81 Slices
Medium 9780253012531

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?

See All Chapters
Medium 9780892728060

Can you identify this light and its island home?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

It may look stunningly scenic at this island outpost on a sunny winter’s day, but there are many challenges to face when you live thirteen miles out in the cold North Atlantic. Like cutting your way into your house with an ax. That’s how thick the ice gets at this twenty-foot tower, according to one of the more recent residents of the keeper’s house. In this community of 1,235 midcoast Mainers, the town manager is also the lightkeeper and thus resident of this 1857 home. Ice was just one problem the former town official faced when she assumed her post a few years back. What took more getting used to was the foghorn. “I thought I was being attacked by God knows what,” she told the Portland Press Herald. The light here was built shortly before the Civil War under the order of President Andrew Jackson to protect the western end of the island’s famous channel. The salty thoroughfare was essential for passenger vessels, for fishermen, and for the merchant ships taking granite out to the world. The stone went into the construction of all sorts of United States landmarks, from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Washington Monument. In fact, if you live on the East Coast, you’ve almost certainly walked on granite that came from this eight-mile isle, kept safe by generations of lightkeepers. Turn to page 100 if you think you can identify this light and its landmass.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780892728060

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.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780892728060

Have you painted the remains of this well-known wreck?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

What a nice day for a shipwreck — for visiting a shipwreck that is. This one couldn’t be any easier to get to, sitting as it does beside a popular walking trail at a popular midcoast cove. In truth it could be simpler to reach — to explore the monumental, rusting ruins of this old boat, which went aground in dense fog in 1948, you first have to ferry over to the island where it met its fate. (The boat you’d ride docks around the corner from this toothy beach, so don’t worry.) The 110-foot tugboat D.T. Sheridan lost its way in the murk as it journeyed from Philadelphia to Maine, escorting two coal barges. Rocks tore through its steel hull, but luckily the Coast Guard was able to evacuate the crew and there were no injuries. Sixty years later, the boat lies twisted like a concertina, almost as much a part of the landscape as the cliffs that soar on the other side of the island. Many artists have rendered the craft, including a famous one who lives nearby. (The pretty old place was built by yet another internationally known artist.) A local visitor’s guide strongly cautions anyone who might think to venture over the rocks and into the surf here due to a strong undertow and all those big rocks: “No one has been saved who has gone overboard [here],” it states. But that doesn’t stop island residents from setting up towels and sunbathing, often in the nude, among the tall beach stones not far from the wreck. To find out its location, see page 98.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253017154

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.

See All Chapters

See All Slices