

Toward the Futures of Real AND Virtual Worlds PDF
Yesha Y. Sivan

Essays

Three Real Futures for Virtual Worlds PDF
Tom Boellstorff
Is a Technological Singularity Near Also for Bots in MMOGs? PDF
Stefano De Paoli
Conceptualizing Factors of Adoption for Head Mounted Displays: Toward an Integrated Multi-Perspective Framework PDF
Ibrahim Halil Yucel, Robert Anthony Edgell
Being There: Implications of Neuroscience and Meditation for Self-Presence in Virtual Worlds PDF
Carrie Heeter, Marcel Allbritton
The eSports Trojan Horse: Twitch and Streaming Futures PDF
Benjamin Burroughs, Paul Rama
The Metaverse as Mediator between Technology, Trends, and the Digital Transformation of Society and Business PDF
Sven-Volker Rehm, Lakshmi Goel, Mattia Crespi

 

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Katherine Isbister: How Games Move Us http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/how-games-move-us http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/how-games-move-us#respond Wed, 04 Nov 2015 12:17:16 +0000 http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/?p=2163 Continue reading "Katherine Isbister: How Games Move Us"]]>

How Games Move Us

Set for launch in February 2016, we are proud to present the fifth book of the Playful Thinking Series. Katherine Isbister’s How games Move Us: Emotion by Design is an examination of how video game design can create strong, positive emotional experiences for players, with examples from popular, indie, and art games.

This is a renaissance moment for video games—in the variety of genres they represent, and the range of emotional territory they cover. But how do games create emotion? In How Games Move Us, Katherine Isbister takes the reader on a timely and novel exploration of the design techniques that evoke strong emotions for players. She counters arguments that games are creating a generation of isolated, emotionally numb, antisocial loners. Games, Isbister shows us, can actually play a powerful role in creating empathy and other strong, positive emotional experiences; they reveal these qualities over time, through the act of playing. She offers a nuanced, systematic examination of exactly how games can influence emotion and social connection, with examples—drawn from popular, indie, and art games—that unpack the gamer’s experience.

Isbister describes choice and flow, two qualities that distinguish games from other media, and explains how game developers build upon these qualities using avatars, non-player characters, and character customization, in both solo and social play. She shows how designers use physical movement to enhance players’ emotional experience, and examines long-distance networked play. She illustrates the use of these design methods with examples that range from Sony’s Little Big Planet to the much-praised indie game Journey to art games like Brenda Romero’s Train.

Isbister’s analysis shows us a new way to think about games, helping us appreciate them as an innovative and powerful medium for doing what film, literature, and other creative media do: helping us to understand ourselves and what it means to be human.

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Worst thing you’ve done in The Sims http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/worst-thing-youve-done-in-the-sims http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/worst-thing-youve-done-in-the-sims#respond Wed, 21 Oct 2015 08:00:52 +0000 http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/?p=2157 Continue reading "Worst thing you’ve done in The Sims"]]>

I am enthralled by the reddit thread on “What is the worst thing you’ve ever done in The Sims series?

One time I killed a sim by drowning. Then I made everyone show up to his funeral in swimwear.

*

It’s not too sadistic per-se, but it involved a lot of deaths.
I wanted to make a church with a full, complete graveyard. So I built a small, simple structure moved in a family of 8, get them all inside, remove the door, fill with fire. Yay, 8 new tombstones!
Repeat like 9 times, and you’ve got a full graveyard of tombstones. Then I built the church and moved in a priest to live there and tend to the grounds.

*

So, in my most recent Sims playthrough, I found this girl that I really wanted my Sim to marry. Problem is she already had a husband, so rather than just doing the (relatively) normal thing and just increasing the relationship and convincing her to break up with him, I instead became best friends with her husband, convinced him to move in with me, and then drowned him in a pool so I could marry his wife.

Then I moved in with his wife (who lived in a HUGE mansion) and killed the rest of her family because I didn’t feel like taking care of the other Sims that she lived with but I still wanted the house

And much more.

Theoretically, it ties to some of my arguments in my Without a Goal chapter about open and expressive games: anything truly expressive can also express things we find offensive and/or transgressive.

… the reason why goal-less games can easily become steeped in controversy. The wide range of player actions – what makes the game expressive – also makes it likely that the player can express something that offends someone.

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Well Played 4.2 – Learning and Games http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/well-played-4-2-learning-and-games Wed, 30 Sep 2015 08:58:20 +0000 http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/?p=2150 Continue reading "Well Played 4.2 – Learning and Games"]]>

 

Well Played: volume 4 number 2
Stephen Jacobs and Ira Fay et al. 2015

 

Medulla: A 2D sidescrolling platformer game that teaches basic brain structure and function
Joseph Fanfarelli, Stephanie Vie


Play or science? a study of learning and framing in crowdscience
Andreas Lieberoth, Mads Kock Pedersen, Jacob Friis Sherson

Barriers To Learning About Mental Illness Through Empathy Games – Results Of A User
Study On Perfection
Barbara Harris, Mona Shattell, Doris C. Rusch, Mary J. Zefeldt

Zombie-based critical learning – teaching moral philosophy with The Walking Dead
Tobias Staaby
Distributed Teaching and Learning Systems in Dota 2
Jeffrey B. Holmes

An Analysis of Plague, Inc.: Evolved for Learning
Lorraine A. Jacques

Purchase from Lulu.com, or Download for free

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Another day, another Apple rejection of a Game with a Message http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/another-day-another-apple-rejection-of-a-game-with-a-message Mon, 21 Sep 2015 08:20:02 +0000 http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/?p=2146

Dan Archer’s project Ferguson Firsthand was rejected from the App Store because … as often is the case, Apple is unclear, but they’ll know it when they see it.

You can get it on Google Play instead.

Is Apple Evil, ignorant, or just culturally conservative?

 

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