Chungking Espresso

Status Update

Posted in Miscellany by Simon Ferrari on May 10, 2010

Hey friends. Before you vomit: this isn’t one of those “sorry I’ve been away but I promise I’m back now and I’ll try really hard to write each week” things.

Haven’t written here in awhile, because I’ve been writing exclusively for Rules of the Game, editing all the work there, and sending out hundreds of emails to PR companies to get review copies for people. Eventually the writers there will be able to write more efficiently, and I’ll be able to let the other editors take over some of the heavy lifting, and I’ll be able to write here again. Currently I’m wrapping up the second part of my MUD memoir, an analysis of progression and weapon design in God of War III, and an analysis of the first week of a 12-player Neptune’s Pride session.

I’ve also been crunching on my research assistantship, which, this semester, mostly involved archiving all of our departmental thesis and dissertation bibliographies in Zotero, making a research blog for a partnership between the ACM and our department, and making a template for faculty blogs. I’ve become slightly better at PHP and a lot better at graphic design, though I doubt I’ll be using those skills in the near future.

This summer I’m doing two neat things: writing book chapters and working as a game design intern at Area/Code, the company founded by Frank Lantz. It’s in Chelsea (in Manhattan), and I’ll probably be living in Washington Heights near where my parents met in the late 70s. I’m excited to go up there, as I haven’t lived in New York since I was six. There are a lot of family members and childhood friends that I haven’t seen in a long while, and it will be good to reconnect with them and guilt them into buying me dinner. It will also be fun to finally test whether my Master’s education has taught me any skills necessary to actually design economically-viable games.

Frank doesn’t think simulations are arguments, or he doesn’t think games are simulations (I’m not sure which, maybe both), so it’ll be fun to split hairs with him and Charles all summer. I also want to get my initials on some of the arcade cabinets at NYU—mostly the ones that Jesper Juul and Frank have high scores on.

Toward the end of my stay, in August, it’s possible that I’ll be able to get copies of Newsgames to do a bit of an author lecture at a bookstore (my friend Ryan works at one somewhere in the city). The book chapters I’m working on are both for Carnegie Mellon’s ETC Press, a kind of experiment in electronic peer review. One is an expansion of my article on Final Fantasy XIII (by the way, thank you again to everyone who’s been linking it around the web, and to those who’ve criticized it and helped make the next draft a lot tighter). The second is an article about Train, expanding my discussion of it toward the beginning of my thesis. It’s been a pleasure to email Brathwaite with questions and ideas for the piece.

I’m not bringing any of my game consoles up to New York, so I hope to finally catch up on every single indie game I downloaded on my Windows partition and never got around to playing.

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3 Responses

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  1. Charles said, on May 11, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    I think there’s actually a bit of a split. Frank thinks that simulations don’t make arguments and I think that games aren’t simulations (at least in the common sense).


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