Bonjour class! Welcome to Ludology 101. Matthew Wiese of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab talks about his work and his experience on the academic side of games. Is ludology as sleep-inducing as it sounds? No sir, and in fact criticism and academia may have more in common than you think. With Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Tim Spaeth. Happy Thanksgiving to all our listeners!

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Tim Spaeth

Tim Spaeth

Cleveland native Tim Spaeth grew up in a happy household – a household with a father whose major client happened to be an Atari games distributor. This led directly to Tim's first nickname: "The kid who got Atari games before anyone else." Indeed, he knew Pac-Man and E.T. were colossal bombs weeks before the rest of the world, and the resulting celebrity brought him great pleasure.

Through the years every aspect of Tim's life has been touched by gaming. He mastered typing thanks to Space Quest, honed his poker skills on The Sierra Network, and learned to hate after a particularly traumatic game of Tecmo Super Bowl.

Today, Tim lives in Chicago with his three kids and strives to find that perfect balance between family, career, and Warcraft. He enjoys broadcasting, martial arts, rock and roll, growing and shaving his beard, singing show tunes to the homeless, and losing at Mario Kart to his lovely, talented, and amazing girlfriend.

In late 2008, Tim became the producer and host of the GameCritics.com Podcast, and he's thrilled to be bringing GameCritics' unique editorial voice to a brand new medium.
Tim Spaeth

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9 Comments on "GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 26: Game Studies, Ludology 101 with Matthew Wiese from Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab"

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Matt
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Matt
4 years 7 months ago

Completely off topic, but I just received an automated voicemail from Gamestop, saying that The Last Guardian, what I was hoping would have been my best game of 2011, has been canceled. I am sad.

Zhou Xuanming
Guest
6 years 6 months ago
I think Ludology has gone a long way since its “radical” days, and it has come to encompass more and more of what games are other than the rigid rules-and-nothing-else camp of Ludology past. It has been 10 years since the debate, and I think Ludology has (or should have) shaken off its old elitist image as younger and more game-savvy researchers enter the fray, and I dare say modern Ludology is a term interchangeable with Game Studies right now. The idea that Ludologists hate stories is very much a misunderstanding (it was cleared up in an academic article a… Read more »
quietID
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quietID
6 years 7 months ago

I think this was an example of sarcasm Chi. People often term peoples attempts at slightly more meaningful/insightful responses as elitist or pretentious, I imagine he doesn’t think he’s elitist or pretentious. The game community is pretty liberal with the p word, whenever I read about Braid it was being brandished all over the place. I think the term has no merit though, at what point does something become pretentious?

What I find gamers usually brand as pretentious is simply conversation or material trying to do something interesting… Pull the conversation upward…

Chi Kong Lui
Guest
Chi Kong Lui
6 years 7 months ago

[quote=Erik Hanson]For what it’s worth, I don’t think the “middle circle” folks at Critical Distance, Brainy Gamer, VGHVI or anywhere else are trying to talk down to people or prove they have “the biggest brain.” I fear I give that impression, though I hope my elitist pretensions are more about pulling discussion upward than about reinforcing the floor.[/quote] Why is “elitist pretensions” necessary and/or is there any value to it in elevating the discussion?

Erik Hanson
Guest
6 years 7 months ago

For what it’s worth, I don’t think the “middle circle” folks at Critical Distance, Brainy Gamer, VGHVI or anywhere else are trying to talk down to people or prove they have “the biggest brain.” I fear I give that impression, though I hope my elitist pretensions are more about pulling discussion upward than about reinforcing the floor.

Zolos
Guest
Zolos
6 years 7 months ago
[quote=Matthew Weise] I dunno if this makes me “appear more like the podcast’s listeners”, but there you have it.[/quote] First of all thank you for replying, especially as it was very detailed. I really do believe that it helps us readers understand people’s ideas more once we know the games that have made an impression on them. Especially people who are in one way or another are working in the gaming industry, be it as an academic, as a developer or reviewer. People who are actually contributing to the evolution of the medium and not just enjoying it, like myself… Read more »
Matthew Weise
Guest
6 years 7 months ago
[quote=Zolos] I understand that you want to keep the length of the pod to an hour or so and i like that. However, i think it will give us a tiny glimpse of what the person likes or thinks about a specific game and also make him appear more like the podcast’s listeners. [/quote] We talked about doing this before the podcast, but never got around to it during the actual recording. In case you’d like to know now… I like many kinds of games, but the only real genre of game I would say I’m a fan of is… Read more »
Ada
Guest
6 years 8 months ago
Finally got a chance to listen to this episode today and greatly enjoyed it. Matt, was really nice to hear an academic (or half academic :)) “reach out” to the community and help make us seem more personable. I’m doing a paper right now on the good old ludology/narratology debate – just discussing how it happened, why, the results, etc. Reading those old articles, I sometimes come to the same conclusion that they just do not play games and are missing the point. The field has come a long way in 10 years though and I think and hope we… Read more »
Zolos
Guest
Zolos
6 years 8 months ago

Something that i would like to see in your podcasts when you have guests is asking them about any games they are currently playing and their opinion.

I understand that you want to keep the length of the pod to an hour or so and i like that. However, i think it will give us a tiny glimpse of what the person likes or thinks about a specific game and also make him appear more like the podcast’s listeners.

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