March 5, 2014
Sweeping history. Grand history. Neatly packaged narratives of greatness and genius inventors. All of these are the stuff of what Walter Benjamin labeled the “epic element in history”, historiography premised upon continuity and stability, and most firmly what Game After is not about. Instead, I map the “slips”, “slides”, “leaps” and “springing” of game objects across their life histories as they pass through different situations that inform their meaning and their value.
March 4, 2014
In the wake of Sunday’s Academy Awards where movies using CGI like Gravity and Frozen were big winners, our lunch bit is “The Illusions” from Lev Manovich’s influential The Language of New Media. In “The Illusions”, Manovich critiqued the shift from traditional cinematography to usage of computers to generate images used in films. According to Manovich, this is important in New Media studies because before the wide spread usage of computers in films, one looked at an image and judged it on its appearance—how real it looked, but with new media the paradigms for judgment of illusions have changed. Here’s what he has to say about the expansion of analysis of this new technology:
The year was 1968 and Marshall Nirenberg, an unassuming governement scientist working at the National Institutes of Health, had just won the Nobel Prize for cracking the genetic code. Franklin Portugal’s The Least Likely Man tells the story of how Nirenberg beat other world-famous scientists in the race to this important discovery. Franklin Portugal discusses his new book and Nirenberg’s enduring legacy.
February 28, 2014
Christof Koch has devoted much of his career to bridging the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the physics of the brain and phenomenal experience. His 2012 book Consciousness represented a new and unusually personal attempt to get at these questions—part scientific overview, part memoir, part futurist speculation. Part of the story he tells about his own progress was feeling caught between two intellectual frameworks—one spiritual, the other scientific:
February 27, 2014
Our latest “Five Minutes” series features Mitchell Glickstein, author of Neuroscience: A Historical Introduction.
February 26, 2014
Why is online gaming such a cultural phenomenon in Korea? Since the 1960s Korean culture has been seen as one to quickly change and to keep up with the latest technologies and consumer products. Gaming is no different—gaming in Korea has really spearheaded the industry globally and become one of the fastest creative industries worldwide. In Korea’s Online Gaming Empire, Dal Yong Jin takes an interesting approach and examines the rapid growth of this industry in social, cultural, and economic terms.
February 18, 2014
What’s behind the high-profile efforts of large corporations to embrace sustainable policies? Why are these big-brand companies making zero-waste and sustainable-packaging promises? Why do they seem to be accelerating their efforts? Is this merely crafty marketing? Are they using feel-good rhetoric to placate governments, activists, and consumers?
February 9, 2014
Do human beings possess free will? Are all events causally determined by prior events? Is free will incompatible with determinism? Philosophers and scholars have long pondered these questions, and the debate has continued to evolve in recent years.
February 6, 2014
More sad news: Suzanne Scotchmer, author of Innovation and Incentives, passed away on Jan. 30.