Archive for September, 2007

Video Games and Art

There’s been a great deal of talk about video games and art recently, and here’s the latest salvo-
I find it interesting that they’re talking about insiders and outsiders.

To paraphrase a Washington Post slogan from the days of my brief stint there in the early ’90s, if he doesn’t get it, he doesn’t get it. Please understand, we don’t mean this in a pejorative way. We’re simply saying, as we’ve said before, that we “see” videogames with our hands, so asking a complete novice to play BioShock rather than, say, Wii Sports is like asking a four-year-old who’s got a so-so grasp of “Fun With Dick and Jane” to skip the funny pages and go straight for “Ulysses,” “Lolita” or “The Bluest Eye.” Or asking someone who’s got some half-remembered high school Spanish to read “One Hundred Years of Solitude” in its original tongue. It’s a fool’s errand.

Some of the people who don’t understand games- and especially the ones that don’t believe games are art- will read that and say “it’s just not art.” But this is exactly the same kind of conversation I’ve read about modern art, or appreciating museums, or whether movies and television shows are art, and so on. Which makes me think they’re art…

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Volunteering at UT’s Videogame Archive Fundraiser

I promised I’d write more about the Center for American History’s Videogame Archive Fund-Raiser, so I’ll do that now. I’ll also be writing about archives, digital archives, and video games and archives over the next few weeks. There’s a lot to think about. ^_^ I was a gamer long before I came to the iSchool- pretty much before I hit the double digits- so I’m pretty excited about the creation of this particular archive, and not just because it brings so many of my interests (digital archives, games, copyright, etc.) together. ^_^

On September 4th, UT held a fundraiser for a new Videogame Archive out of the Center for American History. I was thrilled when the archive was announced. At the very least, it demonstrates one thing: people think that video games are important. For the gaming community such a statement is obvious, but for others… Recently, a doctoral student at the iSchool did their dissertation on community building in the MMORPG, City of Heroes. It was accepted, but there were certainly a few sideways glances. At any rate, the creation of the archive is a positive step in recognizing how video games affect society. I decided to volunteer to help out.

The afternoon started a bit bleak- after several days of sun, the clouds returned to continue our unusually mild summer. Ordinarily I’d be happy about that, but I knew that a great deal of the fundraiser was going to be outdoors. I got there a couple of hours early- not to catch an early glimpse of Garriott and his place, as my coworkers suggested :P- but to help set up. As it turns out, I drove in just behind Brenda Gunn, one of the archivists at the Center who’s been heavily involved in this archives’ creation.

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The rhetoric of fair use

I’ve got a post about the rhetoric of fair use at Collectanea, regarding the CCIA complaint about misleading copyright notices and the response from the Copyright Alliance.


Golan v. Gonzales, UT’s Video Game Archive

I’ll be a guest blogger at Collectanea this month, and my first post gets to be about Golan v. Gonzales. ^_^

Yesterday, I had the chance to volunteer at UT’s Video Games Archives FUNdraiser. It rained, it was muddy, and it was great. ^_^ I’ll write more about the experience, video games and archives, Richard Garriott’s place, and more as soon as I have time to download a few pictures.

On a related note, today is apparently the launch party for Garriott’s new MMO, Tabula Rasa, at his estate. A pair of tickets was auctioned off at the fundraiser for $2100. Once we get the TR NDA release, I’ll have more to say about the game itself. ^_^