Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Unit Operations: An Approach to Video Game Criticism

I think the shortest explanation one could give about Unit Operations is that it’s basically proposing a new way of interpreting media. Drawing on an impressive triple combo of philosophy, literature, and computer science, it’s a merger that proposes a way to interpret an increasingly technologically driven media culture. It’s also really hard to follow. I don’t mean that it’s poorly written, I think Bogost got the point across as thoroughly as he could, it’s that it’s highly unlikely you will understand all three fields. I can do philosophy and literature, but I had to get help with the programming theory. It’s not going to get any easier to understand by me rambling about it, so just click the link below and read the post yourself.

At the moment I’m focusing on the psychology books on violence and video games but after that I think I’m going to start exploring the source material for this work. Cybertexts, Homo Ludens, etc. Video game criticism is tricky because everyone is talking about the same things but they are either using concepts that have become ubiquitous like the magic circle or attempting to reinvent the wheel. If this series accomplishes anything, it will be getting readers up to speed on these concepts in their original form so they understand the adjustments people are making.

Law school will be starting up soon, which means that my schedule will be shifting into ‘Sit in a library and read legal documents all day.’ I can only stand so much reading, so this might take a back seat to the usual things I grind out. I also really need to get to work on my not having any clue what to do with myself come May when I graduate. If you know someone who'd want to hire a person with a law degree who knows way too much about video games, don't be a stranger.

Anyways, the summary is about as clear as I could get it to be. You're always better off reading the book yourself.

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