Weekly 5 2/1/13


Hello everyone, and welcome to another Weekly 5! Here’s five links to stories and stuff that we think is pretty interesting.

1. Taking The “E” Out Of E-sports

The folks over at Venture Beat have a cool story about the coverage of professional League of Legends. The overlap of traditional sports approaches and new approaches specific to e-sports is fascinating. Also, a few of us here at the lab are trying to figure out how to play LoL, getting sage advice from Todd, our resident star. We’ve got a lot of learning to do, but we’ll get there!

2. Why Maddy Plays Violent Videogames

Here’s a different take on violence in videogames from Maddy Myers, published at The Phoenix. In it Myers talks about the empowerment of playing at violence, which is an interestingly different read on violence in media.

3. Richard Hofmeier and Cart Life

Christian Donlan at Eurogamer has a great piece about Hofmeier, the developer behind the IGF darling Cart Life. Here’s one of our favorite lines from the piece:

My playthrough left me with the feeling that it’s a kind of empathy generator, encouraging you to think about things – and people – who can often, rather worryingly, blur out, trapped in your peripheral vision. It’s also, according to Hofmeier, who is fond of food metaphors, “a poor hors d’oeuvre,” and “more of a pot roast or a big piece of meatloaf.”

4. Making Meaningful History Games

Here’s a nice piece about collaborations between game designers and historians looking to leverage the unique affordances of games to communicate historical ideas. In particular, here’s a nice post by Rebecca Mir about how just such a  collaboration can be fruitful.

5. The Longest Game of Tag, Like, Ever

These guys have been playing the longest game of tag, like, ever. It’s an example of some seriously committed gaming. Over at the Wall Street Journal there is a piece about a 23 year game of tag. It got some interesting variants, such as no geographic restrictions, and it is only a “live” game during the month of February. Whoever is last to be tagged “it” when March roles around is stuck with, um, it, until February one of the next year. Pretty appropriate story considering today is the 1st of February, I wonder if anyone has been tagged yet?!? Oh, and yes, that was a thinly veiled Taylor Swift reference.


Abe Stein is a Research Affiliate at the MIT Game Lab and recently completed his SM in the Program in Comparative Media Studies at MIT, writing about sports videogames. He has authored a number of articles about sports and sports media and is co-editor of the book Sports Videogames. He currently works as an Associate Director of Communications at Wheaton College, in Norton, MA and as a researcher with the eSports company Azubu, and have studied and written about sports media.