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Feb 04, 2004



I'm a great fan of what Henry Lowood's doing for computer game history at Stanford - so much so, I gave all my MUD1 design papers and listings to the collection he curates. In the UK, only very few universities have courses on computer games, but in the USA not only do you have courses on computer games, you have courses on the HISTORY of computer games.

Augh! I am SO jealous!



Related (literally in conjunction with Cantor Center) is Bang the Machine: Computer Gaming Art and Artifacts at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

Skip work and make a day of it.


I'm busy on my paper, but just one quick note: Please show up! We have a large venue and it would be super to fill it.



Thank you for posting this! Now, to figure out how to play hooky to get there :-)!


{sigh} northern california wins again. if only it were 1968, i could grab a ride north in a flowerpower van.


I am depressed. I can't attend any but the last because I have classes. I don't suppose videotapes/audiotapes are being made available? Please?


Videos from the DDR exhibit held on the first day are now available here:



I believe the conference will be videotaped, but I am not making those arrangements, so I can't guarantee it. It's ok to show up just for one or the other session, such as just the morning or afternoon.

Well, we wish you guys all could make it.



Mr. Lowood --

Wow! Thanks so much for the personal invitation! It looks incredible and I'm certain there will be a substantial TN-reading contingent present. (If there are conference papers available afterward, we'd love to link to them.)

Unfortunately, I've got court appointments on this windswept iceberg that used to be known as Pennsylvania -- so like Richard, I'm just insanely jealous.


Just to add myself to the _i sooo want to be at Stanford but can't be_ list.
If there are an proceedings or blogs or anyting from event available i'm sure TeamTN will to their best to track them down.



For what it's worth, a Dr. Mark Kline, interviewed by a local news correspondent in Massachusetts, offered an interesting echo of Mr. Lowood's comments about games as a communications medium today:

Playing games online can also cause problems, particularly for boys. (While boys may spend more time playing games online, girls generally spend time Instant Messaging.)

"These games are communications devices, they're not just games," said Kline.

Seemingly benign games can be more violent and gritty than advertised. Sims Online, for instance, is a supposedly harmless game that simulates real life. Complete with simulated Mafia, simulated prostitution, simulated robbery and a host of other simulated underworld activities, Sims Online might not be a suitable game for children.

Okay, so I endorse the second paragraph and the third just shows Dr. Kline was there for the AH media moment. But why are boys particularly at risk again?


Two reviews of the conference are posted on GameSpot:

Do Games Need Stories?

Stanford conference puts games under the spotlight

Good stuff, e.g.:

The central conflict of historic simulation, however, is how to incorporate the history within the game, the non-game elements with the game elements. "One of the neglected topics of computer game design is the dichotomy of realism and playability."

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