buzzcut

Really Real Real Estate

Jun
12

We can debate the relative “realness” of virtual space all we want. But our synthetic worlds continue to strive for a tangibility that is not always graphics based:

Eve Online – Video Games – New York Times:

This specter of corruption has emerged most recently not in some post-colonial trouble spot but in the virtual nation of an Internet game called Eve Online (population 200,000) where aspiring star pilots fight over thousands of solar systems in a vast science-fiction universe every day.

So now, in a sociological twist, the company that makes Eve, CCP, based in Iceland (population 300,000), says it will tackle the problem the way a democracy would. In what appears to be a first, the company plans to hold elections so that players can select members of an oversight committee.

The company will then fly those players to Iceland regularly so they can audit CCP’s operations and report back to their player-constituents. And taking cues from transitions to democracy in the developing world, CCP says it will call in election monitors from universities in Europe and the United States.

So, get this straight, a game company is electing a virtual citizen’s oversight board comprised of real people to fly on real planes to Iceland, just to make sure the fabric of the virtual space maintains a sort of social  crediblity necessary for outer space adventuring verisimilitude.

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The Buzz is Back

May
28

I know. A terrible way to reannounce the revival of my site.

But, hey, I’ve been waiting for brilliance to strike for a year. And I guess at this point I’m just going to have to accept that I’m not that clever.

Anyway, a couple of bookkeeping items:

  • The old buzzcut site has been extensively archived and rolled up. You can find most anything that was once here moved over to: www.buzzcut.com/archive. Please keep in mind that most of the functionality was turned off in the process of creating the archive. But all of the content should be available.
  • Where have I been? For the past two years I have been working on a PhD in planning and design in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado. I’ve managed to hang onto my videogame research orientation in the guise of studying virtual spaces and leisure places. This summer I am co-teaching a course called, “Visualizing the Virtual” that looks at the whole idea of environmental design (architecture and such) in the digital domain.
  • I’ve also put a significant amount of time into the Videogame Style Guide and Reference Manual. This book mirrors the AP Stylebook and should provide an indispensable resource for game journalists and researchers. But I think it’s a fairly thought provoking tome for anyone interested in games. Visit the Style Guide site and request a copy of the ebook. If you say that you read about it on buzzcut, we’ll send it to you for free.
  • What’s the future of buzzcut.com? Well, as the game studies area has grown, developed and otherwise bloated, I’ve found a certain need to focus my research interests. As I mentioned, I’m in pretty deep in terms fo architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning. So, I expect to move buzzcut a little more in the direction of my research interests. For better or worse, buzzcut as “critical videogame theory” will probably end up being more buzzcut “understanding videogames as space” (or maybe that should be “videogames in spaaaaaaaace!).
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