Game Theory: Bang Bang (your not dead?)


A Game Boy in the Cross Hairs By Paul Keegan - John Romero helped create the hard-core computer games Doom and Quake, and became a hero to 'first person shooter' players everywhere. But after Littleton, he and his worked are taking a hit. May 23, 1999, Sunday Magazine Desk , 5141 words, The New York Times

Pushing the Envelope for Creative Violence by Peter Olafson, "...Playing with all the violence options enable, I shot off enemies' legs in the opening level in the New York subways. .....Does a game go too far? ...but it turns out that once you've seen one screaming soldier with his leg shot off, you've seen them all. The effects are shocking the first few times around, and then they begin to recede into the body of the game." May4, 2000, Game Theory, The New York Times

Beyond Shoot your Friends: A Call to Arms in the Battle Against Violence By Celia Pearce,
Momentum Media Group, from Digital Illusion: Entertaining the Future with High Technology, Ed. by Clark Dodsworth Jr.. pg. 209-228. violence in Games: The Dirty Family Secret, Why Are Video Games so Violent?, "It's what the market wants", "we don't know why, we just do it.", "Tetris is the most popular game among women, but nobody knows why", A History to Recreational Violence, Looking to the Past for Answers About the Future, The uphill Battle Against Violence, Gases as War Simulations, Violence in the Media, "Boys like to shoot", Interactive Television - Shoot the TV, A Brief History of Computer Games, Spacewar!, Pong and the Birth of the Consumer Computer Game, Virtual Violence, The Military Entertainment Complex, Toward a New Model: Creating a New Paradigm for Multi-user Interactivity, Now that We've Surveyed the Past, Let's Return to the Future.

Word for Word/Columbine High School; How Carnage in Our Hallways Scarred Us, and Made Us B By TOM KUNTZ THIS is the time of year when high school graduates scrawl happy and tender sentiments in each other's yearbooks. But nothing so innocent and uncomplicated could suffice at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., scene of the nation's worst studen ... May 23, 1999, Sunday, The New York Times

TERROR IN LITTLETON: THE SERVICE; 70,000 Mourn In Quiet Tears, Song and Rain By JAMES BROOKE Jonathan Cohen, a slender 17-year-old lost in an oversized sweatshirt, stood today before a sea of silent faces, closed his eyes, and sang in a clear tenor, ''Do you still hear raging guns, ending dreams of precious ones?'' In this community torn by ... April 26, 1999, Monday National Desk , 1139 words, The New York Times

Shootings Intensify Interest in Home Schooling By MINDY SINK, Brian Rohrbough remembers the promise he and other anxious parents made on April 20 as they stood outside Columbine High School waiting to see if their children had made it out alive. ''People were saying, if my child is O.K., he or she will never s ... August 11, 1999, Wednesday National Desk , 1202 words, The New York Times

3D Stream Apathy for Distraction By Barry Fox, 3D DIRECT


Game Theory

Prisoner's Dilemma/John Von Neumann, Game Theory and the Puzzle of the Bomb by William Poundstone. John von Neumann invented the digital computer, played a key role in the development of the atom bomb, constructed a branch of mathematics known as game theory, and became a defender of a movement to bomb the Russians before they could bomb us. Now comes a biography of this controversial genius and an exploration of his greatest idea--one that nearly triggered a nuclear war in 1950. Photographs. From the Back Cover "Both a fascinating biography of von Neumann, the Hungarian exile whose mathematical theories were building blocks for the A-bomb and the digital computer, and a brilliant social history of game theory and its role in the Cold War and nuclear arms race."

The Computer and the Brain by John Von Neumann. A great book for exploring the human brain as computer Harvey B. Vedder,March 30, 1999 A book for a limited audience. You have got to be interested in some really seminal, currently unresolved issues of how the great invention of the ALU (arithmetic logic unit) still employed in every computer built to the present day, was a compromise effort by this genius. His thought was to model the human brain, and the ALU succeeded in modeling just a small part, but he was totally frustrated and unsatisfied by the result--for good reason. Hepoints out that the very language of the human brain has not yet been discovered--the orders of magnitude by which its process and results exceed the merely digital high speed comparator we call a computer (my apologies to Bill Gates!) clearly demonstrate the existence of a logic and a mathematics, the simplest rules of which as yet defy all our efforts to understand its workings, while we experience its results every time we think. Depth of logical levels, and depth of arithmetic levels necessary to achieve the requisite results we obtain from our Crays and our PCs are scorned by the human brain in a radical simplicity as yet undiscovered (not in that it does it, but in how it does it: therefore he postulates the existence of a radically, essentially different math and logic inherent in its workings). He lays out the discoveries of Turing, McCullough and Weiner in a brilliant tour de force of known (1955)neurological and cybernetic discoveries, and how they charted his course in creating the ALU. He compares analog and digital and mixed models of computing but (in my opinion) oversimplifies the digital aspect of thinking and memory, deeming them to be the route used by the human brain in performing its unruffled magic. He closes by posing two questions that express the wonderment faced by a high level intelligence when accosted by the facts he was unable to wrap mental arms around: 1)"what essential inferences about the arithmetical and logical structure of the computing machine that the nervous system represents can be drawn from these ...conflicting observations? and 2)what are the logics and mathematics in the central nervous system [that must be]structurally *essentially* different from those languages to which our common experience refers? His fellow researcher, Warren McCullough similarly closed out his life and research by repeating a question that plagued him all his life: What is a number, that a man can know it, and a man that he can know a number? This is a great book that pushed the limits of his time; his swan song, to be delivered as the Yale Silliman lecture, but never was, due to Von Neumann's tragic untimely death in his early fifties.

Biographical information on John Von Neumann:

Coming of Age by Phil LoPiccolo: Editor-in-Chief, Computer Graphics World, "During the wave of school shootings that have taken place in the 15 months since the Columbine tragedy, no group has taken more criticism for contributing to youth violence than the computer game industry..." Computer Graphics World July 2000

Anne-Marie Schleiner: artists and the computer game industry

Gaming History (in progress)


Lyotard, Jean-Francois. "Can thought exist without a body?". In The Inhuman. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press,1991.

Anders, Peter. Envisioning Cyberspace: Designing 3-D Electronic Spaces (October 1998) McGraw-Hill; ISBN: 0070016321.

Virilio, Paul. The Lost Dimension. New York, Semiotext(e), Inc.,New York: Columbia University, 1991.

Virilio, Paul. The Aesthetics of Disappearance. New York, Semiotext(e), Inc., New York: Columbia University, 1991.

Stone, Allucquere, Rosanne. The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Mechanical Age. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1995.

"The Wisdom of Art" In: R. Barthes, The Responsibility of Forms. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

Heidegger, Martin. "The Age of the World Picture". In: M. Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays. New York: Harper and Row, 1977.

Crary, Jonathan. Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century. Mass,: MIT Press, Cambridge, 1990.

Arnheim, Rudolph. Visual Thinking. Berkeley and Los Angeles,Ca.: University of California Press, 1969.

Anders, Peter. Envisioning Cyberspace: Designing 3-D Electronic Spaces (October 1998) McGraw-Hill; ISBN: 0070016321.

James Brook and Iain A. Boal, eds., Resisting the Virtual Life, San Francisco, City Lights Books, 1995.

Gombrich, E.H. Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1960.

"The Wisdom of Art" In: R. Barthes, The Responsibility of Forms. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

Moser, Mary Anne and MacLeod, Douglas. Immersed in Technology: Art and Virtual Environments. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1996.

Baudrillard, Jean. Simulations. Semiotext(e), Inc., New York:Columbia University, 1983.

Malraux, André. "Museum Without Walls". In The Voices of Silence.New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1978.

Postman, Neil. Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. New York: Vintage Books, 1993.

Vitz, Paul C. and Arnold B.Glimcher. Modern Art and Modern Science: The Parallel Analysis of Vision. New York: Praeger, 1984

Other Thoughts

Shooters unlike any other forms of media violence are more immersed - they are "in" the movie. How this translates into the real world varies according to the individual playing the game.

"first person shooter"

"one-shot kills"

Programming advances have allowed for increasingly fast and realistic play.

It is telling that the first thing Americans wanted to do upon discovering this remarkable new virtual world was start shooting up the place.

Artistic Influences

Ana Mendieta

Laurie Simmons, The Walking Series:

Robert Longo, The BodyHammer Series:

Rebecca Horn

VNS Matrix

Wasliy Kandinsky

Kandinsky, Wassily. Concerning the Spiritual in Art. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1977.

Related Sites

Center for Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria, "Toys'n'Noise", curated by Margarete Jahrmann and Georg Weckwerth

The International Festival for Film, Video and New Media, Lucerne, Switzerland:

Kathleen Ruiz

Ruiz's Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Alternative Gaming and Interface

Other Gaming Sites