Testing Game Mod(ification)s

Modifiability – moddability is an essential part of contemporary games, especially digital games. This is a parallel feature to the concept of mass customisation of products in “more serious business”. It starts from, where in Pokemon Go, the player can buy and choose clothing for their avatar. It’s deeper, when games provide downloadable content (DLC) that provide more outfits for the character, but possibly also more different equipment, and even more story to the game. The fundamental level is, where the players can create such extra content and provide it for other players to include in their games. At the deepest level, and actually, in it’s original form, it is when players reverse engineer games, hack them, and provide modified versions of the games with new features.

Game modding started out from replacing the graphics and sounds with new ones, often for comedic purposes.[1] Essentially this was borderline illegal, Continue reading “Testing Game Mod(ification)s”

On the Nature of Horror and Fear

“It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror… Horror has a face… and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies!” [Francis Ford Coppola, Apocalypse Now.]

The human existance culminates in horror, as horror questions the continuation of the human existance. The greatest horror arises not from a certain doom, but from uncertainty, where lies the lack of control. When the doom is certain, one can control oneself enough to embrace for it.

Typically horror stories are at their scariest, while the nature of the monster is still unrevealed.[1] Continue reading “On the Nature of Horror and Fear”

Tietoisuuden ja tekoälyn terminologiaa

Tämä on tähänastisesti blogissani harvinainen rinnakkaiskirjoitus – julkaisun “Terminology of Consciousness and Artificial Intelligence” kanssa – joissa julkaisen saman tekstin suomeksi ja englanniksi.

Taannoin kirjoitin lyhyesti vahvan ja heikon tekoälyn käsitteistä[1], viitaten John Searlen artikkeliin, “Minds, brains, and programs”[2]. Tänään luin Susan Pockettin artikkelin “Consciousness Is a Thing, Not a Process”[3]. Päädyin pohtimaan terminologian moninaisuutta ja siitä johtuvaa sekavuutta keinoälykeskustelussa. Tämän kirjoituksen tavoite on kertoa muutaman eri termin sisällöistä, joiden kanssa voi helposti olla väärinkäsityksiä: Huomio, tietoisuus, äly, tuntevuus ja tietoisuus(sic.). Oman lisänsä tähän soppaan tuovat englannin ja suomen kielten erot.

Huomio on näistä termeistä perustavanlaatuisin ja yksinkertaisin. Continue reading “Tietoisuuden ja tekoälyn terminologiaa”

Metaplaying games

Ernest Adams states that in interactive storytelling the player/audience commits to an agreement with the author.[1] This agreement involves that the player will start following the story. For example, if the story begins at a train station, with a ticket to a train and the train about to leave, the player will board the train, instead of heading home, or starting to assault people at the station. On the other side of the agreement, the narrator will deliver the player an interesting story with interesting choices to make.

The Stanley Parable[2] breaks the fourth wall, and actually toys around with this agreement. Continue reading “Metaplaying games”

Murray’s Models of Digital Interaction

For a few years now I have been teaching a course at University of Turku Department of Future Technologies, called Principles of Interaction Design. The course was originally inspired by Janet H. Murray’s book Inventing the Medium: Principles of Interaction Design as a Cultural Practice[1]. It was soon amended by Cooper, Reimann, Cronin and Noessel’s book About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design, as well as other material we had background in through our research background.

One important part of Murray’s book that firmly is a topic on the course, is the Models of Digital Interaction. Continue reading “Murray’s Models of Digital Interaction”

Playing god

Following up on my earlier post, Aliens, AI and Aesthetics, I find it rather surprising that the only things I’ve seen rise up in the discussion, are the trolley problem, and a few doomsday prophets. I should be expecting to see the old debates about the existence of god and the issues of playing god give rise, as we discuss the creation of artificial sentience.

Early on one morning walk to work, I was thinking about the “miserable winning conditions” I mentioned on that earlier post. This lead me back to the old classic question: Continue reading “Playing god”

Aliens, AI and Aesthetics

Here’s the optimistic posting I promised in my last posting, “Who decides what you see?” Have I understood it correctly from the involved documentaries, concerning the recently released sequel movie Blade Runner 2049, the original film in 1982 marks the beginning of dystopian science fiction movie culture, as distinction to the preceeding utopian science fiction, such as the original Star Trek series (and movies) and the original Battlestar Galactica series. We are living the era, when science fiction is dominated by dark colours and threats from outside our home planet, as well as from the technology we are building. Even Stephen Hawking is warning that the development of artificial sentience would become the end of humankind.[1] I tend to disagree.

The first season of Star Trek introduced the Prime Directive[2], which emphasised the importance of not harming the development of less developed species. Continue reading “Aliens, AI and Aesthetics”