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ENGR 101/HUM 200: Technology and Society December 1, 2005 Agenda The Diamond Age wrap-up Lecture: Copyleft, Open Source Software, Computer Games Free Culture Innovation and piracy Record industry as a kind of piracy (p. 55) Necessity of paying for the score or for public performance

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Presentation Transcript

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Agenda

  • The Diamond Age wrap-up

  • Lecture: Copyleft, Open Source Software, Computer Games


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Free Culture

  • Innovation and piracy

    • Record industry as a kind of piracy (p. 55)

      • Necessity of paying for the score or for public performance

      • What about using a recording device to record from memory in your home?

      • “Imagine the injustice of the thing. A composer writes a song or an opera. A publisher buys at great expense the rights to the same and copyrights it. Along come the phonographic companies and companies who cut music rolls and deliberately steal the work of the brain of the composer and publisher without any regard for [their] rights.” Senator Alfred Kittredge


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  • Compulsory/statutory licenses

    • Key terms set by law

    • “covers”

  • Music vs. written works (Beatles v. Grisham)

  • Radio pays composer not recording artist

  • Cable tv

    • Didn’t pay broadcasters for content they carried, even when they charged


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Pathways to Commercialization

  • Technology innovations are separate from an economic profit model

  • First one hundred years of the US, America did not honor foreign copyrights


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Complexities of Piracy

  • Download instead of purchase

    • Industry claims CD sales declined, but 20% fewer CDs released since 1999; 803 million sold, 2.1 billion downloaded

  • Download to sample

  • Download for sharing

    • Stuff that is no longer available: publisher or distributor decides no economic gain to making it available. Copyright holder doesn’t profit: analogue to used books stores

  • Access content not copyrighted or that owner wants to make freely available


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Overkill?

  • Banning or declaring illegal the technologies that enable one type of online sharing (downloading instead of buying) also make it impossible for other kinds of sharing to take place

  • Napster was able to block 99.4% of “illegal” activity. Not enough. District court said they needed 100%. What about VCRs, photocopiers, guns?


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Copyleft/Open Source

  • Open to all and open to modification

  • Ensuring the derivatives of a work remain freely accessible


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Games

  • (games?)



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Defining the Field

  • What Are Games?

    • Genres and Platforms

  • Who Plays Games?

    • Genre, Frequency and Duration

  • Why Study Games?

    • Localization, Community, Media Consumption, Serious Games


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Casual games

Card games

Puzzle games

Word games

First-person shooters

Real-time strategy

Sim games

Story games

Multi-player role playing games

Sports games

Fighting games

Educational games

Advergames

Alternative reality games (ARGs)

Serious games

Game Genres





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Casual Games

  • Redefine “Gamer” and “Gaming”

  • Greater numbers of women players

  • Tied to portal development

  • Instrumental to growth of advergames

  • Easily adaptable to mobile devices and other small screen environments

  • Gaming as multitasking: new patterns for growth of gaming? “Interruptible space”



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Math Blaster

Oregon Trail

Education




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Using Games to Teach

  • “Educational” games vs. Commercial games (COTS)

  • Bloom’s taxonomy and games

  • Fun educational games

  • The ideology of games and impact on classroom integration of COTS

  • RTS and national identity issues




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Interface and FPS, Fighting

  • Task-oriented screens

  • Time-sensitive

  • Immersive

  • All information must be on screen

  • FPS: real-time chat integrated

  • Novel documentation and information display techniques


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Avatars and Representation

  • Race and Ethnicity

  • Gender

  • Age

  • Customizable

  • First- vs. third-person point of view

  • Issues similar to RPGs


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Localization

  • First-level localization (User interface issues)

  • Second-level localization (Legal and cultural issues)

    • Return to Castle Wolfenstein example

    • Color of blood

    • Level of violence

    • Acceptable iconography or historical representations

    • Blending?



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The Question of Realism

  • Immersion and presence

  • Representational approaches




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Immersive Worlds

  • Games as stories (literature?)

  • Social interaction and RPGs

  • Avatars (politics of representation; T.L. Taylor)

  • Online communities (offline versions, too!)

  • Blurring of real and virtual boundaries

  • Economics of virtual worlds (Playmoney/Ultima Online; EQ and Ebay; Second Life)




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Games as Part of Social Space

  • Game arcades as standalone social spaces

  • Dance games as school physical education activity

  • Health issues



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ARGs and the NBT

  • Majestic, The Beast, I Love Bees (examples)

  • Blurring of real and virtual space (RPGs)

  • Subjectivity and identity issues

  • Power and control of/over technology

  • Convergence

  • Mobile gaming



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Fantasy Sports Leagues

  • Online games echo social interaction and cultural engagement of fantasy sports leagues

  • Not an isolating activity


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More Genres…

  • Advergames

  • Serious Games:

    • www.seriousgames.org

    • www.gamesforhealth.org

    • www.seriousgames.org/gamesforchange



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Place Matters

  • Geography determines play interactions

  • Audience construction hinges in part on where games can be played

  • Community or individual activity

  • Domestic sphere or public sphere


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Who Plays Games?

  • 34% under 18 years (2004)

  • 46% 18-50 years (2004)

  • 17% 50+ (2004)

  • 59% male (2004)

  • 39% female (2004)

  • 54% games rated E (2003)

  • 31% games rated T (2003)

  • 12% games rated M (2003)


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Why Study Games?

  • Localization (Blending)

  • Community formation and player interaction

  • Serious games (Games4D)

  • Games and media ecology


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Resources

www.watercoolergames.org

www.gamestudies.org

terranova.blogs.com

www.game-research.com

www.digra.org


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