Archive for April, 2012

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At “Digital Humanities Now”: the New Aesthetic, with reference to game studies

April 19, 2012

I have a cordial dislike of philosophy since Plato, with the possible exception of Nietzsche, but the doyens of game studies are (with mixed results, I think) headed thither. Ian Bogost‘s recent Alien Phenomenology seems destined for some privileged status, claiming as it does to launch a “bold new metaphysics.” This post by David Berry is very helpful in putting these efforts in the perspective of the broader groping towards something called “The New Aesthetic” by digital humanists. Berry writes, for example:

In order to pursue the New Aesthetic further I want to move away from these existential questions and look in more detail at some of the claims advanced by spokespeople for object-oriented ontology (OOO), or what is sometimes called speculative realism (Bogost 2008, 2012; Borenstein 2012; Jackson 2012). More specifically, I want to explore the attempt to critique the New Aesthetic in terms of what they call a misplaced focus on the merely computational. Instead, I want to question the way in which they propose an extension of method (or movement) that takes in, well, everything in the universe.

This makes me heave a sigh, wedded as I still am to Plato’s critique of mimesis as vitiating both metaphysics and aesthetics as practiced since Aristotle, but one should know what the enemy is up to, I suppose.

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At “Play the Past”: Roger on an interesting Disney game

April 19, 2012

Anyone reading me here might be interested in my “rules of the text” series at Play the Past. I added a little to it today with a post about a rather remarkable ARG/LARP/CCG hybrid that’s recently debuted in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Sample:

In this practomime, a huge range of transmedia discourses (films, above all, but also books, games, and the Magic Kingdom itself) are made part of a ruleset that the designers (whom Disney, never more appropriately, of course calls “imagineers”) have literally mapped onto the theme park and coded onto cards that fragment the Disney narratives and let players recompose them in delightful juxtapositions–for example assaulting Yzma of The Emperor’s New Groove with Maurice’s (of Beauty and the Beast) woodchopper.