On Universals, Formalism & the Critical Reception of BioShock Infinite
So the last week has resulted in a plethoraof critical writing about BioShock Infinite, many of which (encapsulated in Cam’s list) is quite good, even when I disagree with it. Today more words have been spent on the game, most notably Leigh Alexander’s retrospective on it – a piece which I think stands as some of her best writing on videogames to date. While I think that a lot of us can agree that the game itself isn’t necessarily deserving of the heaps of praise – and that much of the critical writing revolves around the collective disappointment with the game – i think that in itself makes the game that much more important. The lead up to Irrational’s game was a long one, and as somebody who deliberately avoids most videogame pre-release marketing, I was myself caught in the game’s – to take a term from Levi Bryant – regime of attraction. I was pulled into the force that constituted not what the game materially was but the affect – the expressive elements – that it gave off, that it signalled to those involved in Game Studies, the enthusiast press, and the developers and twittergentsia that I interact with on a daily basis.
this is so fuckin good
One only has to spend a term trying to teach college literature to realize that the quickest way to kill an author’s vitality for potential readers is to present that author ahead of time as “great” or “classic.” Because then the author becomes for the students like medicine or vegetables, something the authorities have declared “good for them” that they “ought to like,” at which point the students’ nictitating membranes come down, and everyone just goes through the requisite motions of criticism and paper-writing without feeling one real or relevant thing. It’s like removing all oxygen from the room before trying to start a fire.
— A footnote in David Foster Wallace’s essay about Joseph Frank’s volumes on Dostoevsky. This guy just got it.
EDIT: This essay was written in 1996. I decided to look up Joseph Frank to see if he ever finished his Dostoevsky project. It turns out his death was reported two days ago. That’s freaky. (via jickleblerg)
At the end of high school, I had a weird thing - not romantic or sexual, but very close and personal - going with a girl that I was very much into. It was the most high school of high school things, and it would be improper to get into details. It ended poorly, we’re no longer in any sort of…
“The past is a foreign country.”
“On Tuesday, Google announced via Google+ that Image Search now has an ‘Animated’ filter. That means that if you’re only searching for animated magic, you need never be bothered with a still image again.”
Zoomorphism as a new trend.
On playing Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride (x)
(Source: fuckyeahmandypatinkin, via gerrycanavan)
this is the kind of art i make
echoes of the coming of Meillassoux’s Virtual God (who doesn’t exist (yet))
This Twitter bot provides random sentences from Bruno Latour’s published writings (translated into English). Its operations don’t seem to be entirely automatic or completely random because it doesn’t post on an exact mechanical schedule, it makes a different number of postings each day, it occasionally skips a day or two, and it doesn’t seem to repeat sentences. This suggests that there may be more than one actor in the (social) network, consisting of a text-mining program and a human being running it, selecting interesting results and posting them on Twitter. It is only fitting that this kind of cyborg bot tribute be offered to Latour, whose principle of “generalized symmetry” led him to study “the productions of humans and nonhumans simultaneously” (We Have Never Been Modern 103).
The result is an intriguing way to read Latour— piecemeal and out of context— which focuses attention on the poetic function of his language as well as on his ideas as they cling to these short (no more than 140 character) sentences. This bot also serves as cut-up, assembled over time, which frees Latour’s voice from the constraints placed by the logic of the monograph. Or as Burroughs proclaimed, “Cut the word lines and you will hear their voices.”
PRO TIP: lol even better is https://twitter.com/Latourswag
(also, no mention of the fact that LatourBot occasionally tweets a “smh” (aka “shaking my head”) after some tweets - a potential clue that the owner is not necessarily “a fan”)
This set of Twitter accounts have a little literary and other kinds of fun with, around, and in spite of Ian Bogost’s Twitter account: @ibogost (depicted below).
A leading scholar and creator of video games, he has garnered a large Twitter following by voicing his opinions on his areas of…
In case this photo left any doubt, this charmer had about half a dozen photographs of himself in a fedora.