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DIGC310 Digital Game Cultures
DIGC310 Digital Game Cultures
DIGC310 Digital Game Cultures


And so, we are in our last week of projects. It's reflection time, so please remember to construct your dossiers carefully.

First week of game project presentation over, the order for today is:

1] The Defenders

2] Mean Streets

3] Delirium

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A must-read article on hyperinflation in Diablo 3>>

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So, the order of this week's presentations is:

1] Galla World

2] Housewives vs Zombies

3] Rat Race


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>>>Week 9: beginning 6 May
Lecture: Australian Games and Gamers
The lecture this week considers digital games in culturally specific context and allows students to think through issues of identity, nationality and gender in digital games playing cultures. We examine the activities of Australian gamers, games fans, programmers, artists and journalists. We look to the trajectory between casual gamers and the ‘hardcore players and e-sports competitors and make a closer examination of the national industry and ask who buys games and why? Are we more like China, Japan and South Korea as gamers or do we reflect the Western audiences in the UK and US? Are games ‘gendered’ in their marketing, technologies, and production as much as their content? Is there a connection between national cultures and games that originate in particular national contexts?
Brand Jeffrey, Borchard Jill, Holmes Kym (2009), ‘Case Study: Australia’s Computer Games Audience and Restrictive Ratings System’, Communications & Strategies, no. 73, pp. 67-79.
Chan, Dean, (2006), ‘Negotiating Intra-Asian Games Networks: On Cultural Proximity, East Asian Games Design, and Chinese Farmers’, Fibreculture Journal, (8),  
Deuze, Mark, Chase Bowen Martin, and Christian Allen (2007), ‘The Professional Identity of Gameworkers’, Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies (13), pp.335-353 
Track down an Australian games developer, publisher, games magazine, distributor or retail company and provide a short referenced encyclopaedic style article – be sure to check your research but do not use Wikipedia at all during this part of the task.
Blog Task:
Examine the Wikipedia entry for the company you selected – is there anything you can add? Find one piece of information you can add then sign up to Wikipedia and make your changes – then document the process on your blog. (Remember to do this task in the correct order – no peaking at Wikipedia first!)
Online Posts [part 2] due on Friday this week.

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Required viewing people.
If you have any interest in the future trajectory of digital media in general, and gaming in particular, this keynote by Gabe Newell is simply required viewing. It's full of fascinating off-the-cuff insights, here's a few paraphrased choice bits:

The PC ecosystem is expanding and will continue to do so - because it's open. Open hardware + open software development beats everything else. 

Linux is a get out of jail free card for the industry [he talks about the gaming industry but I think it equally applies to everyone with a finger in digital media content distribution].

With virtual goods you have to think what scarcity actually means, and in the process re-imagine what is a game, and what is digital service.

Free to play should be, and will be, the standard for digital content [at least it seams Valve is betting on that big time].

Cloud games are a losing proposition because functionality is centered rather than distributed.

How do you distribute functionality around a network? You want to push intelligence towards the ends of the network, not in the middle. Putting functionality in the center of the network is latency inefficient.

The big value is in open auction houses, free to play worlds, and user generated content. 

Why? Because customers will always defeat us at generating cool content. 

The future Valve is betting on is one where user generated content means customer-made and operated stores, auction houses, mods, games, quests. 

The goal is to avoid curation and focus instead on aggregation. 'Curation is pre-internet'. 

Valve is working on prediction markets - they call them information discovery mechanisms [this is such a cool implementation of the price discovery concept from Austrian economics].

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I shared this via Twitter as well, but I think its a must see for everyone in DIGC at the moment. Imagine the possibilities!
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