Miscellany Feed

Prototypes for Blog Revival

Over on Only a Game today,  the continuation of my discussion of the threat of blog cluster extinction. As well as consideration of what made previous clustering methods work, there are three suggested ‘blog revival’ options – chogging, ABoRT and bloots – with an invitation for both feedback and additional suggestions.

You can read Prototypes for Blog Revival over at Only a Game.


The Extinction of Blogs

Over on Only a Game today, I ask if the community of bloggers destined for extinction. Here’s an extract:

Why was Google+ toxic to the blog clusters? After all, it made it easier to share blog posts, and simpler to manage comments from random passers by. True enough. But it also sank the concept of engagement with another person’s ideas by transferring the locus of community from the blog to the social network. Bloggers do all the work for Google in posting ideas or sharing links, but Google sells the tickets to this three-ring circus, monetizing the data and the social connectivity.

I welcome your feedback to The Extinction of Blogs over at Only a Game.


On the Verge of Beginning to Finish

Beginning of the End Still more swamped than a drunken Cajun fisherman who mistakes a log for his boat. But I can see the light switch at the junction nearest the end of the tunnel, even if no actual light is reaching my retinas at this precise moment in time...

  • I was on national radio yesterday, on BBC Radio 4's consumer affairs show, You and Yours, commenting on (of all things) the portrayal of disfigurement in videogames. It’s a step up from local radio, to be sure! Slightly too many 'ums' coming out of my mouth for my taste, but I guess I did fine. If you’re in the UK you can listen for the next week on BBC iPlayer. My slot is 20 minutes in, after gold traders and smart meters.
  • Now less than one day’s writing (about 3,000 words) short of a first draft manuscript for Chaos Ethics! So far inside its world now that I no longer know how people usually use the word 'ethic'.
  • Have a final version of my PhD materials approved by my supervisor squad now. Soon, I shall be a real fake doctor!
  • After a year, the journal Games and Culture found one reviewer to provide feedback for "Implicit Game Aesthetics". Alas, I don't think they understood my paper but on the plus side I can now edit it to reduce the chance that others will also misunderstand it. In journal terms, let’s call it a win.
  • Three games of Arkham Horror this weekend, all against Zhar. Result: 14 Investigators devoured. We had good fun, but it’s galling to lose so badly so many times in a row. Great to get a friend along for the last game, though – even if he was as doomed as we were!

So close to wriggling free of my obligations – expect far more frequent and regular bloggery from me this Summer!

Reposted from Only a Game.


The Final Winner

It’s with great pleasure that I announce that the winner of the third copy of Dungeons & Dragons & Philosophy is Samantha Blackmon. A signed copy of the book will be winging its way to Indiana shortly! (Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery).

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the Spring Review Drive – you all won a book, so that’s a pretty equitable outcome for all concerned!


Win a Book in the Spring Review Drive!

Help me gather reviews and you could win a book… If you have read any of the five books pictured below, you could win one of three signed copies of Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophy I’m offering as prizes in a special Spring review drive!

Bateman Books A friend recently pointed out to me that I don’t have a great deal of reviews on the Amazon sites, and that it would be good to get the numbers up. To this end, I’m offering books as prizes for three lucky contributors to a review drive running throughout Spring. To take part, you have to have read at least one of the five books pictured above, and contribute a review to either Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk (or both – for double the chance of winning!). At the start of the competition, there are 10 reviews for these books on Amazon.com and just one on Amazon.co.uk – surely we can do better than that!

Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Write a short review (a couple of sentences will do) for one or more of the books above and post them on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, or both.
  2. Send an email to comp [at] ihobo.com giving your name and address, the review text,  and the website posted to. If you have any special request about how you’d like the book signed, you can mention this too.
  3. If you post the review on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, you can send one competition email for each site, for twice the chances to win!

That’s all there is to it! Each book review on each site is worth one more chance to win, so if you’ve read more than one of my books you can rack up multiple chances to win. (If you’ve already written a review of one of these books for one of these sites, you can still submit that review to the competition).

There will be three random draws for prizes, one at the end of February, another at the end of March, and a final one at the end of April. If you enter before the first draw, you will get three chances to win for each review you submit.

Good luck!

Closing date for entries is 30th April 2013. Prize draws will be held on or shortly after 1st March, 1st April and 1st May. Competition is open to individuals with a postal address anywhere in the world. Multiple entries are permitted provided each corresponds to a review posted to either Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk, the text of which must be included with the entry. Reviews posted to the relevant sites prior to the competition commencing are still eligible for entry into the competition provided the relevant email is submitted to the competition address. The same review text may be posted to Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and this will qualify as two entries provided each is submitted in a separate email. Participants may only win one prize no matter how many times they enter. Winners will be determined at random using polyhedral dice rolled by an appointed judge. The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The prize may not be transferred to any other person. No cash alternative or alternative prize is available. Spambots will be shot. All irregularities will be handled by the forces controlling each dimension. Entry in the competition implies acceptance of these rules.

Competition cross-posted from Only a Game.

This competition is currently open.


Edinburgh Interactive 2012

I’m proud to report I have a gig at Edinburgh Interactive this year with Ren Reynolds, at 2:30 pm on Thursday 9th August. Here’s the blurb:

Are computer games art?

This seemingly obscure academic question can quickly get film critics spluttering, lawyers scribbling, and bloggers, erm... blogging. Why all this passion? Because if computer games really are art then they matter. Not in the sense of computer games being the UK's most successful creative industry where we export products and talent around the world, or games being a massive boost to the British economy. No. Really matter. As a culture that people have to take seriously.

To answer the question once and for all, philosopher and policy wonk Ren Reynolds talks to Chris Bateman about games, art and their intimate relationship. As author of the book Imaginary Games, founder of International Hobo and lecturer, Chris brings the twin perspectives of game maker and academic to this vexed question.