81 Chapters
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Medium 9780892728060

Have you ever hopped the ferry to this island?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Ah, the holidays on Long Island. That’s the former name of this lengthy isle in the middle of the state’s coast, and it couldn’t be any more apt — the skinny island splits one of Maine’s largest bays in half, stretching for ten miles. The ferry taking islanders three miles across the water to the mainland looks cold this time of year, even under the sunniest of skies. The village not far from this landing has been home to an exclusive summer colony since it was “discovered” by Jeffrey Brackett, a trend-setting Bostonian, in 1889. He was followed by the likes of J.P. Morgan and some of the biggest names in American industry. In more recent years Hollywood has found it. You don’t have to be one of the Hardy Boys to figure out what Cheers the rich and famous about the place: She’s So Lovely. The year-round residents (who number six hundred, according to the most recent census) tend to go about their business and leave the celebrities alone, building boats, working carpentry, or commuting to jobs on the mainland, boarding the ferry in the shadow of this square brick tower. The lighthouse was ordered built by President Franklin Pierce in 1851, and it was redone under command of Ulysses S. Grant in 1874, which was about the time the largest shipping fleet in the bay was working out of the island’s harbors. At the lightkeeper’s house is a small museum where you can learn about this sort of thing — in the summertime, of course. For now you’ll just have to content yourself with the views. To learn more about this festive island, turn to page 99.

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Can you identify this inspirational isle?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

With a single glance you can understand the romantic appeal of this place: a lovely Victorian house on a tiny windswept isle, lorded over by highlands, surrounded by the Atlantic. This beauty is what attracted a virtual parade of writers to this island on the Down East coast. If ever there has been a lighthouse that was home to more authors, poets, and playwrights than the one pictured — suffice to say, we can’t find it. The first scribe to land here was likely Bernice Richmond, who bought the island after the Coast Guard deactivated this light, used to protect a chilly harbor, in the 1930s. Next up in the 1950s was children’s book author René Prud’hommeaux, author of Hidden Lights, The Port of Missing Men, and The Sunken Forest. She was followed by playwright Gerald Kean. And most recently it was owned by William C. Holden III, a retired banker who wrote several novels while living here. In Our Island Lighthouse, Bernice Richmond describes the allure: “It is hard for people living on the mainland to understand the contentment found on an island… I couldn’t put into words… how terribly important it was to sleep on the island with sea sounds encircling me. I couldn’t explain how I looked forward each morning to that first rush of salty air through my kitchen door.… ” If you can identify this inspirational isle turn to page 100.

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Have you been soaked by Maine’s Ol’ Faithful?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Granite chasms don’t come much more renowned than this foaming sea pocket. And you’ll look long and hard to find one that speaks with its own basso profundo. Maine’s answer to Ol’ Faithful, it sits at the edge of a Down East island, where it gurgles and belches and occasionally blasts water into the sky. Like its counterpart at Yellowstone, it works on its own schedule and requires patience from its audience. When most people visit they find it quiet, the sea gently rocking in and out of the twisted cavern, and they wonder what all the fuss is about. When the surf and turf decide to put on a show, though, it’s a sight, one of the Pine Tree State’s great natural wonders. The waves leapfrog madly off the rocks, soaring as high as fifty feet in the air. They crash spectacularly with a resounding, earth-rocking thud (Thor would be proud), soaking everything in the vicinity, including anyone who might be standing near these railings. In summer that’s all great fun, and hordes line up to bathe in the spray. Come February it’s another thing altogether. The great irony is that one of the best times to view this particular attraction is on a blustery winter day, and that’s when the viewing platform here is usually empty. If there are flakes aplenty, snowmobilers and cross-country skiers, even the odd snowshoer, might have a look at the spectacle. If not, walkers and hardy hikers might wander down. Other than these and a handful of folks who work in the area, the only witnesses to the tempests of winter here are shorebirds. See page 101 to find out how to track it down.

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Have you flown over this island community?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

A brilliant, sunny day in midwinter is cause for celebration in this small Penobscot Bay village. Much of the town is open and exposed to the unforgiving Atlantic, and in the cold and dark months the world beyond the bay seems very far away. Ice and snow hamper transportation, and with plummeting temperatures, lobstering, the principal occupation of the community, becomes even more arduous. Yet, somehow fishermen here still manage to bring home a lobster harvest that is among the largest in New England. But when the weather is disagreeable, simply getting to Rockland, fifteen miles away, to do some shopping, can be an ordeal. The harshness of winter fosters a sturdy neighborliness in town, a unity that some of the five thousand summer visitors who quadruple the year-round population each summer might even call insular. Residents of this particular spot — known locally as “the rock” — have a reputation as a hardy lot, as tough as the granite their forebears extracted from turn-of-the-twentieth-century quarries, especially in contrast to their nearest neighbors, a haven of affluent summercators to the north. The town was named for the man most responsible for its incorporation in 1789, but in recent years it’s been artists such as Robert Indiana who have put the place on the map. Indiana is one of a small colony of artists who have come to town to paint the pointed firs and the hyperactive surf. Though this view isn’t the typical postcard panorama — it’s unusually expansive and maybe even a bit misleading — it does provide a slew of clues. Can you spot them? The answer is on page 100.

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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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5. Ed Fries: The Economics and Politics of a Launch

David S. Heineman Indiana University Press ePub

THE YEARS BRIDGING THE VERY END OF THE TWENTIETH century and the very beginning of the twenty-first were an interesting time in the history of video games. A few years prior to the millennium, the video game industry experienced a gold rush the likes of which had not been seen since before the infamous crash of 1983. In the six years between the initial sale of the Atari Video Computer System and the year when millions of unsold Atari cartridges were buried in a desert landfill, no fewer than ten game consoles were put on the market, many backed by major tech-industry companies like General Electric and Magnavox or toy companies like Mattel and Milton Bradley. By comparison, between October 1992 and September 1996 at least twenty video game consoles or video game console add-ons were placed on the market. These included the Sega CD, Atari Jaguar, Sega 32X, 3DO, Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Nintendo Virtual Boy, NEC PC-FX, Amiga CD32, FM Towns Marty, Apple Bandai Pippin, Atari Jaguar CD, Casio Loopy, Tiger R-Zone, Pioneer Laser Active, Playdia, Neo Geo CD and CDZ, Supervision, Mega Duck and Cougar Boy, and Nintendo Stellaview (among others). This was a staggering amount of new technology flooding the game market in a very short time, and as was the case when a similar phenomenon occurred in the early 1980s, the vast majority of these systems failed to find an audience. In fact, the millennial transition period is probably more notable for the number of companies that found themselves forced out of the game console industry (including household names like Sega and Atari) than those that got their start in the period.

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Medium 9780253014993

2. Madden Men: Masculinity, Race, and the Marketing of a Video Game Franchise

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

Thomas P. Oates

IN AUGUST 2012, AS THE RELEASE OF EA SPORTSMADDEN NFL 13 video game approached, a months-long marketing blitz peaked with a series of advertisements featuring actor Paul Rudd and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. In the campaign, the two are presented as close, lifelong friends, whose bond is cemented by periodic Madden NFL marathons. The ads are clearly presented with tongue firmly in cheek. The friendship between Rudd and Lewis is offered as a whimsical premise. Rudd is a recognizable film and television actor, best known for roles playing middle-class white professionals. While appearing to be reasonably fit, he would never be mistaken for an NFL player, and though his movies are frequently about masculine themes (see, for example, I Love You, Man; The 40-Year Old Virgin; and Forgetting Sarah Marshall), he has never played the role of an action hero. Lewis, meanwhile, is black, was raised in poverty by a single mother in Lakeland, Florida, and was a major NFL star at the time, and hence a visible representative of hegemonic masculinity. The joke turns on the premise that despite the seemingly unbridgeable gaps separating affluence from poverty, white from black, icons of masculinity from the average guy, Rudd and Lewis are improbably buddies. Their friendship goes back to the cradle, as Rudd explains in the first ad in the series: “Oh, man, Ray and I have known each other our whole lives. We grew up together. Best friends!” The rest of the campaign shows the two friends playing the video game, engaging in verbal dueling, boasting, and performing other acts that characterize a certain kind of friendly masculine competition.

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Do you know how this town got its name?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Welcome to New Milford. That’s not what this midcoast village is called these days, of course, and it’s a good thing, too, because that sounds like some place in Connecticut or Massachusetts. No, this cluster of more than a dozen eighteenth- and nineteenth-century buildings is one of two fine, white-clapboard hamlets in a town named for the prevalence of its alder trees. (Most people are more familiar with these two picturesque villages than they are with the town that contains them.) One of the state’s mightiest rivers runs through the community — right under this bridge — and it’s the reason for the town’s being. The forests along its banks were a pre-Colonial and early-American source of masts for ships. Legendary pirate Captain Kidd is said to have buried Spanish doubloons and diamonds in town when he paid a visit in search of spars, and the white pine masts of the USS Constitution spent the winter of 1796–97 here. The heyday of mast production was followed by a lively local shipbuilding industry, an economic mainstay of the community for most of the nineteenth century. Mills of just about every type — saw, grist, stave, shingle, plane, carding, and fulling — were set up in this particular village, and worked away from the late 1700s through the first half of the twentieth century. A freshet flushed out those on the north side of the river in 1896, though, and fire took care of those on the other bank in 1924. When the mills and yards were booming, the town was jumping, like the alewives in the river. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edwin Arlington Robinson was born in a house on the bank of the river here in 1869, and he rose to fame penning poems about places like Tilbury Town. (But not New Milford.) To see if you’ve ever passed through here, turn to page 98.

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8. Filtering Cultural Feedback: Religion, Censorship, and Localization in Actraiser and Other Mainstream Video Games · Peter Likarish

HEIDI CAMPBELL Indiana University Press ePub

Peter Likarish

USERS DONT ALWAYS PLAY THE SAME GAME. TWO GAMERS rush home with copies of a recent entry in their favorite fighting game series, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi (Atari, 2007). One lives in Japan, the other in the United States. Both tear open the packaging, choose their favorite character, and start fighting others from the television series. In numerous bouts with Vegita, Goku, and other popular characters, the game experience is nearly identical aside from the language displayed on the screen. Then, a strange thing happens. Both recognize their next opponent from the Dragon Ball Z television series, but the U.S. player faces off against Hercule, while the Japanese player fights Mr. Satan. Or the two may be adventuring in the classic role-playing game Earthbound (Nintendo, 1995). Their characters have been gravely wounded and both head toward a big white building with numerous windows. The Japanese player sees the nearly universal Red Cross symbol next to the Japanese kanji for hospital. The American’s character approaches the same building in the same location. The word “Hospital” is still emblazoned on the building, but the cross is gone. In each case, the two purchased the same game. The vast majority of the content is the same. What accounts for the differences?

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Have you bunked in these cozy cabins?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

When the snow settles gently on this central Maine village, the population drops to about half of what it is during the summer. Maybe even less than that. Sporting camps like these make little boarded-up ghost villages, and the fishermen who come to troll for salmon are probably dropping lines for tarpon somewhere sunny. The family camps on the shore of this long lake are likewise closed for the season, and tourists disappear like Judge Crater, the New York Supreme Court associate justice who had a summer home around here and mysteriously vanished one day in the 1930s, becoming one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in U.S. history. These twelve camps are on a tiny island surrounded by communities with European names, underneath the shadow of “The Mountain” and just around the corner from Elizabeth Arden Road. They were constructed in the late 1920s by a local gentleman who actually built the island on which they sit, hand-filling an acre of water. Finding guests to fill the camps was never a problem. People have been summering in this area since before the turn of the century. A 1981 movie, set here but filmed in New Hampshire, introduced the nation to this land of lakes. Nowadays, kayak and canoe outfitters do a brisk business here, and in more recent years a golf course opened that has been rated one of “America’s Greatest Public Courses” by Golf Digest and continues to draw big crowds. Just not in January. See page 99 to learn the location of this wintry scene.

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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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3. The Global Mediatization of Hinduism through Digital Games: Representation versus Simulation in Hanuman: Boy Warrior Xenia Zeiler

HEIDI CAMPBELL Indiana University Press ePub

Xenia Zeiler

RESEARCH ON DIGITAL GAMES AND RELIGION HAS PRIMARILY concentrated on European and U.S. settings. Asian developments, except the Muslim Middle Eastern contexts of Syria and Palestine, have long been nearly completely overlooked.1 This is even truer when it comes to digital games that are related to Hindu and Buddhist traditions, regions, and audiences. Though in the first decade of the twenty-first century, several aspects of Hindu and Buddhist religions and digital media, namely the internet, began to be increasingly researched, so far this research has not extended to digital games.2 This is surprising since surveys, statistics, and projections on the role and importance of digital games in Asia or for audiences with Asian Hindu or Buddhist backgrounds regularly describe an ever larger percentage of users, as well as rapidly growing markets in the near future.

In this chapter I analyze Hindu deities and narratives in Indian-produced digital games and focus on disclosing negotiations of Hindu authority and identity in gaming contexts. I do so by discussing the first entirely India-developed digital game based on Hindu mythology, Hanuman: Boy Warrior (Aurona Technologies Hyderbad for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, 2009), a console game produced for PlayStation 2. This game has caused heated debate on the appropriateness of incorporating Hindu deities in gaming environments. The debate surrounding the game has focused on the concepts of simulation and performance as opposed to the (pure) representation of Hindu deities, such as Hanuman, who is a major character in the Indian epic Ramayana and is mentioned in other important Hindu scriptures.

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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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Have you been to this historic garrison?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

This diminutive outpost doesn’t seem quite sturdy enough to stop rampaging French and Indians, does it? Luckily, this blockhouse was only one small part of a much larger fort, which was built in 1754 to protect the locals from just such an attack. The structure was sufficiently stout to survive for centuries — it was the oldest of its kind in the nation — until the great flood of April 1, 1987. That’s when one of Maine’s larger rivers broke its bounds and flushed the blockhouse and a lot of other stuff downstream. By that time the fort was part of a popular state park and the focal point of the community, which had literally sprung up around it. So the good people rebuilt it, using as many of the original timbers as they could collect. (Some had floated forty miles.) Have you been to this historic garrison? Turn to page 101 if you think you can identify this riverside spot.

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Do you recognize this great lake?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

If it weren’t for a small change in the wording, we might be calling all the people who live near this great lake the Flintstones. The original name of the community here was Flintstown — it was part of a grant given to a Revolutionary captain whose surname was Flint. Of course, many Maine villages were swallowed up when towns incorporated or joined with other municipalities, and that’s just what happened along the shores of this massive waterbody. At forty-seven square miles, this isn’t the state’s largest lake — that would be Moosehead — but it is the deepest. Even before the Flints moved in (the lake’s name is an Abenaki word for “large open water”), everyone has wanted a piece of this basin. In 1877 there were even armed clashes here between corporations interested in the flow of water to their downstream mills, a conflict — the Basin Dam War — that spun into the courts for years. In the following decades, the mills quarreled with the nascent tourism industry. The new hotels needed water levels high enough to move their cargo — affluent summer guests — while the mills were more concerned about letting enough water get downstream. Now the challenges facing the lake are issues like Jet Skis and the invasive effects of milfoil. Makes one long for the simple times of Fred and Barney, Wilma and Betty. See page 101 if you recognize this great lake.

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