Employ­ing exam­ples of new media uses as well as his­tor­i­cal case stud­ies, I want­ed to show how new tech­nolo­gies, on one lev­el, con­tribute to the fur­ther indi­vid­u­al­iza­tion and lib­er­al­iza­tion of urban soci­ety. There is an alter­na­tive future sce­nario, how­ev­er, in which dig­i­tal media con­struct a new def­i­n­i­tion of the urban pub­lic sphere. In the process they also breathe new life into the clas­si­cal repub­li­can ide­al of the city as an open, demo­c­ra­t­ic ‘com­mu­ni­ty of strangers’.

The City as Inter­face | How New Media Are Chang­ing the City

Mar­ti­jn de Waal’s book “The City as Inter­face” is sure to be a good anti­dote to neolib­er­al agen­das thin­ly veiled as pro­gres­sive smart city programs.

We tend to hope that we will find the per­fect game; that there is some for­mu­la for cre­at­ing the best, most addic­tive game pos­si­ble. And when­ev­er we have a new hit, those hopes get pro­ject­ed onto it. In recent times, the per­fect game has been thought to be games like World of War­craft, Far­mVille, Can­dy Crush. And then anoth­er game comes along. Charles Pratt and Tad­hg Kel­ly have made sim­i­lar points. But I think it goes fur­ther: peo­ple play Flap­py Bird because it flies in the face of what every game design­er knows at this point. Not because play­ers care the least about what game design­ers or the­o­rists like myself think, but because the shared con­ven­tion­al wis­dom of How You Shall Design Your Game is mak­ing games sim­i­lar, and play­ers know a breath of fresh air when they see it.

There Once was a Game called Flap­py Bird | The Ludologist

Juul on Flap­py Bird is com­pre­hen­sive, inter­est­ing and to-the-point.

Flap­py Bird pro­vides sol­id evi­dence that sim­ply tun­ing a game well can be far more impor­tant, in terms of the player’s ulti­mate enjoy­ment, than adding clever mechan­ics or beau­ti­ful art.

Flap­py Bird is dead — but bril­liant mechan­ics made it fly | Tech­nol­o­gy | theguardian.com

It’s inter­est­ing to see game feel and game tun­ing get­ting more and more atten­tion due to com­ments like this one from Ben­nett Fod­dy. See also Jan-Willem Nij­man on Nuclear Throne.

About five min­utes into the game I had to attend a brief­ing for the day. Not just that, but I had to find the exact right desk to stand at, and stand on the prop­er side of the desk, before the brief­ing would start. Until I found it, oth­er char­ac­ters would peri­od­i­cal­ly yell at me for being in the wrong place. Once I man­aged to fig­ure out the arbi­trary cor­rect set of actions to take, I was reward­ed with a slow, dia­logue-heavy cutscene about Drugs that did not ulti­mate­ly pro­vide any rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion about my quest. This would prove to be an omi­nous por­tent of the game as a whole.

Line on Sier­ra: Police Quest I · Line Hollis

Amus­ing and reveal­ing piece on what is prob­a­bly one of the most abu­sive adven­ture games of all time. Pip­pin Barr calls it his ur-game and I can see why.

In Feb­ru­ary 2014, there was not much con­tro­ver­sy for many game devel­op­ers, espe­cial­ly indie game devel­op­ers — the inter­net was harass­ing Dong Nguyen for mak­ing a game, which is unac­cept­able. Many peo­ple do not sup­port how Nguyen has been treat­ed, and have said so. It is always impor­tant to remem­ber resis­tance to a mob.

Radi­a­tor Blog: An alter­nate his­to­ry of Flap­py Bird: “we must cul­ti­vate our garden.”

Of all the Flap­py Bird pieces (includ­ing the rather amaz­ing thing by Bogost) this is my favourite because it high­lights the oppres­sion implic­it­ly present in the craze sur­round­ing the game. And I agree with Robert that his­to­ry requires an account­ing of the oppressed.

When we ask our­selves whether the Xbox One or PS4 ver­sion of Call of Duty is bet­ter, we’re choos­ing not to ask our­selves why we’re even still play­ing a game like Call of Duty long after the series stopped try­ing to be cul­tur­al­ly or polit­i­cal­ly rel­e­vant. When we focus on the amount of pix­els that are being used to ren­der Lara Croft, we over­look the implic­it creepi­ness of the game industry’s andro­cen­tric obses­sion with cre­at­ing such an “obses­sive­ly detailed” ver­sion of some­one like Lara Croft in the first place. And if we con­tin­ue to nit­pick over just how “obses­sive­ly detailed” this young woman’s vir­tu­al body is, we for­get that the real con­tro­ver­sy of the new Tomb Raider came from its uncom­fort­able par­tic­i­pa­tion in rape cul­ture. To bor­row a quote from Evge­ny Moro­zov, work like this refus­es “to eval­u­ate solu­tions to prob­lems based on cri­te­ria oth­er than efficiency.”

A critical reflection on Big Data: Considering APIs, researchers and tools as data makers | Vis | First Monday

A crit­i­cal reflec­tion on Big Data: Con­sid­er­ing APIs, researchers and tools as data mak­ers | Vis | First Monday

when a mys­tery show is about dis­pos­able female bod­ies, and the women in it are eye can­dy, it’s a drag. What­ev­er the length of the show’s much admired track­ing shot (six min­utes, uncut!), it feels less hard­boiled than soft­head­ed. Which might be O.K. if “True Detec­tive” were dumb fun, but, good God, it’s not: it’s got so much grav­i­tas it could run for President.

Emi­ly Nuss­baum: The Shal­low­ness of “True Detec­tive” : The New Yorker

This hasn’t put me off watch­ing the show, but I am pret­ty sure I will be rolling my eyes at least a few times while doing so…