Archive for October, 2008

From a medical student in Evansville, Indiana, who voted early:

“For me the most moving moment came when the family in front of me, comprising probably 4 generations of voters (including an 18 year old girl voting for her first time and a 90-something hunched-over grandmother), got their turn to vote. When the old woman left the voting booth she made it about halfway to the door before collapsing in a nearby chair, where she began weeping uncontrollably. When we rushed over to help we realized that she wasn’t in trouble at all but she had not truly believed, until she left the booth, that she would ever live long enough to cast a vote for an African-American for president. Anyone who doesn’t think that African-American turnout will absolutely SHATTER every existing record is in for a very rude surprise.”

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I haven’t been posting political items in this blog very much, and while this news clip is definately about the political campaign and the manic postures that are being adopted by people, I’m posting it here to point out something larger than politics.  Sound bites and aphorisms are unfortunately some of the most significant modes of discourse in the public arena, especially when it comes to politics.  There are exceptions to this, but the simple fact is that media whose goal is to get ratings will not end up answering to the public trust, but answering their advertisers.

I sincerely hope that Joe the plumber is not representative of America.  The fact that he would agree to such a vitriolic and unsubstantiated statement and then that he would refuse to come clean and say why he said it–what his reasons are, etc. is appalling and all too common today.  I would have had more respect for him if he had said that he was wrong to agree with an idea about which he knew nothing of the issues, but he did not.  He stubbornly clung to his pride, unable to see or care how such divisive, unsubstantiated, and factually incorrect comments can wound people, erode international relationships, and further propogate the impression among the world that the US cares not a whit for justice or mercy, but only for our own interests.  “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Your attitudes should be the same as Christ Jesus, who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant”  (Phil 2:3-7).

I have recently been reminded that words DO have strong effects on life.  They can would deeply, but they can also help to heal.  Let us be careful, then, how we speak–about God, about each other, about politics, about people who are different than ourselves.

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God Save the TSA!

Something worthy of the Quill readers.  enjoy.


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If you have not seen anything of Halo, you should look at some of my other posts for some machinima videos before you watch this one.  This is a short film made to publicize Halo 3.  The flashy parts are interesting, like actually seeing a real Warthog or seeing a Halo sniper rifle or Brutes in action, but the most interesting part of this film is that it is a new crossroads in gaming.  The film was made not as a live action feature, but as an advertisement, and this is a prime example of those instances when commodity and sign are the same, just like the Apple store is an example of commodity and space becoming the same thing.

This film was made with the cooperation of Microsoft, Bungie, Wingnut Films (Peter Jackson’s production company) and the Weta Workshop (the New Zealand design studio created by Jackson during the pre-production of the Lord of the Rings).  Enjoy.

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One of the things that intrigues me is how there are certain games that are pushing the form of traditional video gaming.  What interests me is the shift from a linear structure to a more free-form nonlinear structure.  This structure, though, is not always seen, because, at least currently, the idea of the HIDDEN is extremely significant in gaming.  There are always easter eggs (little surprises) inserted into games now, and these easter eggs have developed from mere novelties to entire subplots or backstories, portals into different modes of completing the game, complex allusions to ideas, plots, stories, or websites not in the game, etc.  In short, the possibilities and actual uses for this mode of gaming are limitless.  In order to fully explore these, one must remember that in gaming there is usually at least one linear progression (often through the plot of the campaign),

A quest through the woods hunting ring-wraiths is a linear experience.

A quest through the woods hunting ring-wraiths is a linear experience.

but also a non-linear way to experience the game.  This non-linear exploration is much more than just a new marketing tool.  It is the evidence of the way that new non-linear forms of media are changing the way we think.  

Linear along with non-linear.  

B and not-B contradicting.  But not contradicting.


Complex and abstract thought being explored creatively through the culturally agreed-upon lowest of all media forms–video gaming.


This is the moment when 2 waves collide and become a completely new wave, different from the others, containing the inertia from both,

complex linear thought--this isn't Star Trek yet.

complex linear thought--this isn

but the restrictions from neither.








A steel mill created these pellets, but now they are being used in conjunction with a video gaming blog discussion.  Disparate elements forming new cohesions and relationships.


The Alternate Reality Game is a significant new medium.  


If we could visually represent non-linear gaming relationships, they might look like this.

If we could visually represent non-linear gaming relationships, they might look like this.


Borland, John, and Brad King.  “Bees, ARGs, and the Birth of the Collective Detective.” Phi Kappa Phi Forum85.2 (2005): 21-24.ProQuest Research Library ProQuest. Crafton Hills College Library, Yucaipa, CA.  7 Dec. 2007 <http://proquest. umi.com/>.

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