In Memory of Chinatown Fair Arcade (1958-2011)
October 30, 2011 6:48 PM   Subscribe

"Rather than adopting the popular perspective on gaming as a way of escaping life, engaging in violence or being antisocial, the film focuses on the gamers’ pure joy in their hard-sought achievements, the thrill of high-level competition, the significance it gives their lives, and the communities they create." Jon Rafman's (previously, and previously) Codes of Honor. Text and Video.

Rafman takes the perspective of a fictionalized, composite narrator who explores the way that the games he played in The Chinatown Fair arcade changed his life.
posted by codacorolla (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Good grief is it ever a disappointment that even the successful arcades in the US are starting to fade away.
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:26 PM on October 30, 2011

EVE: the pure joy of hard-sought antisocial achievement.
posted by ryanrs at 7:35 PM on October 30, 2011

OK. I am a get-off-my-lawn old guy. I am fascinated with randomness (hey, I'm an old-school Surrealist!) of the Google Vans. But, not having played videogames since the days I played them on coffee breaks on those long Japanese gigs as a musician, decades ago, I do not get the connection between these two different conceptual presentations. Skimming MeFi late at night, I must be missing something.
posted by kozad at 8:39 PM on October 30, 2011

The video was awesome. Love it. I LOVE hearing people intelligently analyze video game competitions.

the thrill of high-level competition

I totally relate to this. Halo, for example, can be treated as a sport: find a team of people you like/click with, discuss strategy and conduct training sessions, enter tournaments, etc. If you're good enough, it provides all the challenge and adrenaline rush of competitive sport, all while being able to eat pizza and sip beer. The thrill and joy of getting a perfect sniper head-shot in a critical situation against skillful opponents is directly analogous to dishing a perfect needle-threaded through-ball in soccer or nailing a forehand winner down the line on break point in tennis. At least to me. It's pretty cool.
posted by 3FLryan at 8:43 PM on October 30, 2011

See also Major League Gaming (MLG).
posted by 3FLryan at 8:53 PM on October 30, 2011

Speaking of hard-sought antisocial achievement in EVE Online, the leader of Goonswarm just sent out this beautiful bit of propaganda. It's an email from a player who had just been murdered and scammed by Goonswarm members.

Background: For the last couple weeks, Goons have been running a suicide campaign against ice miners in a handful of high-security systems. Under normal circumstances, high-sec systems are fairly safe since unprovoked violence will get you killed by the space cops. Shooting miners is guaranteed to result in the loss of your own ship. But during this campaign, Goons leadership has placed a bounty on ice miner kills. This bounty, in combination with the usual in-game insurance system, means that successful suicide runs are actually profitable in high-sec. As a result over a thousand miners have been ganked.

Here's the ping that was sent to all Goonswarm members:
So Atrum ganks a guy, The Wis, who mines with 21 macks [mining ships] all by himself. He gets 7 of them, and sends him the 'protection service' evemail; The Wis contacts me, sends me 1.3b for 'protection', then then realizes he's been had. So he sends Atrum the following heart-rending confession:

"Well he told me to contact you for now on. So now it look like you will still gank me and I work hard to keep going in this game. Sorry I am very mad that was more plexs [monthly subscription vouchers] for my guys. Yes I can make that back easly mining if I could mine. Now I will just get poped by you guys no matter what. and 400mil is nothing. That is like 3 maybe 4 hours of mining for me.
Sorry it is hard when I have had own allince members send people out to gank me. Now I fell I have been suckered into giving away 1.3bill isks. [$55 IRL]

Since my divorce all I want to do is die. and I have been doing that allot in this game.

I am sorry I did not understand. I am Just sick and tired of sitting here allone and having to play with my self. Everyone that I have helped out in this game and in real life just takes what you have and that is it. Never to hear from them again. I am getting tired of everything. It was nice mining ice while it lasted took my mind off everything. Even though some people may say I am a bot I am not. I run all 22 accounts myself it is not easy but it keeps mean sane. "

*** This was a broadcast from themittani to all, replies are not monitored ***
These are the tears that fuel Goonswarm.
posted by ryanrs at 10:47 PM on October 30, 2011

EVE Online kind of appeals to me as a complex tactical space sim. Then I brush up against something describing the EVE Online community and I have to go take a shower.

Of course this paragraph (from a review of X3: The Terran Conflict) was the most stellar endorsement of a space sim ever (at least in my mind) so my judgement may be compromised:
First and foremost, let me say this for the latest versions of X3: The controls here are as simple and streamlined as the series has ever seen. Second and somewhat less foremost however, I have to stress that calling X3's controls "simple and streamlined" is like saying Hitler misunderstood Nietzsche; While it's a relatively true statement, its such a huge understatement as to render the claim nearly moot.

posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:30 AM on October 31, 2011

ryanrs, I must be getting old. The email is a bit heartbreaking.
posted by jaduncan at 1:55 PM on October 31, 2011

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