Monday, April 19, 2010

Nice paper from Tyler Pace and the Bardzells

There's a good new paper from the ACM CHI Conference on romance in WoW. It explains how people meet others easily through whispers, and then use the features of the game -- and some pretty innocent ones, by the way, like flowers and food -- to get to know one another. Rather a sweet paper; it's not all hardcore out there on the Internet.

The paper is called "The Rogue in the Lovely Black Dress: Intimacy in World of Warcraft." WoW nerds, I know rogues don't wear dresses (even females), but the rogue in the paper had bought the Lovely Black Dress and wore it for romantic purposes.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Something wonderful from Liz Losh

I recommend Liz Losh's excellent Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes (MIT Press 2009).

I especially liked chapter 3 on military video games, but each chapter is a fascinating, densely worked example of the U.S. government's involvement with digital technologies.

Liz is a superb writer; she knows how to "make media." You may find yourself admiring and enjoying her prose so much you have to remember the seriousness of her themes.