Saeed Afzal

Posted on 2016/11/15 by

The Controller is Mightier than the Pen: How Video Games Blur the Lines of Authorship

There’s an argument to be made that the video game, as a medium, is inherently post-modern. If that, as a statement, is too general or perhaps diminutive, then it’s perhaps safer to say that the medium reflects certain key characteristics of post-modernism as it appears in art: there’s a tendency towards self-reflexivity, an arguably necessary Read More

Posted on 2016/11/08 by

Copy & Paste & Play: Amateur Games as Appropriation Art

Independent game-making has, despite its relatively short history, seen a significant evolution. “Indie” games, as they are known, are now associated with such popular titles as Minecraft (2011), The Stanley Parable (2013), and Don’t Starve (2013) – games that have unquestionably penetrated mainstream consciousness. There is a certain sophistication associated with the Indie genre nowadays, Read More

Posted on 2016/10/25 by

From Pictographs to Pixels: Exploring Cultural Appropriation in Virtual Worlds

The virtual worlds of video games offer a unique landscape wherein cultural heritage comes into contact (and tension) with new and emerging technologies as well as a plethora of other cultures: fandom culture, internet culture, consumer culture, and so on. It’s a landscape that is relatively new and that offers a veritable cultural quagmire to Read More

Posted on 2015/10/27 by

Hungercraft: A Taste-Test

Over the past little while I’d made the move from being simply an observer to an active participant in the savage phenomena that is Hungercraft. It’s been a colourful experience: I’ve done a lot of running and a lot of hiding; I’ve died within seconds while trying to remember how to open my inventory because Read More

Posted on 2015/09/25 by

The Nature of Conflict; A Conflict of Nature

Going into this new project, I’m excited about a number of things: having a chance to flex my creative and critical thinking skills, to dip my feet into the familiar worlds of ideological frameworks and implicit rules of play, and to undoubtedly have my mind blown by the most rudimentary of Minecraft mechanics that no Read More

Posted on 2014/09/26 by

Time Is Upon Us

For some final thoughts on BFC and the construction project, I’d like to devote some time to some ideas of communication, communities, and, of course, the Minecraft commons. The time for us to shed our pixellated avatars and congregate as a group in the physical world is upon us (ETA: In a few hours, actually! Read More

Posted on 2014/09/17 by

“Welcome to BFC. Can I Take Your Order?”

With construction on the BFC coming to a close, an eerie silence has fallen over the construction site, punctuated only by the chirping of tiny modded crickets intent on permeating the perimeter. We’ve got a prime location, ease of access thanks to the server’s teleportation system, and enough fried chicken to cause a significant spike Read More

Posted on 2014/08/27 by

The Carpenters of BFC

This last week (and then some) was characterized largely by resource gathering. This was heavily streamlined by way of the monster farms in the adorably named “Farmer’s Market”. Gathering Glowstone Dust was simple enough, with any treacherous trips to the Nether rendered unnecessary and replaced by the simple task of whacking some respawning ghosts over Read More

Posted on 2014/08/14 by

Setting Up Shop: BFC Comes to TAG

Over the course of the first week of our Big Fried Chicken franchise revival, perhaps my most difficult task has been trying to explain to others just what it is we’re doing. “My professor and some of my peers and I log on to an online game every night and try to build a virtual Read More