Elit

We’ve come to the end of the road as we now enter the final part of the course, Electronic Literature, henceforth called Elit. This is the part I thought would bore me the most but as I’ve found out this is something that I really enjoy, and I have enjoyed it many a time before. To my suprise, I’ve already talked about one genre of elit in the offhand comment about and old Lord of the Rings text based game, that falls within the genre of interactive fiction. As I’ve been playing some of these games from before and tried picking it up again recently this will be what I’ll be focusing on for this part of the course.

I’ve been looking at some of the great work from the elit collection we’ve been going through. It’s something just so satisfying feeling in control of the narrative yet you’re just shooting dice, in the dark, without your glasses. Anything can happen and you still get the feeling that you’re in control of it. This gets me all fired up to dust of the old dice bag and play some Dungeons and Dragons as well.

I’ve also gotten more confident in the writing process of these blogs as we go along yet I’ve chosen to stay anonymous through it all just to keep my sanity and preferred this not come up when you google my name.

Esports, revisited.

I’ve just gotten home from my trip to Los Angeles and I figured I’d blog about this since I didn’t get to the last two lectures, being out of the country and all.

What I do want to talk about is esports, as that is what I spend alot of my time on this past year. So we grabbed some tickets and flew out to sunny California for a week to catch some of the games at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank. It was super fun to see it live and feel the atmosphere in the arena as our favorite teams (my personal favorite is the South Korean team Seoul Dynasty) battle it out on the big stage. You really get the sense that a lot of money is being poured into this now, see picture evidence below.  This match was the last match on a Wednesday night so the crowd was in no way insane but it really got packed during the weekends.

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I figured a small update on the team is in order. Our team in the highest division has unfortunately been hitting some bumps along the way and we’ve lost our spot for the next season. We were actually supposed to be safe but as there was a couple of hiccups between some of the other teams we ended up at the bottom of the ladder and will be sent down to the division under. This was kind of a bummer, but it got better. The team in the lowest division on the other hand have had a great season, loosing only one map (out of twenty in total) so they’re on the expressway to a higher division. It’s been a lot of fun following these guys and gals through ups and downs for the last months and can’t wait til the next season starts in August. I will keep on doing this for immediate future, but I’m looking to maybe engage more local youth in Bergen and try forming a more local club as time goes on.

 

Empathy

Empathy games, that’s the hot topic this week as we delved into the this genre of games. As the name implies these are not the kinda games you play to have a good time, but they’re a great tool to learn a thing or two.

I’ve tried a couple of rounds of Spent after we got introduced to it. The premises is pretty basic, you got 1000$ to your name and you got to make it last as long as possible with all unforeseen expenses among other things.  Some of the messages that you get during a regular round can be pretty horrifying, and in the end your left with a feeling you don’t get from a regular round of your favorite feelgood games. I’ve also seen my sister use empathy card games with my nephew to try to get him to understand how something can make you feel.  This is an exciting genre that I will be watching closely as there’s already been some games that’s had great reviews and scores across the board from critics.

I’ve had my eyes set on That Dragon, Cancer for some while now so I guess this is a good a time as any to go a head and give it a try. I’m just a little afraid it’s going to break my heart.

Let’s twine it up

This week was a little different, we went to see the exhibit that Mia had set up at the faculty library. The piece consisted of red twine connecting different forms of text, art as well as some hidden QR-codes which directed you to different artwork and sites that had anything to do with text and digital art.

I like this way of interacting with exhibits, as I’ve already said about the museum I visited in Berlin. It’s nice to feel like a part of it, contributing in your own little way.

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What I take away from this is how amazing it is to see how the network that we’re all some small part of, crossing each other and making this great big whole. Even just a who’s not really putting it all in there can find a piece of himself there and that is pretty cool to me.

And of course we all got to enjoy a slice of ‘za (as they kids say?) while hanging out!

This is it, let’s go!

I guess I’m not alone about getting excited this week, now we’re talking about games. This is of course my favorite pastime and I do regard myself as a hardcore gamer, which is pretty funny since I haven’t really been playing a lot the last two years except a few AAA titles.

On the other hand, I started an esports organization (named Alopex eSports) last august with a couple of friends and have been doing that and watching our players practice and compete for the last couple of weeks

This part of the gaming industry is huge, and getting bigger by the minute. We ended up getting a spot in the highest division in Telenorligaen, which is our biggest national tournament, owned and curated by Gamer.no. We don’t play, just manage/coach the players and try to network with people in the industry.

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This season we only have 2 teams playing Overwatch but we’ll be looking to expand to other games towards the summer. I guess I’ll come back with an update about how the teams do in this season towards the end, so far we’ve taken a loss and a draw.

We’ll actually be traveling to the holy land of esport, Los Angeles, to watch some of the Overwatch League matches towards the end of April. I’ll make sure to grab some pictures from sunny California for the blog.

 

This reminds me, I have some trophies left to collect on Monster Hunter: World!

Feeling nostalgic

This week we started with gaming history and some of the theory around games, which has been interesting to say the least. This class got me thinking about an old text-based Lord of the Rings game (it’s more or less Zork) I played a lot as a kid, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere. I should… very much like to hold it again, one last time.

It also got me started with Dungeons and Dragons again, which is the ultimate gaming experience to me. Playing loose and fast with the rules to the point that it’s not actually a game anymore, we’re just collectively writing a story and loving every moment of it. When we were younger we used to make these homemade role playing games in our notebooks at school, haven’t thought about that for a while. So that has led me back to writing a new adventure for the group that I play with based on the old Chinese dynasties, feudal japan and a healthy dollop of evil sorcerers.

After reading some of the other students blogs over the last few weeks I feel that I’m not “getting it”. The “it” I’m talking about is the blog. This is of course not critique to the course, I see the value in doing this. Generating content as we go through the material is a pretty interesting twist to learning it. The gripe I have with this is that after writing these I feel shallow, like I can’t for the life of me have an original thought or opinion of my own. Hopefully I’ll figure it out as I go on, I guess this is part of the experience.