SMC300 Cheat Sheet - Week 6

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12 Apr 2012
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Week 6 - Online, Multiplayer Gaming Networks
Making vs customizing vs curating s modifying vs remixing vs creating
Philosophical and pragmatic implication, informs which activities are deemed
legitimate also definitions in flux
Bill C-11 non-commercial user generated content
Digital games and communities; play often creative practice, play and creation/prod
Industry rely on independent producers, immaterial labor of players, ongoing control
over distribution… indie scene thriving, gamers empowered group
Problematizing the player
Magic circle: play occur within it, separate game/activity being played from serious
every day life, drawn in time and space temporarily, inside new made-up set of rules to
which everyone buys in
Play = deeply important and meaningful, sharing suspension of disbelief, co-creation of
imaginary shared universe, culture generating
Taylor player to create character, time to develop, labor and qualities,
accomplishments… owners provide raw materials for participator space but only
through labor of players that dynamic ids created, comm grow
UGC games, LittleBigPlanet, customization and support
Beta-playtesting, modding communities R&D, new talent, wikis and walkthroughs,
Martin and Deuze open source movement, software development kits by some
developers to allow certain mods and apps
Current emphasis on DIY for game design
Martin and Deuze: independent game dev and role that ntwk tech and digital
distribution have in allowing diversity of content, internet direct access to consumers
for indies… digital distribution shape structure and id of indie game dev
File sizes reduced for accessibility, graphics and audio sacrificed, emphasis on
abstractions, mechanics, story… game as art
Game platforms as SNS, Production of culture
Martin and Deuze: production of cultural framework focusing on how culture shaped by
systems within which created, dist, evaluate, preserved
5 key domains used, developed and give meaning
tech, laws and regulation, industrial/org structure, occupational careers,
role of indie game dual and complex, at times contradictory… digital dist of cheap/free
middleware and diversity of voices but industry already rapidly rearranging itself to
expanding markets and demographics… indie alt model also playground for typical and
mainstream values and practices across studios
ongoing negotiation and re-negotiation of system and rules… finding, bending, breaking
current push to limit negotiation by restricting user rights; Bill C-11 digital locks clause
to give industries more control over how game used
Taylor Assemblage of Play
Finding framework including system, narrative and player and make way for other
interrelations without gluing together or drawing fault lines
Notion of assemblage, range of actors, concepts, relations making up play moment
Games constituted by interrelations between tech systems and software, material
world, online space, game genre and histories, social worlds, communities, lives,
Looking at event of relationships and reciprocal configuration, interrelation
Between expectation and contextualization
Artistic instantiation of technique and ethnographic sensibility seeking out found
objects from every day life, situates within specific interrelations and prctices…
assemblage and contextual analysis of games and play
Exploring everyday mundane found objects
Computer games artifacts traversing multiple communities of practice and meanings
Boundary objects plastic enough to adopt local needs and constraints of several
parties but robust enough to maintain common id across sites
Massively multiplayer online game MMOG WoW, mods… radically reconfigure play…
profivde key info, automate actions, mundane and complex
Translating info in own UI ad represent it but experientially, mod autonomous agent
and player
Software actor, ambiguous member… distribution of competences between humans
and nonhumans, collective use of various software
Not necessarily totalizing system, some might not use mod, outside of tech system for
others but also outside social system in operation
Mods can be unreliable, broadcasting wht it’s suppoed to do, misleading info…
Complex set of relationships between player and software and collective use of
software, production of group practices
Configure and configured
NPC and missing mass
Contextual, assemblage-based, approaches that take into account the range of agents
(human, non, social, institutional) and interrelations
Notion of assemblage.. embody digital self, participate in modding UI, shape experience
of space and data… co-conspirators
Martin and Deuze Independent Production of Culture
Independence and creativity/freedom/business
Development next to mainstream process of creating/marketing/playing games, indie
games scene
Rethink assumptions about independence and autonomy in creative labor, about
communicative practices between media companies, diversity in production of culture
Indie as globally differentiated market, fueled by rise and availability of cheap and
accessible development, advantage of spaces, providing financial viability of markets,
formation of global cultural system
Flexible structure to redefine own terms of success
Collaborative work with user comm and vision of unique stories