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Living with Algorithms

I spent last Friday at a seminar about algorithms. We discussed everything from health technology and citizenship in the digital era to the structure of neur...

The Future of Academic Networking

I just deleted my accounts on Academia.edu and ResearchGate. I think we are currently in a crucial time in choosing how academia shapes up in the future and ...

How to Change the World with Memes

I gave a talk at National Meeting of English Students about the political use of memes. In case you missed it, here is what I intended to say. It might not b...

Everything is a Computer

You probably didn’t notice that there was a fundamental shift in how technology operates in and integrates into our lives. It used to be that there were cust...

The Age of Bullshit

“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit”, Harry Frankfurt wrote in On Bullshit (1986).

What's Hybrid in Hybrid Games?

Hybrid games may not yet be a household name like VR and AR, but they seem to be getting similar attention at least from developers and researchers.

Halat hisar

Note: This is not an explanation of what Halat hisar was. If you need to understand the context, you can read an explanation written by the organizers.

Counterplay 2016

Counterplay was an odd experience for somebody like me, who mostly goes to academic conferences. Some of the program was very much like you would experience ...

Nights Black Agents and Zalozhniy Quartet

We recently finished a campaign of Night’s Black Agents, after playing it for 1.5-years and 29-sessions, making it one of the longest campaigns I’ve played. ...

Shared Playful Politics

I presented some preliminary observations on playful politics at the Sharing the Play -seminar. Here’s what I talked about.

Adult Play, Day 2

The second day of Adult Play seminar discussed sexual play, parents and mature players and understanding some basic features of games through psychophysiolog...

Adult Play, Day 1

The first day of Adult Play seminar was an interesting combination of all kinds of different approaches to play and playfulness, and how they relate to toys,...

Real-Time Hermeneutics, the Book

My dissertation Real-Time Hermeneutics: Meaning-Making in Ludonarrative Digital Games is now available on this website. Just click the link in the navigation...

Jekyll

I recently changed the site over to Jekyll. The previous version was written by me in HTML5 on top of HTML5 Boilerplate and the blog was handled by Octopress...

GamerGate and Language

I recently tweeted a high-profile article on the Guardian about Felicia Day and GamerGate, the online movement mostly visible on Twitter, but also making wav...

Surveillance in Online Games

I recently presented a paper at the Internet Privacy summer school. While preparing for that, I looked at how government agencies viewed games as tools for s...

Critical Evaluation of Game Studies

I participated at the Critical Evaluation of Game Studies conference at Tampere this week. As the name implies, the theme was very meta, with commentary abou...

Real, Fictive and Virtual

The concepts real, fiction and virtual get tossed around pretty casually around game studies. It seems that “virtual” is a lasting favorite, used to rescue a...

Free-To-Play

I’ve recently had to reflect on my attitude towards free-to-play games. I recognise there are two sides to the issue, and I’ve been trying hard to reconcile ...

First Deploy With Octopress

Thinking I could move all my blogging to a single place I tried using Octopress. It seems nice and light, converting markdown text to static html-pages.

Dissertation Summary

I recently gave a mock-lectio praecursoria as part of a course I’m taking. It summarises some of the work I’ve done for my dissertation.

Computers Run on Metaphors

Computers are built to run on metaphoric relations taken from earlier forms of technology and human experience not related to computers. An obvious example i...

Meaning Effects in Video Games, Talk

I gave this talk at the Games and Literary Theory -conference at Malta. It describes the contents of the paper I submitted to the conference.

Journals in Game Studies

Because I occasionally search for this information myself, I’ll post it here for future reference to me and others. A list of journals in game studies in no ...

PanoptiCorp, part 2: When Now Is Too Late

This is the second post about PanoptiCorp. The first was about personal experiences, so it actually makes more sense to read this first to get some context f...

Gamified apps and tools

I’m taking a Coursera course on gamification and as part of that I looked into what kind of things have been gamified and how. Here is a short list of the mo...

Jeepform scenario, iteration 2

I ran a simple jeepform scenario based on Reservoir Dogs a few years ago. I recently became interested in larp again, partly because of Monitor Celestra.

Embodied Control Schemes

Modern games often use control schemes that rely on our intuitive understanding of the human body. With modern controllers, this has become even more true.

Google is Building an Ontology

Since the spring of 2012, Google has started to move from search of particular combinations of letters to searching things. This move from string-based searc...

Neural Correlates of Meaning-Making

In humanities research related to psychology there tends to be a tendency to look for answer from neurological research. Things like consciousness, language ...

Meaning Effects in Video Games

I’m writing a paper about the tools authors can use in literature to convey certain meaning effects, but applied to video games. There are several tools avai...

Advanced Dungeons & Discourse

A couple of years back I ran a game of Dungeons & Discourse. It’s based on the brilliant web comic, Dresden Codak. It ran very smoothly, but mostly thank...

Interactive fiction

Len Talmy writes in Toward a Cognitive Semantics (2002) that:

Metaphoric Rules in Role-Playing Games

It is very common for role-playing games to extend rules meant for one thing to cover other fields. The archetypical example of this is using combat rules fo...

SMBC, Frame Semantics and Political Speech

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal had comic a while back about political speech. The idea was that, if you replace everything except nouns with nonsensical w...

Mage: The Re-Awakening

I used to run a lot of Mage: the Ascension. Nobilis has almost perfectly taken its place, but for a nostalgia trip, there is no replacing the original. Havin...

Gender in Apocalypse World

I’ve recently been playing Apocalypse World in our weekly playing session. It is a generally good game, at least if you prefer the style: violent, apocalypti...

Dungeons & Discourse

I’ve had a play report on a Dungeons & Discourse game we played last year lying around on my computer for over an year now. I thought I might finally pos...

About Randomness in Role-Playing Games

When randomness in role-playing games is discussed, it usually means analysis of specific dice-mechanics. And since most rpg’s employ dice, it is a useful pu...

Pervasive Games

I recently gave a lecture on pervasive games. In preparing that lecture I took some notes that were almost an introduction to the subject itself. It seemed a...

Gaming over great distances

I just played my first game of role-playing over the internet today. I’ve played IRC-based role-playing games before, but these have centered on the text; th...

Games may be art after all

It seems that Roger Ebert has changed his opinion of games. The acclaimed movie critic admits that he cannot make the judgement that games are not art becaus...

For all I know, you're the rat

Reservoir Hounds was a success, at least with some criteria (and some post-game lie). The game ran for less than an hour, but that wasn’t surprising as I wa...

Politics in FPS-games

To a great surprise to everyone, this post is not going to be about the fuss surrounding the killing of civilians in Modern Warfare 2. Instead, I’ll write ab...

While on the topic of games as art...

Recently, I touched upon the subject of games as art. This is by means unexplored territory; in fact it is so well traversed that the great movie critic Roge...

All the shades of gray, but no...

Like everybody and their mother, I’ve been playing Mass Effect 2. The game includes a lot of dialogue and after a chat with a supporting character I was quit...

Methodological contemplations

While I wholeheartedly think that science is mostly methodically uniform, there are two things that seem to differentiate the social sciences (or humanities)...

Defining games

I held a presentation on games in the National Seminar for Philosophy Students (Filosofian opiskelijoiden kansallinen seminaari, FOKS in Finnish) last saturd...

(a)Games

When reading about games I’ve come across some very peculiar things that may not entirely be called games, but which resemble them very closely. They also di...

The Player of Games

I recently read Iain M. Banks’ The Player of Games, and besides being a good book it’s got special kicks for anyone into game research. I’m not giving away t...

Roadtrip the rpg

Yesterday we drove some nine hours to deliver stuff. Surprisingly it wasn’t few hours of talking and then endless hours of being bored. We got company and on...

The Mountain Witch

I started a game of The Mountain Witch yesterday. I like this game particularly for being so easy to pick up and start with a moments notice.

Seminar paper

After moving into a new apartment and catching the most awful flu you ever experienced I’ve found that trying to keep up any kind of schedule for writing her...

Political games

Last Sunday we played the third game in my series of political games. ‘Political’ does not here mean that they included political action by the characters, b...

Using role-play as a research tool

A while ago I attended a philosophy seminar where the last presentation was about using science fiction as a tool for research. For researchers interested in...

Liquid Crystal

Next weekend I’ll have chance to play Liquid Crystal again. It is a game in which players create and play robots with no personality to start with. The game ...

On the sociology of games

I’ve been working on my second thesis seminar paper roughly from the beginning of the year.

New year, new ideas

We were sitting in sauna and it was getting late when we decided that it would be a perfect opportunity to play a short game of role-play. Few hours of time,...

Between Heaven and Hell

We’ve been playing Nobilis for some time now. It is a campaign, led by me, about the diplomacy between Heaven and Hell. The players have two sets of characte...

Your Eminence

According to Mike’s Philosophical Definitions Page an Eminence is a “famous living academic whose work is relevant but sloppy. I’d like to elaborate more on ...

Why games?

There are two ways to understand this question:

Horror & Philosophy

Two of archetypical creatures found in horror movies, zombies and vampires, have also found their way into philosophy. To eat the delicious, undoubtedly larg...

Of theory and practice

A discussion I had with some local rpg-players got me thinking about the history of rpg-theory in Finland. The best known of theories was the one based on th...

Huizinga and play

Johann Huizinga’s “Homo Ludens” is one the classics in the study of play. I’ve been trying to read it but I also have a lot of essays to return during spring...

Master's Thesis

I’ve been trying to come up with a topic for my master’s thesis for some time now. In March, I have to have some idea what I’m going to research. I suggested...

ReNutopia

Remember that game of Shadowrun I mentioned before? It died after some three playing sessions. However, it had too much potential & time spent on creatin...

By train, for a change

It’s not something I usually write about1, but I read a few (older) posts by Thanuir about railroading, and I thought about commenting those posts. ...

Computers and role-play

I noticed something when I happened to watch a tv-program on games. It seems (and this is in no way rigorously analytical, just a hunch) that a (computer) ga...

Writing characters

I’ve been writing larp characters for some time now. It’s been taking a lot longer than I suspected, partly because I’ve changed my way of writing a bit. I u...

Tähti

We’ve played Mike Pohjola’s new game Tähti (Star) for a few times. It’s a game about teenage mutant ninj- krhm, I mean about a teenage mutant girl band. It’s...

Thesis

I’ve been writing my bachelor’s thesis since spring and it is nearly complete. It should, since I have to present it next month. I started with the vague ide...

Nutopia

We’ve started a new role-playing game, with an interesting subject. It’s a game of Shadowrun, although we’ve had to make some changes in order to fit the rul...

Ropecon

Ropecon was some time ago. I’ve been trying to concentrate on reading, so commenting on Ropecon is several weeks late. It was an exhausting experience for se...

Dogmatic manifestos

I’ve finally read something I’ve been meaning to read for a long time: the manifestos Dogma 99 and The Manifesto of the Turku School. While I understand, at ...

Chronicle coming to an end

It seems we are finally reviving the larp chronicle we have been writing for several years now. We already agreed that the next part will be the last; maybe ...

Convention problems

We tested the questionnaire J. Matias Kivikangas has written for Alterations yesterday with mainly positive results. There were some minor complications that...