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4. Silent Hill and Fatal Frame: Finding Transcendent Horror in and beyond the Haunted Magic Circle · Brenda S. Gardenour Walter

HEIDI CAMPBELL Indiana University Press ePub

Brenda S. Gardenour Walter

ON A RAINY AFTERNOON IN A SLEEPY, MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICAN town, seventeen-year-old Heather Mason visits an aging shopping mall on an errand for her father. Walking through the main entrance, Heather is transported to the horrifying town of Silent Hill, where the mall has become a monster-infested and blood-soaked nightmare. Descending through the strange worlds of Silent Hill, Heather crosses through several haunted circles, including a derelict hospital with a filthy, mirrored storeroom where she sees herself invaded by bloody tendrils and consumed by decomposing walls. Her consciousness raw from terror, she finally reaches Silent Hill’s rotten core where she must master the perverse rituals of a religious cult called “the Order” and use them in battle against their unholy and half-formed god. Thousands of miles away, a young woman named Miku Hinasaki searches for her brother in the fabled Himuro mansion high in the hills above Tokyo. Stepping across its decrepit threshold, she enters a haunted sphere, a foggy realm ruled by the angry dead, ancient curses, and long-forgotten Shinto rituals for the binding and loosening of hell. As a horrified Miku performs each arcane rite, she descends to Himuro’s most sacred circle, that of the Strangling Ritual. There, she not only witnesses the dismembering of the Shrine Maiden, but also faces the maiden’s vengeful ghost in a battle for her sanity and her brother’s freedom. In this chapter, I will explore supernatural horror in the ritualistic game worlds of Silent Hill and Fatal Frame and argue that by entering these horrific magic circles, both Western and Japanese players experience terror, abjection, and ultimately, religious transcendence.

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Ever been to this Maine castle?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Quakers and guns, this place has seen it all. With its wide lawn, towers, and fortresslike façade, this central Maine institution has a medieval air about it. It looks as though it could withstand a catapult siege. That’s the first of many ironies about the building, which sits in a village between two of Maine’s largest cities. Though it appears rugged and defensible, the peculiar-looking edifice’s history is rooted in nonviolence. A group of Quakers migrated to this quiet farming community from New York state shortly after the American Revolution, and built a seminary on these grounds in 1848. They built their new school on 330 acres, amid a grove of oaks and overlooking one of the state’s largest rivers, and to this day have an active church in town. Those buildings are long since gone, and in the twenties or thirties, the Tudor-style castle shown here was put up in their place. For the better part of 150 years it was an educational center. It served as a girls academy for a long time, and later became a co-ed, college-prep boarding school. The campus was occupied until 1989, when the school went under and the facility was subsequently purchased by the state and then left vacant for a decade. In 2000, after extensive renovations, it reopened as an academy of a different sort. The property’s Quaker history has proved a bit problematic for this new educational institution, though, because the new school wanted to use guns on the grounds and the Quaker family who donated nearby land to the previous tenant did so under a provision that specifically forbade firearms. The situation has been tricky, but it looks to be sorted out. Check page 100 to see its location.

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Does this old school ring any bells?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

And Maine teachers today think they have it rough. Shortly before this school was built in 1917, educators — primarily women in those days — were given a rather severe set of guidelines by the state to which they were expected to adhere: 1. You will not marry during the term of your contract. 2. You are not to keep company with men. 3. You must be home between the hours of 8 P.M. and 6 A.M. unless attending a school function. 4. You many not loiter downtown in ice cream stores. 5. You may not travel beyond city limits unless you have the permission of the chairman of the board. On and on went the prohibitions.

The city in question here is in northern Maine, and the school pictured sits in a neighborhood called Spragueville. According to local history, kids attended the old schoolhouse through the eighth grade up until after World War II, when area schools were consolidated into School Administrative District No. 1. After that the place was used as a church for a decade, and then left to the winds and snows that tear across the rolling hills for which this part of Maine is famous. In the eighties a group of area residents decided the school was worth restoring and set to it, finishing the job in 1987. In recent years the graceful clapboarded building has been the setting for a program somewhat ironically called “a day in a country school,” which brings local “city” kids to Spragueville. The irony is that this entire region is generally thought of as Maine at its most agrarian and rural. Farming put it on the map (along with a certain military installation) and many of its 9,511 citizens still make their living working in the fields. See page 101.

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11. Bridging Multiple Realities: Religion, Play, and Alfred Schutz’s Theory of the Life-World · Michael Waltemathe

HEIDI CAMPBELL Indiana University Press ePub

Michael Waltemathe

IN RESISTANCE: FALL OF MAN, A FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER SET IN an alternative history, aliens have attacked earth and enslaved most of humankind and transformed them into supersoldiers. Some of the fighting in the game takes place in what is left of Manchester Cathedral in England, which in the alternative history is now infested by alien forces. As a result of this depiction, in the real world the Church of England took legal action against the publisher of the game, the Sony Corporation. The legal argument was that Sony had not asked permission to use graphic depictions of the cathedral in its product.1 The official reason for the legal action can be seen in the following quote from Church of England officials: “We are shocked to see a place of learning, prayer and heritage being presented to the youth market as a location where guns can be fired. . . . For many young people these games offer a different sort of reality and seeing guns in Manchester Cathedral is not the sort of connection we want to make.”2

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Where in Maine?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

For the better part of two decades the editors of Down East: The Magazine of Maine have asked our readers to play a game with us. We publish a stunning photograph of a unique location in the Pine Tree State — sometimes instantly recognizable, sometimes not — and drop a few hints about the historical or geological anomalies of this special place. Then we invite our readers to guess where it is by writing us a letter. We also ask them to tell us a little about their own personal connection to this unidentified corner of the Maine landscape. Have they ever visited this waterfall? Do they own a cottage on this island?

To say that “Where in Maine?” is the most popular feature in Down East is like calling the view from Cadillac Mountain “pleasant:” an understatement of the highest order. We receive more mail for these short items than other magazines receive for entire issues. The responses range from one-line emails — “It’s Perkins Cove in Ogunquit!” — to long, handwritten letters recounting childhoods enjoyed on the pictured shores of Sebago Lake or summers spent at the family cottage overlooking this exact view of Monhegan Harbor.

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Have you ever found this forgotten fort?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

If you’re like many Maine motorists, you’ve driven within a mile of this old blockhouse dozens of times and never known it was there. Built in 1809 to protect a busy midcoast shipbuilding harbor, the fort sits just off Route 1 on an island few Mainers realize is an island, overlooking one of the area’s largest rivers. The solid little citadel was the focal point of an impressive compound at one time, with heavy bunkers, palisades, and a waterfront battery, and it was garrisoned for much of the nineteenth century, as a 1985 archaeological excavation revealed. And the site saw a few tense moments — it was threatened with bombardment during the War of 1812, and fifty years later the Confederate cruiser Tallahassee passed menacingly by not far downriver. Today the fort still sees quite a bit of action, but its many invaders are armed with nothing more threatening than cameras, Frisbees, and overflowing picnic baskets. (The solitary ranger who now mans the octagonal fort would be instantly overwhelmed if the park’s many day-trippers mounted an uprising.) Home to an interesting historical display, the blockhouse is one of the nation’s best preserved forts from the period and became one of Maine’s earliest state-owned parks, purchased in 1923 from the U.S. War Department for $501. Wide, grassy swaths overlooking the river and views of seals and ospreys have since made the spot popular among locals and those taking the scenic back way to a famous resort harbor not far down the road. Things are totally serene on the scene these days — especially under a fair May sky — but there are a few visitors who wish they could blast an unsightly old power plant out of the view across the river. See page 101 to learn where to find it.

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Can you tell where this museum is located?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

If this romantic scene has you imagining an earlier time, picturing bonnets and buckboards, you’re on the right track. Every October the centuries melt away at this small village in the central part of the state and people cross this covered bridge into the 1790s. Men and women in period dress demonstrate what it would have been like to live a pioneer life in the North Woods, working at a water-powered sawmill or a blacksmith shop, spinning or weaving, traveling by buggy and bateaux, and feasting on bean-hole beans. Even the children are busy, dipping candles, making cedar shakes, and peeling potatoes. With the bridge, the mill, log cabins, trapper camps, and nature trails through the woodlands all around, it’s not a bad way to spend the first weekend in October. The museum here is no stranger to living history, dedicated as it is to telling the story of the long-ago lumbering life of the Maine woods. Every autumn it hosts this colorful event, transforming this community of 1,242 into Township Four, the place it used to be. Have you ever stepped across this bridge and back in time? Turn to page 100 if you can identify the museum or the community it is located in.

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6. Citing the Medieval: Using Religion as World-Building Infrastructure in Fantasy MMORPGs · Rabia Gregory

HEIDI CAMPBELL Indiana University Press ePub

Rabia Gregory

A BETRAYAL. A CURSE. THE AGE OF STRIFE BEGINS. . . . WARRIORS, heroes, and adventurers begin the restoration. . . . What role will you play? Join the battle for supremacy or let chaos rule. Shadowbane.” This resonant baritone voiceover to the cinematic introduction to Wolfpack’s 2003 massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) lists dualistic clichés of fantasy role-playing games as the camera pans over scenes of armed three-dimensional male bodies engaged in combat, shooting arrows, casting spells, wielding siege engines, and arguing over strategy at campaign tables. As the only opportunity for cinematic narrative in the game, this opening video informs each new player that the game loading on their screen offers more than the realistic mechanics of premodern warfare. The conflict they are about to join is purposeful, each player a participant in a tragic battle originating in religious violence, which will frame their game experience as part of a war-torn world’s history. The cutscene’s camera slowly pans over the runes etched on the blade of a bloody sword thrust into the shattered trunk of a dying tree, capturing a moment of tragic betrayal when Cambruin, a mighty human king, was transfixed to the World Tree. As his blood ran down the tree’s trunk, the Shadowbane blade petrified the tree, shattering creation.

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Medium 9780253017154

11. Ian Bogost: Anxieties, Procedures, and Game Studies

David S. Heineman Indiana University Press ePub

IN LATE 2012, IAN BOGOST PRESENTED A PUBLIC LECTURE AND exhibited some of his work at the University of North Florida’s Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum’s director, Marcelle Polednik, in a press release advertising the event, described Bogost as “one of the foremost scholars and designers of games and game theory. . . . [His work is used to] both reflect on and deploy the media of today to highlight timely topics and issues to a wider audience.” Most who have had occasion to read Bogost’s writing or listen to him speak would probably recognize that, in Polednik’s description, there is a lot of truth. Bogost’s work is widely read and cited both inside and outside academic circles, he is a coeditor of an influential series in game studies (MIT Press’s Platform Studies series), and he has produced thought-provoking video games that model how we might think about design itself as a kind of critical practice.

Bogost often discusses the subjects he critiques – games, academia, business, and so on – with a pervasive cynicism and a seemingly entrenched skepticism. His work tends to favor clarity and directness over hyperbole and obfuscation, a characteristic that makes it hard to believe he would be comfortable accepting the kinds of accolades that Polednik’s statement ascribes to him. In the interview in this chapter, for example, he is somewhat blasé about the success he has had in a relatively short period of time, suggesting that “someone would have made similar observations at that time if it hadn’t been me.”

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10. Yes Wii Can or Can Wii? Theorizing the Possibilities of Video Games as Health Disparity Intervention

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

David J. Leonard, Sarah Ullrich-French, and Thomas G. Power

THE DEBATE ABOUT EXERGAMING OFTEN APPEARS IN headlines such as “Can Wii Games Replace Regular Exercise?” and “Is the Wii Fit Better than Regular Exercise?”1 In this regard, virtual gaming has been reduced to a binary, a mathematical formula that treats participants as universal subjects and analyzes how well the games transport those bodies into virtual space. It reflects on whether these games have real-life impact on the universal game subject and how these virtual activities compare to their real-life brethren. Take one study from the American Council on Exercise, which after testing sixteen participants on six of Wii’s most challenging games – Free Run, Island Run, Free Step, Advanced Step, Super Hula Hoop, and Rhythm Boxing – concluded that virtual reality was distinctively different from the real world, in that twice as many calories were burned with the real “thing.” Emblematic of much of the discourse, the adherence to the virtual-real binary and its conceptualization of all participants as having equal access and opportunity demonstrate the shortcomings of the discourse surrounding virtual exercise.2 Furthering the establishment of this dualistic framework, the discourse focuses on the caloric impact–energy expenditure rates of virtual exercise games; it works to understand if exergaming is a substitute for real-world exercise. Yet there has been little effort to measure the impact of games on the physical body (core strength, balance) and, more important, the impact of games on identity, knowledge about fitness, health, and nutrition. In the end, these studies, more than the games themselves, disembody people and fail to look at how games change people in a myriad of ways, from the physical to the mental, from identity to self-worth.

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7. Chris Grant: Games and Press

David S. Heineman Indiana University Press ePub

ALONG WITH FORECASTS OF INCREASED DIRECT DEMOCRACY and a migration to virtual global currencies, one of the frequent predictions made by many of the early Internet prognosticators was that narrowly targeted news feeds would become the standard form of gaining information for those connected to the Internet. Specifically, many of them suggested that people would be able to find news that was specific to (and exclusionary from) particular geographic locations, particular ideological interests, or particular hobbyist pursuits. These targeted audiences would form communities and cultures around the news sites that appealed to them, creating a kind of feedback loop that kept the audience fixed and isolated. In the past twenty years of online journalism, some of this has indeed taken place. One of the best case studies for how it has occurred is unquestionably that of video game journalism.

Gaming journalism, popularized in the 1980s and early 1990s by thinly veiled adverti-zines such as Nintendo Power and Sega Visions and in youth-focused publications such as Gamepro (and, to a lesser extent, Electronic Gaming Monthly) joined much of the rest of the magazine industry in undergoing a significant sea change when the Internet gained in popularity in the mid- to late 1990s. In many ways, games journalism grew up with the medium it covered. As game publishers started creating more games meant to retain their aging player base, introduced a ratings system to make the content more palatable to parents, and started pushing toward multimedia, gaming journalism followed suit with more organized and focused writing, more objective and regular reviews, and more features that responded to the rapid pace of change in the industry.

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Do you know the names of these dangerous rocks?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

It all began with a licentious affair between a king and his lover, a married woman. At least that’s the apocryphal explanation for the name of this pair of rocky ledges off Maine’s midcoast. Apparently they were named after some similarly intimate rocks in the Thames, which were given to a man whose wife King John had gotten to know (rather too well). Very naughty stuff. In Maine this siren and her mate have been angry lovers since boats starting plying the waters around them, lashing out at many vessels and sinking their share. They mark the entrance to a busy fishing harbor, and until the late nineteenth century, all that warned mariners away from their dissolute and deathly grasp was a simple tripod beacon placed atop them. In 1892, a stone fog signal was built here, but the shipwrecks continued to claim boats and lives. So a light tower was built in 1907, one of the last lighthouses to go up on the coast of Maine. With a normal tide, the sea claims all but fifteen feet of rock here, and when it storms, there’s little to protect the light from taking a fearsome thrashing. In January of 1933, the lightkeeper’s home was flooded, and the assistant keeper was reimbursed by the Department of Commerce for the loss of his radio and Hawaiian guitar. Close to fifty years later the keeper’s house was totally destroyed. Not even the guitars made it that time. The octagonal tower was automated in 1975, and made its way on to the National Register of Historic Places in December 2002. Today, you can read a memoir by the former keeper, buy a not very sexy ceramic replica of the light for $95 (www.collectiblesrome.com), and get a boat ride out to see these adulterous rocks from a number of local cruising companies. Turn to page 101 to see where they’re located.

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Have you ever driven over this bridge?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Surrounded by a panorama of leaves that seem almost enthusiastic in their glow, and suspended far above one of the state’s most powerful rivers, this bridge neatly frames the antique steeples and spires of a white-clapboarded Yankee village, seemingly embraced by the forest. It’s a scene not easily forgotten — but it looks a little different today. Although the lofty span may seem infinite to gephyrophobes, it’s only the state’s sixth longest, on a well-traveled interstate route not far from the city that calls itself the gateway to the North Woods, and a stone’s throw from one of Maine’s most historic sites. Perhaps you stopped in this small, photogenic community of five thousand for a night or two at the town’s venerable inn? If so, you were in good company, historically speaking. The hostelry is one of the nation’s oldest, with a guest register that has been signed by a host of key figures in the history of the United States — Presidents Jackson, Tyler, Van Buren, and Harrison, as well as Jefferson Davis and Daniel Webster — most of whom came to the area to settle a border dispute with the British. Things were tense again a few years ago, when a small grassroots group stared down and ran out of town a corporation bent on building an enormous coal-fired power plant. There is already a pair of imposing smokestacks on the skyline here; the townspeople made it clear they didn’t want any others. The paper mill at the base of one of those stacks — and the river that flows beside it — provide the economic backbone for the community and many of its neighbors. Look for this view today, of course, and you’ll have a tough time. An equally impressive connector runs through here now — but this stately span remains. See page 101.

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Do you know what this structure is known for?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Since its construction in 1868, this midcoast mill has been many things to many people. Ask passersby and they’ll likely mention that the island manufactory once churned out massive quantities of paper. In its heyday around the turn of the twentieth century, the company housed here exported newsprint, book, and school papers as far away as Chile and Australia, and legend has it that the mill holds a world record for paper output. At the height of its production, it could provide a small daily newspaper with six years’ worth of paper in a single day. The mill’s more recent history has been just as memorable. Many will recall that the compound was awash with floodwaters in 1936 and 1987; one of the state’s most industrious rivers runs around the mill’s rocky spit on three sides — four in spring — and the river has been known to bloat with runoff from melting snow and heavy rains. The green bridge out front has given commuters passing through this bedroom community of nine thousand plenty of time to familiarize themselves with the mill. Traffic across the span is often dense, bottlenecked by congestion on the busy main street across the river; and all the new businesses located in this area let out. It wasn’t always so. When the buildings were first erected, Main Street went purposefully between them, and its pace was far more sedate — except during one of the state’s largest agricultural fairs. But that only came once a year. Turn to page 100 to find out more about this industrious spot.

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The answers. And more…

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Orrs, Bailey Island pages 6–7

Population: 500.

Population density: 216 people per square mile.

Median household income: $40,611.

ZIP Code: 04003.

Best place to grab lunch: Cook’s Lobster House.

Best place to lay your head: you have your pick, but the Log Cabin may be the most fun.

Local landmarks: the bridge, Land’s End, Giant Steps, Mackerel Cove.

Renowned residents: freed slave William Black, Jungian psychoanalysts Eleanor Bertine, Esther Harding, and Kristine Mann.

Getting there from here: Take Route 24.

Head Tide, Alna pages 8–9

Population: 675.

Population density: 32 people per square mile.

Median household income: $43,125.

ZIP Code: 04535.

Best place to grab lunch: the only place is the local general store.

Best place to lay your head: the next town over.

Local landmarks: this village.

Renowned residents: poet Edwin Arlington Robinson, famous Maine writer Andrew Vietze.

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