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i love games that use found elements, even those upc scanner games. claiming all kinds of cultural detritus as raw material from the natural environment smooshes consumption and creation together. video games would seem to take that one step further than non-interactive art-- the player is being immersed in a virtual environment that she created from elements of the real environment she is immersed in.

consumption -> creation -> consumption.

it's like having a kitchen garden or something.

properly executed, live tv sampling would be really cool. an even better scavenging source would be radio and cellphone airwaves -- no cable subscription necessary.

Christian McCrea

A lightning storm in 1994. I sit with my friend R. in front of his SNES, a copy of F-Zero sitting at the back of the Action Replay, a copy of Turtles in Time (the racing game) in the front. A brownout due to a nearby bolt.

For a few seconds, Donatello scorching up an F-Zero track. It doesn't even make logical or computational sense, but there you go.

Yes, the SNES was then fried.

Ever since then, the boundries of a game have always seemed very fluid. No reason why I couldn't take my Blade of Severence character into Hexen II if they used the same technology, right?

Davor Cubranic

In John Brunner's seminal proto-cyberpunk novel "The Shockwave Rider", a minor character -- one of the corporate drones -- is shown in a brief scene playing what's described as a popular game: using a sort of lightpen to draw on the TV screen over the commercials as they're being played, trying to alter them and make them look funny. There is a bit of the illicit involved: the character is getting a big kick from altering his own company's commercial, knowing (thinking?) that it could land him in trouble with his superiors if they found out. I think there was also a mention of a word-of-mouth, lightning-fast spread of the coolest tricks. And this in a novel written in 1975!!


Through a fluke I attended Collective Play and saw the talk mentioned. I was far more impressed with other talks.

I agree that there is such a thing as TVLand, but why go there?
Shared experience of specific shows, yes, there is value there. The fact that we all know the Brady's kitchen like the back of our hand, good, yes, shared experience. Interacting with those 'homes away from home', yes, definitely worth doing...if it's a meaningful interaction.
Trying to summarize all TV shows into one "TVLand" sounds like a terrible idea to me. Like the intelligence of a mob, I see commonality among all the TV shows, but it is the worst part. Thin "gameplay" mechanics of entertainment: laugh tracks; slapstick; dramatic story arcs exposed as the device it is. To me, the value of a show is its novelty, unique insight, individuality. The parts it has in common with other TV shows must be tolerated to gain the benefits.
Worse, these mechanisms only work in TVland. E.g. I see people dropping one-liners in emotionally charged situations, just like you see 100 times every sitcom. Of course the outcome is not satisfying in the real world - no laugh track, no payoff or relief of any kind.

The TVland talk's technology made me think of sticking my face on a Terminator poster at the video store. Which is to say: novel but not revolutionary.

Revolutionary is when they give me a tiny window of opportunity for my ideas, my style, my personality to be stuck into the ultra-mass-market of TVland.

Nathan Pace

Check out the site Anti-Trend.com
it's a culture jamming site.

Nathan Pace

Check out the site Anti-Trend.com
it's a culture jamming site.

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