Problems of Prestige, part 2: Wearing It on Your Sleeve

Jan 16, 13 Problems of Prestige, part 2: Wearing It on Your Sleeve

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One of the most obvious forms of prestige is that of armor. Even in Homer from where I am drawing inspiration for this series, armor is an important visual component linked to an individual. For example, nearly an entire book of the Iliad is dedicated to describing the shield that Hephaestus makes for Achilles. In beautiful poetry,...

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Problems of Prestige, part 1: the World of Homeric Warcraft

Dec 06, 12 Problems of Prestige, part 1: the World of Homeric Warcraft

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One of the most interesting aspects of MMO culture is that of prestige, and we can find a parallel in the ancient Homeric world of Achilles and the Trojan War. In this series, I will look at how prestige factors into the value system of both cultures and consider the problems this understanding of worth encounters in a sub-culture...

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Epic Life: Back to Bungie 3

Nov 14, 12 Epic Life: Back to Bungie 3

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With the notion of playing HALO as doing humanities broached, it’s time to discuss the precise nature of the humanistic study in which HALO-players engage. Several times already I’ve alluded to the fashioning of Western selves. In this post, I’ll read a single performance moment of HALO: Combat Evolved within a...

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Epic Life: poiesis

Sep 12, 12 Epic Life: poiesis

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In my last post I suggested that the approach to homeric epic developed by Gregory Nagy beginning with The Best of the Achaeans, when considered in relationship to the rulesets of play-practices that digital culture and above all digital games make more apparent every day, provide an opportunity to describe lives lived in modern...

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The rules of song and the rules of myth: playing with dragons and other mythohistorical archetypes (rules of the text 2)

Feb 23, 12 The rules of song and the rules of myth: playing with dragons and other mythohistorical archetypes (rules of the text 2)

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George RR Martin titled A Song of Ice and Fire advisedly, I think, with reference to the bardic traditions of European culture that gave us also the Iliad, the Odyssey, Beowulf, and the Song of Roland among many others. As I’ve demonstrated, those bardic traditions worked like games. That we call them “oral improvisatory...

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