Last week, I had the privilege of interviewing two of the English casters for the League of Legends: Ladies Battle in Korea. We talked about women in e-sports, the job of a caster and cultural differences and challenges that come along with the job. You can watch Bil and Josh in action on the Ladies Battle AfreecaTV channel where you can also find more details on the league. I talked with Bil and Josh separately on Skype text chat on July 30th 2015.
Is Rising Thunder the most accessible fighting game yet?
Currently in Technical Alpha, Rising Thunder is already set to be the next big thing in the fighting game industry. It’s also probably the closest thing we have to a Pacific Rim game minus the destruction of environments (can this be in the game please?). What truly sets the game apart from other fighting games is the simplicity of the controls (without being as simple as Divekick) and the emphasis on keyboard controls. But is the game really as newbie friendly as it’s design makes it out to be?
Musings: Disney Princes and Fairy Tales
Looking at Snow White in several different iterations in the context of bricolage and palimpsest can help contextualize the mythos and conventions of the fairy tale genre. We see Snow White and other fairy tales prevalent in many forms of media and varying degrees of adaptations because of the basic nature of fairy tales being presented as instruction for morality. The characters, settings and plot lines are not developed so it is easy to add on to these elements to create a new story and the fantasy settings have a pre-established audience drawn to these kind of adaptations. Continue reading
Play, Immersion and Flow of League of Legends’ Champion Select System
Many League of Legends players will claim that the results of a match are determined during the champion select screen. A successful team will boast players with high APM (actions per minute) and vast knowledge of not only their own champion mechanics, but also how they function between their teammates and enemy champions. The developer of League, Riot Games, is a strong proponent of supporting the game as an e-sport and in general, to have the game be played competitively. An element, or more so, a requirement of a successful e-sports team is to master the inner workings of the game, not only the rules, but how your opponents and teammates work within the affordances of the game.
Is there a Hollywood of Videogames?
In Western game studies, we are seeing an emergence of a “canon”, games which scholars consider to to be essential playing for understanding the medium. But is this really the case, and are these games worthy of canon? Sure, people will always write about the latest games to keep up with the trend but in academia, are seeing a prominence of certain games written and presented on in the last few years. Social games (World of Warcraft, Second Life…) and e-sports games (Starcraft, League of Legends) aside, it is often Western RPGs which become objects of close reading. Popular series’ such as Bioshock and Assassin’s Creed along with Bioware and Bethesda’s newer games are mainstays of the field, but why?
I’ve started streaming on Twitch!
Twitch.tv is not only a popular site for the e-sports scene, but gaming communities in general. I have decided it will be useful (and fun!) to start streaming from my own Twitch channel to not only better understand the inner workings of the site, but also to place emphasis on gameplay itself in my work. Let’s be honest, I play games hours a day anyways, so I may as well stream it and talk to a screen in the process.
I hope to stream most weekday nights around 8:00pm. Games will include with single and multilayer games of varying genres and commentary provided will be of varying academic (or non-academic) nature.
You can find and subscribe to my channel at: http://www.twitch.tv/alexandralive
South Korea Series: K-pop sells, but who’s buying?
The fascination for Korean pop culture has spread across the world, currently being dubbed, the hallyu wave. Being an avid listener of Korean pop music (K-pop), watcher of Korean soap operas (K-dramas) and films, I was on the lookout for all things hallyu during my trip, but ended up leaving quite disappointed. Korean media is less about the content it produces and more about selling a very particular look, seemingly attainable through participation in Korean consumer culture.
South Korea Series: I attended a live Starcraft 2 match
During the next few weeks I will be writing special posts on my two week trip to South Korea. It was not only an amazing experience, but also invaluable for my research in e-sports, East Asian culture and education.
I have been following several professional Starcraft circuits ever since the height of the Brood War expansion craze as a player and an organizer. I have also started a local University club, managed my own team and volunteered for two prominent e-sports organizations: The Collegiate Star League and E-sports Canada. Professional gaming in South Korea is huge, so much so, they have their own television channel dedicated to broadcasting games and other gaming related shows.
Response: Revisiting Disney World and the #foodselfie
via Response: Revisiting Disney World and the #foodselfie.
Two years ago, I went on a trip to Disney World with my partner during Reading Week. The trip would be my 5th time to “the World” but my first time going without the family, including my mom who is obsessed with taking the same pictures, by the same landmarks every time we go. Having to stop what we were doing, put on our “family fun” faces and inevitably get in the way of all the other guests in the park was frustrating and uncomfortable, especially in the 90F Florida weather. This was the first time I was in control of the memories and with a camera phone in tow, I made sure all the photos were taken quickly, without impeding on the space of other people, but also of new experiences in the parks. I decided then, that I wanted to revise my memories through tourist photos of the food we ate during our trip. Continue reading
PCA 2015 in New Orleans
I am currently preparing for PCA 2015 in New Orleans and I hope to share my field notes from a variety of pop culture related presentations!
I also hope to meet lots of new scholars so please, if you stumble upon my site, please feel free to connect me with me after the conference.