Our Hero Flees Delhi in a Terror, encounters his heritage in Jaipur

20 million people is too many it seems, Delhi was terrifying and pretty decrepit, though I might be biased because I was staying in one of the worst neighboorhoods. As soon as the conference was over (4 days in Delhi) I booted out to Jaipur, a “small” city of only about the size of Montreal, chosen primarily because my pilgrimage to Galta, a.k.a. monkey temple, required it.

We saw a few of the tourist sites but Galta was definitely the best, both because I was able to reunite with my ancestors and for the outrageous view it afforded.

I’m now in the hippie infested town of Pushkar, on the road to pretty much completely missnig christmas, sorry Jesus.

Highlights from My Flickr Stream below. (lots more monkey pictures there)

Two drivers for the price of one

two drivers, one autorickshaw

Hills from inside Monkey Temple

hills from inside galta

My ancestor overlooks the city

monkey overlooks jaipur

Sandalwood Tika is good luck

SAndalwood is good luck

Journey begins

Flight to Delhi involved a stopover in Japan for the night, which was beautiful. So far Delhi itself is mostly terrifying but also enlightening.

I’ll be uploading the mass of my photos to my Flickr account to save this site from being overloaded, so head there to see all the details. Below are a few of the highlights so far.

13 Hour Flight

13 hour flight

Good Morning Tomorrow

good morning tomorrow - photo by jeremy clarke

Welcome to Japan

welcome to japan - photo by jeremy clarke

Going to India

I haven’t mentioned it here before but I’ve been working for the past six months or so on a website/project called Global Voices, doing a redesign and hacking the shit out of WordPress. It’s comprised of a group of international blog-fiends who each read just about everything that happens in their local blogospheres (like, all popular blogs in india) then file summaries and links to Global Voices. It’s a kind of filter that can give westerners a sense of what’s happening in the blogospheres they have no real access to, as well as giving links to the best in english blogs coming out other countries (it only covers “developing” areas under the assumption that technologically advanced areas have their perspectives covered adequately already). I’m working under Boris (also a web developer/designer), who hired me because I updated my flickr and was able to talk shit about semiotics with him.

7175261_586e74191e.jpgAll that to say that the maniacs who run Global Voices are having a conference in India (Delhi) and were nice enough to invite me as deputy-g33k, so I will be pretty damn gone from Montreal and probably the web for a month (I’m bumming around after the conference and stretching the free ride as much as I can). I’ll be checking my email and probably updating this site when I can, as well as putting up any good images my camera happens to find (Monkey Temple of Jaipur anyone?).

I hope everyone has a downplayed and non-commercial holiday season but don’t have faith in it actually happening, so just try to enjoy it despite the mall /shudder

(India photo cc Mosseby)

The Daedalus Project and MMO addiction

World of warcraft - trash it!I’ve been meaning to post about The Daedalus Project for awhile now but haven’t had the time. Nick Yee has been running it for several years, compiling survey data and analysis about how MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online games, like WoW) are played, why they are played and how players live their lives ouside the game. I’ve used his research in several papers and always find it insightful and caring towards the complex and nuanced nature of MMO gaming. More than worth reading through the article list whether you’re a gamer or just know one (and if you don’t know any you will soon), if only for gems like the fact that 30% of all female players end up in real-life relationships started through the game, an astonishing statistic as far as I’m concerned.

Today’s update contained what is no doubt one of the best articles I’ve read about MMO addiction and how we talk about it. Yee is critical of the way the media is tossing around the A-word without giving careful consideration to how the games are actually used by the “addicted” gamers. Though you could almost always make this claim about the mass-media’s treatment of a topic you care about, the fact that most reporters likely haven’t even played a similar game points to the fact that a communication problem is pretty likely in this situation. He then points out how words like “dependence” better capture the behaviors which he likens more closely to shopping-addiction than the more physical and accepted as dangerous drugs-addiction. Most importantly, he proposes that the media and analysts are missing the other negative factors that influence someone’s likelihood of becomming dependent on a game. The social awkwardness or unfortunate circumstances that could drive someone to prefer a fantasy world to the real one.

Link to full article.

These are obviously important considerations to bear in mind but I think he’s missing an important element of the problem, the fact that the game itself is to blame if it’s absense would have prevented the problems that result from it’s presence (which sounds redundant but might need to be pointed out explicitly to make sense). To save your eyes from text-murder I’ll put my full response to his article (posted as a comment on the article) below.

Continue reading “The Daedalus Project and MMO addiction”

Realities we missed at the time

Mario and Princess, a little more real

Hit me so hard I had to share it. All the washed out scrolling backgrounds we stared at as kids would represent these kinds of wastelands were the violence of the games to be real. The desolation of the landscape and the weary look on Mario make me want to defeat Bowser more than ever.

(Found here by Boris. The artist, “The Phlash”, does a ton of anime-style murals around montreal, including the one that got artbusted).