Recently, I have been coming across a lot of information about video games as art. I was pretty excited to see that both the Smithsonian and the Museum of Modern Art are hosting video game related exhibits.
- Smithsonian, The Art of the Video Game: The creators of this exhibit acknowledge the passion behind gamers, and are using that to select the games that will be on display. Gamers can visit the exhibit’s website to vote. The exhibit will run during spring of 2012, then will be available as a traveling exhibit.
- Long March: Restart: MoMA exhibit by Feng Mengbo. This exhibit depicts “the massive military retreat of The Chinese Communist Party’s Red Army, under the command of Mao Zedong and others, that began in 1934” through the media of a video game (see MoMA PS1 Blog). The viewer interacts with the exhibit by playing the game, displayed on a 80′x20’ screen, with a wireless controller. (Excerpt from my blog post at News from the Mudd.)
This past summer, I helped a music history professor find information on popular music in video games. Since she was not familiar with video games, my husband and I had her over to our house to get a mini lesson on music in video games. We showed her the opening cut scenes from Final Fantasy X-2 and Kingdom Hearts for popular music, the opening cut scene from Mass Effect 2 to show an example of music that adds emotion to a game, and the opera scene from Final Fantasy 3 for a timeless example. We also played the Final Fantasy victory music that was played at our wedding. While helping her with research, I was excited to find out that schools are beginning to add areas of study that focus on video game music composition. One example is the Berklee College of Music’s Video Game Scoring minor.
Another subject we talked about was the popularization of video game music. I was surprised to discover that there is very little scholarly research being done in this area. Video game music inspires a variety of bands and remixes, see Overclocked Remix, and even orchestral concerts such as the popular Video Games Live. This delves into the area that I am most interested in- video game culture. With recent publications such as Extra Lives, and Reality is Broken, I have a feeling that this is an emerging area of study.
(Yes, Final Fantasy X-2 is my favorite video game)
This past summer, my husband finally convinced me to set up a Google Voice account. One of my favorite things I discovered about Google Voice is the texting feature. It allows a user to receive text messages not only to Google Voice, but also to an email of her choosing. Since text a librarian features have been all the rage, I thought it would be pretty awesome to set up an account for my interlibrary loan department. I began by creating a Gmail account, then proceeded to create a Voice account. The phone number I chose is 920-659-0717. Voice provides the option of trying to make words out the number, if one so desires (like my husband’s gaming blog 919-886-4IMS). I set up the account so that a phone call to this number will make the interlibrary loan office phone ring, but if a text message is sent, the message will arrive in my Outlook inbox (as well as my Google Voice and Gmail inboxes).
To advertise this service, I made little signs and placed them around the library. For even more convenience to your patrons, it is possible to create a QR code that starts a text message to the given phone number. To create one of these, take a look at my favorite QR generator, Kaywa, and select SMS for the content type.
Google Voice has lots more useful features, like call widgets that can be embedded into web pages and voice to text conversion of voice mail messages.
This is a great way to try out a text a librarian service without having to worry about a software install or, best of all, without a cost.
At work today, I received request for a rather interesting book- The Ugly-Girl Papers; or, Hints for the Toilet. I could not send it to another library because of the poor condition of our 1877 edition, but I was able to read a little from it for my amusement. The first part of chapter one is titled “A Woman’s Business to be Beautiful”. Perhaps the first line of this chapter, “the first requisite in a woman toward pleasing others is that she should be pleased with herself” (p. 9) actually is worth considering- for men and women. Unfortunately, the book goes down hill from there. I found a New York Times book review of an earlier edition from December 1874. The gentleman reviewer seems to find the book pretty amusing and even goes so far as to call it loathsome. While many of the suggestions in this book are ridiculous at best, I wonder how much of his mocking tone comes from the misogyny of the times.
Finally, for your reading pleasure- I give you The Ugly Girl Papers
I have been reading the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and it has been making me feel kinda bad for no longer being involved in animal activism. I don’t eat meat- but I used to be more involved. I have also been feeling sad lately because it has been almost 2 years since I was last able to play World of Warcraft. Tonight, I happened upon a video that made me feel better in both respects.
When I played WoW, I blindly fought hundreds of [almost] helpless creatures just to get ahead. This video reminded me that by not playing WoW, I have been avoiding the greedy slaughter of countless murlocs…
“And then, they killed Harold and took his lewts”
After weeks of wondering what to say for my debut blog post, I’ve decided to just start things off by describing what I plan to talk about. I plan on discussing and sharing interesting news about video games and gaming, books, gaming in libraries and learning environments, new technologies in libraries, vegetarian stuff, and random fun stuff. That’s about it.