Dissertation Reloaded

[As I'm entering the final stages of writing The Dissertation (tm), I will be posted snippets online. You know, for purposes of fair use and the hope that seeing my own handiwork in a different context may help writing better. In this first installment, you'll find a section from the Introduction chapter, where I lay out the general theoretical approach. Comments welcome.] In studying communication and media we are confronted with the problem of how to describe what we experience, in the broadest sense, in the midst of experiencing it. Succinctly speaking, the former necessitates a consciousness that negates the latter. Moreover, for the same reason that we cannot escape our own media technological moment in order to describe it, we also cannot enter into one from which we are spatially, temporally, or epistemologically removed. Panofsky’s Perspective as Symbolic Form, a classic text in the fields of architecture and art history, reminds us that “it is essential to ask of artistic periods and regions not only whether they have perspective, but also which perspective they have.” (41) — read on

NYU cont’d

NYUGameCenterlogoSeems like they have their site up, finally. Right now, I'm preparing the syllabus for the fall semester and persuading industry folk to come out and talk to my students. I'm also be meeting the NYU Game Center's interim director Frank Lantz to discuss a few extra-curricular activities. — read on

Average Gamer: Once Violent, Now Overweight and Depressed.

In what is likely to make its rounds on the Interwebs already in full force, a recent study finds that the average male gamer is 35 years old, has a higher body mass index and "a greater number of poor mental health days." — read on

Player Modeling

One of the sexiest aspects of digital environments and online worlds is the ability monitor player behavior in an unprecedented way. Every single action, decision and event can be recorded, aggregated and analyzed on a scale that would make Orwell look like an absentee baby-sitter. — read on

All Hail SuperData

My company's site is now live. We once again thank Super Interactive for the nifty design. Please take a look, and download the TCG report for free! Feedback welcome. — read on


Maybe it's because I just woke up in the middle of the day and watched this while the fog was still clearing up. Or maybe this 13-minute clip has some worthwhile thoughts regarding risk. — read on

NYU Summer Course on Video Games

Looking to do something this summer? Then sign up for the class I'll be teaching. It runs from June 30th to August 6th and covers video games from both an academic and industry perspective. For an abbreviated draft version of the syllabus, go here. For questions, contact me at jv2108 [at] columbia [dot] edu — read on

Anything But Business As Casual

[Disclosure: A slightly modified version of this article appeared in the April edition of DFC Dossier.]

What in the early Internet days started as an afterthought today has grown into a market of its own. In 2008 the total revenue for casual PC gaming totaled a respectable $1.58 billion* in Western Europe, North America and most of Asia. DFC expects this number to increase to $1.69 billion in 2009.

Life’s been pretty good thus far: an average annual growth rate more than 60% has allowed everyone to do well. As more competitors entered the party, casual gaming also underwent a lot of consolidation as big-ticket publishers aggregated eyeballs for advertising’s sake. RealNetworks spent a lot of money to capture an audience large enough to sustain its ambitions for world domination. And as the current biggest casual company with 11.7% of total market share (based on revenue), it’s fair to say this strategy has paid off. The company is currently working to spin off its games division, RealArcade, as a separate entity.

— read on

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