ONLINE Northwest Conference & a step back from gaming

I just got back from the 2009 OLNW conference. I love this event. The people and content are always strong and the focus on technology in libraries makes it a very focused single-day event. This time, I did not present on games and learning in libraries and it was a nice change of pace. My […]

Fallout 3: Impressions

Fallout has impacted my thoughts on violence mostly as a counterpoint to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I didn’t really get San Andreas. I was *interested* in the game and the context it immerse the player in. In the end, I really didn’t have much fun playing it and uninstalled it in favor of other […]

How do games justify their violent content?

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been reluctant to write about the ethics of violence in games. However, last week, Jack Thompson was disbarred in Florida and that changes the landscape of the conversation significantly. Mr. Thompson’s presence in the debate meant that it was all too easy to reduce any conversation about violence and ethics in […]

Games as an excuse to think about ethics

I don’t find all conversations about ethics and games interesting. Controversies surrounding the effects of violent games on juvenile behavior or restrictiing access to content that challanges the dominant cultural mores in general bore me. It isn’t so much that there aren’t interesting things to say about these issues, but the public discourse is too […]

What is interesting about games?

I ask myself this question because after doing a lot of work (soon to be published!) on Portal I found myself in a bit of a lull when it comes to being reflective about my gaming experiences or doing games analysis. It might just be an understandable reaction to being done with an intensive project. […]

Fall is here, the new games will be soon

Which means that a new semester has started here on campus. It also means the release of AAA titles from the major game developers. I have zero time to game these days and the time I steal from more important obligations to play games has all been sucked up by LOTRO. That is fine by […]

LOEX of the West

Here I am in glorious Las Vegas. Of course I’m living in a dorm and staying up late editing a paper with an eye to the deadline, so while I am experiencing deja vu, it sadly isn’t of Dionysian revelry. I’m giving my presentation on Portal and the analysis of video games with an eye […]

Lord of the Rings Online

At least once a year from when I was around ten years old until some time after I went away to college, I read through J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. I read as much of Tolkien’s work as I could find in the local library. I loved the Silmarillian and delved happily into the […]

Why I’m interested in Games and Pedagogy

(Originally Posted at gameslearningandlibraries.ning.com) For quite a while, I was very happy to keep my pastimes and my work separate. Bicycling, motorcycle travel, GPS geekery, and zombie survival strategy don’t really intersect with my professional life, so why should computer games? So during the day (and often into the nights) I would be an instruction […]