Probes

Posted on 2017/10/18 by

“World’s Greatest Dad”: The Ideological Work of the Richler Room Ephemera

In “Teaching Collections Management Anthropologically,” Cara Krmpotich details the iterative, multi-stage creation of a teaching collection for use by her Collections Management class at the University of Toronto. After briefly outlining the pedagogical importance of students’ embodied interactions with objects of material culture, Krmpotich discusses her initial challenge of not having a dedicated collection associated Read More

Posted on 2017/10/10 by

Box Anxiety: Collections and the Things that Contain Them/Us

Elizabeth Yakel states that “[a]rchivists are in the container business” (140), a claim I find highly relevant to the Residual Media Depot (RMD) and the Mordecai Richler Reading Room, two Concordia research collections [1] that contain a significant number of items in boxes. Yakel classifies archival boxes as “physical” containers, contrasting them with “intellectual” containers such as Read More

Posted on 2017/10/10 by

Collect Them All (Again): Ownership, Obsession, and Monetization in Mobile Gacha Games

Last February, Nintendo and Intelligent Systems released the first title in the twenty-seven-year-old Fire Emblem franchise specifically designed for mobile gameplay, and the only installment to operate on a platform other than a Nintendo console—emulation notwithstanding. As a strategy role playing game imbued with gambling elements, Fire Emblem Heroes conforms to an increasingly prevalent free-to-play Read More

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 2016/11/15 by

Kowloon Chic: The Atemporality of Ghost in the Shell

With a live-action adaptation of the Ghost in the Shell franchise looming, I thought I’d take a crack at applying Bruce Sterling’s thoughts on the concept of ‘atemporality’ (as the concept applies to creative artists), to the films Ghost in the Shell (1995) and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004). In the first of Read More

Posted on 2016/11/08 by

You’ve Been Steampunk’d: Postmodernism Re-Imagined

Steampunk, a relatively recent genre, is most recognizably understood as a hybrid genre that includes contemporary technology, powered by steam, usually set in either the Victorian era or the Wild West. In his speech “Atemporality for the Creative Artist” Bruce Sterling describes steampunk as a “lost future” which is created by a process of “finding 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 2016/11/06 by

Avatar: The Last Airbender: Bending Boundaries between Appreciation, Appropriation, and Adaptation

Between 2005 and 2008, American-based television network Nickelodeon aired what would become one of the most lauded and commercially successful children’s shows of its time, Avatar: The Last Airbender. At its best, Avatar presents stirring storylines that grapple with the complexities of human relationships in meaningful ways, offering the audience narratives that confront racism (“Book Read More

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