Week 3 Lecture Notes
Week 3 Lecture Notes Art 80H
Popular in History of Digital Games
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Popular in Art
This 12 page Bundle was uploaded by Aubrey Isaacman on Monday February 29, 2016. The Bundle belongs to Art 80H at University of California - Santa Cruz taught by Henry Lowood in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 33 views. For similar materials see History of Digital Games in Art at University of California - Santa Cruz.
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Date Created: 02/29/16
LECTURE 4 – Wednesday January 13, 2016 No Lecture M, no section M or W I. TV! Newton Mirow Marshall McLuhan o TV is cool o Global village > virtual community o Hot or cool? Digging Understanding Media Hot = high definition; authorship does work for you HiDef, focus on single sense, low participation, excludes o Book o Radio o Factory o Movies o PowerPoint presentation Cool = participatory LowDef, multiple sense, high participation, includes o TV o Phone o Speech o PowerPoint presentation o Historical Reversal: the past mechanical time was hot, and we of the TV age are cool o Electrical Age > Global Village TRIBAL - PRE-LITERATE/ORAL Cool participatory Integral local INDUSTRIAL/PRINT Hot Linear Mechanical Intense POV specialist Wasteland (content) or cool, participatory, electri II. Alternatives to TV Ultimate Display – 1965 essay about virtual reality (vr) McLuhan meditates on TV, not computer o Alan Kay: computer scientist; came up with idea for tablet Use VR to simulate other cultures (POV simulation) 3. VR won’t die 2. Good for you (… or not?) 1. It’s the ultimate medium EXPERIENCE! o VR = computer generated virtual simulation (OED) Virtual = something that doesn’t physically exist 3 IMs: imaginary, immersive, impractical o Ivan Sutherland Timeline: 1963: sketchpad – graphics as basis of communication between humans and machines; elements of the imagination: o Extension: the light-pen as input device o Conversation: the human dialogue with the machine o Correspondence: user, screen, memory 1965: “The Ultimate Display” – the vision thing 1968: Completion of eD, HMD system – VR linked to the specialized hardware, work on kinesthetic systems (kinesthetic = tactile, responsive, force-feedback (interact with muscular system)) The computer as space o Sutherland at Harvard 1967-1968 o Program focused on computer graphics o Leads to program at U of Utah (Bushnell and others went there) o The Sword of Damocles – a sword that could fall on you at any moment people were afraid to try VR because there were a lot of pounds of equipment on top of them if they wore the gear Natural interface? o Data-Glove Hand gesture interface; Thomas G Zimmerman Touch Gadget – Scientific American VR Day (7 June 1989) – Texpo, San Francisco The VR Hype Business, 1989-mid 1990s: VR will become an ADDITIONAL reality Arcades; location-based VR Virtual worlds o Lucasfilm’s Habitat o Linen Lab’s Second Life (1999) Immersion or Augmentation? o VR vs mobile (augmentation) 1989-2008 Worth another shot???? Oculus Rift III. Home Console Ralph Baer (1922-2014), Odyssey, and Atari o 1966: Baer writes down notes on how to use an ordinary TV set for playing games while at a bus stop terminal in NYC “The purpose of this invention it so provide a large variety of low-cost data entry devices which can be used by an operator to communicate with a monochrome or color tv set …” The Game Unit #6 #7, aka “The Brown Box” o “A home TV Game product might be the natural province of television set manufactures” –Ralph Baer, Video Games in the Beginning, p 56 Magnavox TV 1967 Magnavox Odyssey (1972) IV. Arcade subculture Coin-operated machines (1970s) o 1981, Pier 39 o “… a new species of public space…” –David Sudnow, “Memory,” Pilgrim in the Microworld Instructions were minimalist understatements: “Enough to make sure you know to put in money. Some business this coin-op irony.” –Sudnow Rewards: Extrinsic v Intrinsic: “at least some of the reinforcement is no doubt extrinsic, taking the form of praise and admiration from peers and other onlookers” – Loftus and Loftus, “Why Videogames Are Fun” o Contrast of arcade and home console? o Flexibility of the medium; play a game at home or in an arcade, by yourself or with others, COMPUTERS! Santa Cruz Boardwalk, 1981 “[Arcades] are places where social contact is made in a friendly atmosphere and where friendships are formed.” –Loftus & Loftus, “The Arcade Subculture” Are Arcades a fad? o “People won’t have a chance to get bored with video games… They may not remain in precisely their current form, but rather they are likely to evolve as new developments in the computer/electronics industries emerge.” NOT a fad! LECTURE 5 – Games as Texts: Roleplay and Text Adventure Wednesday, January 20 th _______________ = important points _______________ = vocabulary Red Text = what professor marked as important in class Announcements: -student research opportunity: Seif El-Nasr, Magy – email@example.com Katherine Isbister – Katherine.firstname.lastname@example.org -Assignment due in class on Monday!! Concepts: Games as texts Ludology vs narratology Characters: Agents/Avatars Worlds: From Adventure to MUD1 I. Games as Texts Reading: A Core Skill? Russel Bermand, Stanford o What might this mean in a world of new media? Reading > Text o World building o Reading still relevant in new media (i.e. text, emails, etc.) But then, what is text??? Defining the text o Writing in games narrative experience… who is the author? o Eliza lives in Second Life o Weizenbaum’s Eliza First conversation/speech bot Parser analyzes what user entered; another part constructs response Cheating intelligence/cheating solution to AI = computer could act intelligent without actually being intelligent; you can still interact with it like you would a person Weizenbaum caught people talking to Eliza about serious topics, i.e. their failing marriage o This disturbed him In 1966 paper, Weizenbaum had second thoughts: said that to explain is to explain away… once a particular program is unmasked, once you understand how it works, its magic crumbles away New type of reading/writing? (Coding?) Reading Problems: Context Defining the text Interpretation Context: o Joseph Weizenbaum (1923-2008) 1955: ERMA (Bank of America) 1963: MIT assistant professor 1964: Eliza 1976: Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgment to Calculation (paper about Eliza) Text, version 1: publication (the paper) Text, version 2: interaction transcript of performance between user and machine o Breaking the parser – will happen accidentally because what she says won’t make sense o Eliza may cheat but Eliza paved the way for Siri, Cortana, etc. Text, version 3: Source code o Text that produces the text of our conversation with Eliza o One text is producing another text, often in unpredictable ways Can take advantage of this by making it, modding it, etc. Code as Literature – can make better programs by considering programs to be works of literature Eliza as a text: article in which software is described output of program (literally text in this case) source code written by the author of the program o text as procedures? Output? Procedural writing is how people typically talk about Eliza II. Ludology vs Narratology (maybe games aren’t texts?) (Game v Narrative) Ludology = games are games Narratology = games are about story telling Game essentialism = “games should be interpreted only as members of their own class, and only in terms of their defining abstract formal qualities” (Janet Murray, The Last Word on Ludology v Narratology in Game Studies (2005)) o Includes story-telling quality o Another way to think about games o Games can be a story telling medium and still be considered their own medium III. Characters and Worlds 60s, 70s – working out what computers and games could do for characters and worlds Characters (agents, avatars, and interactivity) o Playing with machines, not on them “Of all the toys that are machines that work by themselves and can be enjoyed in solitude for endless periods of time, the apotheosis is undoubtedly today’s video game.”; an automaton (Sutton-Smith, 1986, pp 61-62) Agents (machines as autonomous players) o Chess-Playing Machines 1920: Gonzalo Torres y Quevedo shows rook endgame Machine to Norbert Wiener 1950 – Claude Shannon, “A Chess-Playing Machine”, Scientific American The article focuses on AI rather than the fact that the machine could simply play chess 2004 – Von Kempelen’s “turk” Heinz-Nixdorf-Form Ended up being a guy under the table with magnets to help the machine Automaton Back to Eliza! o Computational linguistics Playing with machine Human = ability to converse o 1 month after Eliza Audrey Hepburn’s “My Fair Lady” (based on Pygmalion) Behaves differently because of use of language o Pygmalion and Galatea Artist (Pygmalion) falls in love with statue (Galatea); statue comes to life as a woman after he kisses it/falls in love with it o Weizenbaum: Eliza’s Misplaced Humanity “No computer can be made to confront genuine human problems in human terms.” (Computer Power and Human Reason, p 223) o Conversing with computers The Imitation Game – Alan Turing: 1936: On Computable Numbers 1937-1938: Princeton University 1939-1945: Bletchley Park 1945-1947: National Physical Lab 1948-1954: U of Manchester Alan Turing On Computable Numbers o “Machines are intended to carry out any operations which could be done by a human computer.” –Turing, p 444 o Universal (Turing) Machine – a machine that can do anything a human (computer) could do; might be capable of thought o Ultra broke Enigma – Turing Machine broken German codes during WWII o 1950 Computing Machinery and Intelligence Can machines think? Are there computers that can imitate people? Are there imaginable computers that would do well in the imitation game? What will happen when a machine takes the part of A in this game? Chatterbox competitions Katherine Hayles – distinguishing between enacted body (present in the flesh on one side of the computer screen) and represented body (produced through the verbal and semiotic markers constituting it in an electronic environment) produced through verbal markers; brought into conjunction through the technology that connects them Turing Test “proves” that the overlay between the enacted and the represented bodies is no longer a natural inevitability but a contingent production, mediated by a technology that has become so entwined with the production of identity that it can no longer meaningfully be separated from the human subject. Avatars (players inhabiting the machine) o Erving Goffman (1922-1982) – The Presentation of Slef in Everyday Life (1959) May misunderstand the situation and come to conclusions that are warranted neither by the individual’s intent nor by the facts Frames = different ways we present ourselves Metaverse = a virtual online representation of reality Coined by Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi novel Snow Crash (1992) Stephenson’s vision of how a virtual reality-based Internet might evolve in the near future Avatar = special kind of character; agents, virtual characters we act through (in games or virtual worlds) 1. Hindu Myth. The descent of a deity to the earth in an incarnate form 2. Manifestation in human form; incarnation 3. Manifestation or presentation to the world as a ruling power or object of worship 4. Loosely, Manifestation; display; phase Avatarus Islandus: started using “avatar” as we know it Avatar fashion Lucasfilm’s Habitat: 2D world where people could interact via avatars o Avatars as Virtual Citizens: “The most important of these is that managing a cyberspace world is not like managing the world inside a single-user application or even a conventional online service… it’s more like governing an actual nation.” (Morningstar and Farmer) Second Life IV. Text-Based World-Building (from Adventure to Mud1) Adventure (and other text adventures) o BBN – Building Arpanet 1969 Bolt, Beranek, and Newman receive contract from Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) for Interface Message Processor (IMP) developing the Internet (Arpanet at the time) o William (“Will”) Crowther, B. 1936 MIT caving group Played RPGs (Dungeons and Dragons aka D&D) Wanted to work on game with his daughters Mammoth cave system World very D&D-like o Developed the internet on the side Wanted to make a computer game that would not be intimidating to non-computer people, and that was one of the reasons why I made it so that the player directs the game with natural language input involved network of computers Completed late 1975/early 1976 o Wood’s Adventure – Don Woods (2006) Don Woods modded Adventure Talked about Zork, Adventure, MUD1, etc in his email… that’s how Stanford found the original source code for Adventure Went more towards D&D than the original game Game would construct actual map based on conversation with computer o Spatial games: Hunt the Wumpus Hunt the Wumpus was a maze game Problem: constructing space with computer SHRELU – Stanford game, spatial 1970s: what did it mean to talk about games with space? Game world?! How to get people to understand that space is specifically constructed? This was very weird at the time! V. Genres? Action & Adventure Spacewar! Adventure Culture “Lensman” (Sci-Fi) Tolkien, D&D, spelunking Institutions MIT, Stanford MIT, Stanford, BBN Tech PDP-1, CRT, Controllers Computers, Arpanet IMP Business Coin-op, TV games, Adventure Intl, Infocom (home computer games computers) Genre Action Adventure Differences between Spacewar and Zork: Visual vs text Action vs Puzzle-solving Arena vs Room-based space Multiplayer vs Single player Console vs PC ?? Scott Adams – Adventure International o Adams was captivated by Colossal Cave Adventure and Adventure o Challenged himself; wanted to see if he could write an Adventure type game on the TRS80 o Adventureland Version on Apple still text based but introduced graphics (still images) o A “roleplaying simulation” Adventure is a RP simulation – Adams simulate a world not multiplayer but had certain setting, etc. Disk or Tape version VI. Case Study: Infocom Zork I = first game they developed available on almost every platform o Games produced better o Database was so poor (even though they worked on it the most) it almost killed the company Dave Lebling on D&D: old style of D&D = creative solutions to problems; creativity > story > obsessing about numbers First “rockstar” company in computer game industry Focus on text-based “interactive fiction” o Prided itself on its lack of graphics Spinout from MIT-also developed application software (database) Feelies = objects related to game story; game merchandise o Think of the fun stuff you get when you buy the special edition of a game Interactive Fiction aka “Text Adventure” = o Narrative Thread Story (most puzzle-solving) “Many things that Adventure players enjoyed – logic and resource-management puzzles and the exploration of a complex virtual topography within the context of a framing story – remain staples in adventure, role-playing, and multiplayer game genres” (Dennis Jerz, Somewhere Nerby is Colossal Cave”) Tell a story represent a setting/world/environment solve puzzles, game elements (text adventure) “Get inside a story” o World Model Spatial Structure Programmers would draw map, program it, gamers would draw map while they played o Text Interaction Text seen as code or as transcript Both relate Parser interaction = code that reads input and responds appropriately; also relies on database (thesaurus) Robert Pinsky - Mindware (1984), Myst (1993) (Myst constructed around a book) Intrigued by games Verb table = what verbs will you assign to objects? o Pinsky helped game designers by using this Adventure largely about quest story, much like great literature (i.e. Gilgimesh) What does he think this is pointing to? o People tend to think there is more freedom in games than there is in novels… Pinsky thinks the opposite is true: End result is determined by the game makers; someone knows how your story ends Books: you use your own imagination, can turn the pages at your own free will VII. MUD (The beginning of online roleplaying and virtual worlds) MUD – Stanford – Essex > MUD o “A couple of students from Essex University used the facility to log onto the computer in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of MIT in America, and sent a message out on the Zork mailing list… Message read ‘You haven’t lived ‘til you’ve died in MUD’.” o For those who don’t know, MUD stands for Multi-User Dungeon. It’s the world’s first adventure game which allows more than one person to wander around in its environment at the same time. (Roy Bartle, MUD, MUD, Glorious MUD, Micro Adventurer (Sept 1984): 22-25) o Source code available at SUL o Follows Adventure’s text-based mode of interaction but not scripted in the same way o Habitat might be considered a graphical version of MUD, followed by 3D MMOs in mid-1990s RECAPPING WEEKS 1-3: By the 1970s: Interface = Screen + Control Immersion = Navigable spaces Narrative & World-Building Game Types: Adventure/Action
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