Game Eaters

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Blu-Ray region coding scheme announced

This is an interesting tidbit from GamersReports:

Masakazu Honda @ ITMedia reports about the final review version of the AACS contents management system for HD formats such as Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD. AACS LA consists of IBM, Sony, Toshiba, Warner, Intel, Microsoft, Matsushita, and Disney.

+ Though Warner was eager to abolish region code and there were no objection until the final decision, film companies not in AACS LA opposed it and it was decided that region code stays in BD-ROM. But it undergoes reorganization. Basically, Japan and other East Asian countries except for China are moved to Region 1. The new region codes are

Region 1: North America, South America, East Asia except for China (India, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia etc.)
Region 2: Europe and Africa
Region 3: China, Russia and other countries

Of course, the gaming blogs are wondering if this will apply to PS3 games as well. As for where I am, Singapore's a bit of a weird state, because we're technically in the same "game region" as Japan, although not many people speak or read Japanese, and we're in a separate "Region 3" when it comes to DVD movies. However, since Japanese Xbox games almost always have an English language option, Japanese Xboxes are distributed and sold here more actively than PS2s or GameCubes, which are basically all imports or mods so that local buyers can play NTSC U/C games. Even the local Sony stores don't really pimp the PS2, although the PSP has a lot of visibility.

At any rate, this is probably somewhat good news for those North American fans of Japanese games. This includes the entire editorial staff of Game Eaters.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Sweet metaphor

My student Elris is a(n American) football player. He struggles with words, but he's actually a sentient being. And he's even understood that in videogame studies, we cannot study rules and stories independently from each other.
The ludology and narratology view is the like peanut butter and jelly. It just would not be as good without the other.

I'm so proud of him. The comparison is so sweet.

So the ludology vs narratology debate should enter a new stage of contention: Who is the butter and who is the jelly?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

WoW, what a musical

A friend of mine passed on this link to me recently, and I felt it should be shared with all.

The group doesn't credit the original artist, so I will (with a lil help from my friends ;)

"The Internet is for Porn" by Avenue Q


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Games as Art on the NYT

On the tails of Ebert's blog comes a more nuanced look at the games and art debate in The New York Times. Spielberg is cited in Ebert's place, without the peculiar claims of interactivity, while a couple of good points are brought up as to the emotions that games readily evoke.

Steven Spielberg last year offered one model for the medium to follow: cinema. In an address to students learning to be game developers at the University of Southern California, Mr. Spielberg, who has since contracted to create three games, challenged the industry to improve the storytelling, character development and emotional content in the same way it has enhanced the images and action. The medium will come of age, he said, "when somebody confesses that they cried at Level 17."

But movies are just one model for games to emulate. Henry Jenkins, director of the comparative media studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, suggested that they are equally close to dance, as a medium of performance, or architecture, as a medium of creating unique spaces.