In a recent article for Offworld, Jim Rossignol writes about how the experiences offered by games are broadening as they become more familiar and more popular among researchers and educators. He mentions Korsakovia, a Half-Life 2 mod which is an interpretation of Korsakoff's syndrome, a brain disorder characterized by confusion and severe memory problems, and makes the point that games (and game engines) can provide interesting and evocative experiences without the constraint of being "fun," much as books and movies can be appreciated without "fun" being an appropriate description. Quoting: "Is this collective imagining of games one of the reasons why they tend to focus on a narrow band of imagination? Do critics decry games because games need, more than any other media, to be something a group of people can all agree on? Isn't that why diversions from the standard templates are always met with such excitement or surprise? Getting a large number of creative people to head out into the same imaginative realm is a monumental task, and it's a reason why game directors like to riff off familiar films or activities you can see on TV to define their projects. A familiar movie gets everyone on the same page with great immediacy. 'Want to know what this game is going to be like? Go watch Aliens, you'll soon catch up.' We are pushed into familiar, well-explored areas of imagination. However, there are also teams who are both exploring strange annexes and also creating games that are very much about imaginative exploration. These idiosyncratic few do seem like Alan Moore's 'exporters,' giving us something genuinely new to investigate and explore. Once the team has figured out how to drag the thing back from their imaginations, so we get to examine its exotic experiences — like the kind we can't get at home."
Why is everyone so obsessed with this terrible idea? Even if we got it to work, there's no way we'd be able to afford the maintenance and energy costs. It just isn't viable.
Anyone who's played through the whole series, start to finish, cannot deny that MGS4 deserves to be crowned this year's best game (I won't go in to why, as others have already done so in some detail). It won't win though, as most gamers will have never even played it because few even own a PS3, and that's tragic.
Red Samurai writes: The BBC reports that 58 year-old James Pacenza is suing IBM for firing him after discovering that he used adult online chat rooms while at work. He issues the subpoena on the grounds that they were unsympathetic and offered no support towards his addiction, and he also uses his experiences in Vietnam to justify his actions. The BBC says this has "potential implications for employers across America and their attitude towards regulating how employees use workplace computers". So what does Slashdot make of this? I for one, welcome our new porn surfing IT worker overlords.