81 Slices
  Title Author Publisher Format Buy Remix
Medium 9780892728060

Have you seen this church in the woods?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

This graceful church has witnessed its share of drama. The Congregational meetinghouse sits across from the local historical society’s headquarters at the head of Main Street in this western mountain community of roughly 2,000, and it’s been home to the usual fiery sermons, somber funerals, and jubilant weddings. But it’s also seen four major fires tear through town in the span of a hundred years, the most devastating — one that singed the face of the church — taking place in 1971. Both the church and the community recovered, and a couple decades later, the old house of worship finally received the clock it had been waiting for since 1835, when the bell tower was built with circular openings where a clock should be. The town figured it would be able to install a proper timepiece a few years down the line as the community grew and prospered. Beautiful and pleasant though it may be — sitting astride a well-known river in the shadow of well-known mountains — the town never did get to the point where it could complete the project. But after more than 150 years of looking at the blank steeple, townspeople decided the time had come to rectify the situation. In 1991, after a year of bake sales and bean suppers, T-shirts sales and Monte Carlo nights, a classic 700-pound Seth Thomas clock was installed, adding a bit of temporal order to Main Street. One observer called the mighty fund-raising effort “perhaps the biggest thing that ever hit the town.” (Actually, the biggest thing would probably be the fire of 1971.) The church has certainly seen a lot. Maybe you’ve seen the church? Check page 99.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780892728060

Can you guess the location of this curious cascade?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

No, it’s not Wyman Dam. This little river embankment is not likely to be confused with that monumental waterstop on the Kennebec, but on a fine autumn day, it definitely has a grandeur all its own. If you were a kid in the ’50s, you might have known the pool above this dam as a local swimming hole in a small midcoast city. If you were a duck hunter in the ’60s, you might have known it as a great place for wingshooting. If you live hereabouts these days, on any one of a dozen streets graced with stunning Greek Revival and Victorian Gothic architecture, you might venture down to walk the neat new trail here. The community was established by a colony of Scotch-Irish who emigrated from Londonderry, New Hampshire, in the 1760s. The burg that arose was to be named for that Granite State town, but settlers opted to call it after a city in Ireland. Within the next century it would become famous for shipbuilding, and a century after that for its poultry-processing industry, until in the 1970s the whole area seemed to chicken out. That was about the same time when the surrounding county was subject to a pleasant invasion by back-to-the-landers captivated by the rural countryside and the fine old architecture. (Many of the beautiful buildings downtown went up in the 1870s when the city was putting itself back together after a catastrophic fire.) The dam and this graceful old structure date back to 1888, erected to serve as a reservoir and a pump house, providing the city with its water. It’s maintained for the same purpose today, although it now is a backup to a system of wells that the burg gets its water from. You can’t swim here anymore, nor can you hunt. But you most certainly can enjoy the view. Turn to page 101 to find out where to find it.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780892728060

Have you ever strolled this sand?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

The obvious question is: Where are all the people? It’s rare that this stretch of coastline is so quiet that there isn’t someone enjoying the sands. There’s almost always a beach stroller, shell seeker, sandcastle builder, or sunbather on this, one of the state’s most popular beaches. That’s the way it’s been here since the Pilgrims were splashing in the surf to the south — even longer, according to local historians. Englishmen first stepped ashore on this curve of the midcoast in 1607, more than a decade before the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, and the same year as the settlement of Jamestown. Of course, they were gone months later, after erecting a small fort, a church, and some fifty houses. They also built the first boat ever constructed in what would become Maine — the fifty-foot pinnace Virginia. But they found winter Down East just wasn’t for them – so they abandoned fame, fortune, and future reenactment villages to the Jamestownians and the Mayflower Pilgrims and left everything else to archaeologists. In recent years, local partisans have made the case that the first Thanksgiving in the New World was enjoyed right here, but the people of Plymouth, Massachusetts, with their rock and their cute costumes, didn’t buy it. The only pilgrims the beach sees now are the summer-loving, sun-worshipping kind. And boy, do they come — some 180,000 visit each year. The 529-acre site is famous for its dunes, its cold waters, its rivers, and undertows — and its difficult parking. Striped bass fishermen flock here as well, and movie stars like Paul Newman and Kevin Costner once spent a few days in the vicinity. With the 3,640-foot expanse of sand, the islands offshore, the surf crashing, the boats passing by, it’s not hard to understand the appeal. See page 99 to learn more about this sandy spot.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780892728060

Have you flown over this island community?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

A brilliant, sunny day in midwinter is cause for celebration in this small Penobscot Bay village. Much of the town is open and exposed to the unforgiving Atlantic, and in the cold and dark months the world beyond the bay seems very far away. Ice and snow hamper transportation, and with plummeting temperatures, lobstering, the principal occupation of the community, becomes even more arduous. Yet, somehow fishermen here still manage to bring home a lobster harvest that is among the largest in New England. But when the weather is disagreeable, simply getting to Rockland, fifteen miles away, to do some shopping, can be an ordeal. The harshness of winter fosters a sturdy neighborliness in town, a unity that some of the five thousand summer visitors who quadruple the year-round population each summer might even call insular. Residents of this particular spot — known locally as “the rock” — have a reputation as a hardy lot, as tough as the granite their forebears extracted from turn-of-the-twentieth-century quarries, especially in contrast to their nearest neighbors, a haven of affluent summercators to the north. The town was named for the man most responsible for its incorporation in 1789, but in recent years it’s been artists such as Robert Indiana who have put the place on the map. Indiana is one of a small colony of artists who have come to town to paint the pointed firs and the hyperactive surf. Though this view isn’t the typical postcard panorama — it’s unusually expansive and maybe even a bit misleading — it does provide a slew of clues. Can you spot them? The answer is on page 100.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780892728060

Where in Maine?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

For the better part of two decades the editors of Down East: The Magazine of Maine have asked our readers to play a game with us. We publish a stunning photograph of a unique location in the Pine Tree State — sometimes instantly recognizable, sometimes not — and drop a few hints about the historical or geological anomalies of this special place. Then we invite our readers to guess where it is by writing us a letter. We also ask them to tell us a little about their own personal connection to this unidentified corner of the Maine landscape. Have they ever visited this waterfall? Do they own a cottage on this island?

To say that “Where in Maine?” is the most popular feature in Down East is like calling the view from Cadillac Mountain “pleasant:” an understatement of the highest order. We receive more mail for these short items than other magazines receive for entire issues. The responses range from one-line emails — “It’s Perkins Cove in Ogunquit!” — to long, handwritten letters recounting childhoods enjoyed on the pictured shores of Sebago Lake or summers spent at the family cottage overlooking this exact view of Monhegan Harbor.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253012531

6. Citing the Medieval: Using Religion as World-Building Infrastructure in Fantasy MMORPGs · Rabia Gregory

HEIDI CAMPBELL Indiana University Press ePub

Rabia Gregory

A BETRAYAL. A CURSE. THE AGE OF STRIFE BEGINS. . . . WARRIORS, heroes, and adventurers begin the restoration. . . . What role will you play? Join the battle for supremacy or let chaos rule. Shadowbane.” This resonant baritone voiceover to the cinematic introduction to Wolfpack’s 2003 massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) lists dualistic clichés of fantasy role-playing games as the camera pans over scenes of armed three-dimensional male bodies engaged in combat, shooting arrows, casting spells, wielding siege engines, and arguing over strategy at campaign tables. As the only opportunity for cinematic narrative in the game, this opening video informs each new player that the game loading on their screen offers more than the realistic mechanics of premodern warfare. The conflict they are about to join is purposeful, each player a participant in a tragic battle originating in religious violence, which will frame their game experience as part of a war-torn world’s history. The cutscene’s camera slowly pans over the runes etched on the blade of a bloody sword thrust into the shattered trunk of a dying tree, capturing a moment of tragic betrayal when Cambruin, a mighty human king, was transfixed to the World Tree. As his blood ran down the tree’s trunk, the Shadowbane blade petrified the tree, shattering creation.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780892728060

Does this old school ring any bells?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

And Maine teachers today think they have it rough. Shortly before this school was built in 1917, educators — primarily women in those days — were given a rather severe set of guidelines by the state to which they were expected to adhere: 1. You will not marry during the term of your contract. 2. You are not to keep company with men. 3. You must be home between the hours of 8 P.M. and 6 A.M. unless attending a school function. 4. You many not loiter downtown in ice cream stores. 5. You may not travel beyond city limits unless you have the permission of the chairman of the board. On and on went the prohibitions.

The city in question here is in northern Maine, and the school pictured sits in a neighborhood called Spragueville. According to local history, kids attended the old schoolhouse through the eighth grade up until after World War II, when area schools were consolidated into School Administrative District No. 1. After that the place was used as a church for a decade, and then left to the winds and snows that tear across the rolling hills for which this part of Maine is famous. In the eighties a group of area residents decided the school was worth restoring and set to it, finishing the job in 1987. In recent years the graceful clapboarded building has been the setting for a program somewhat ironically called “a day in a country school,” which brings local “city” kids to Spragueville. The irony is that this entire region is generally thought of as Maine at its most agrarian and rural. Farming put it on the map (along with a certain military installation) and many of its 9,511 citizens still make their living working in the fields. See page 101.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780892728060

Have you ever hopped the ferry to this island?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Ah, the holidays on Long Island. That’s the former name of this lengthy isle in the middle of the state’s coast, and it couldn’t be any more apt — the skinny island splits one of Maine’s largest bays in half, stretching for ten miles. The ferry taking islanders three miles across the water to the mainland looks cold this time of year, even under the sunniest of skies. The village not far from this landing has been home to an exclusive summer colony since it was “discovered” by Jeffrey Brackett, a trend-setting Bostonian, in 1889. He was followed by the likes of J.P. Morgan and some of the biggest names in American industry. In more recent years Hollywood has found it. You don’t have to be one of the Hardy Boys to figure out what Cheers the rich and famous about the place: She’s So Lovely. The year-round residents (who number six hundred, according to the most recent census) tend to go about their business and leave the celebrities alone, building boats, working carpentry, or commuting to jobs on the mainland, boarding the ferry in the shadow of this square brick tower. The lighthouse was ordered built by President Franklin Pierce in 1851, and it was redone under command of Ulysses S. Grant in 1874, which was about the time the largest shipping fleet in the bay was working out of the island’s harbors. At the lightkeeper’s house is a small museum where you can learn about this sort of thing — in the summertime, of course. For now you’ll just have to content yourself with the views. To learn more about this festive island, turn to page 99.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780892728060

Can you name this southern Maine coastal community?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

You get four guesses at the name of this southern Maine community, serene as can be in this sunny scene. Local history buffs like to call the place the first chartered city in America. Those are fighting words to some people up the coast, but an argument can be made — there are few villages in the nation that can trace their roots back to the 1620s and still fewer cities were founded by 1641. Early residents found the haven here to be a particularly snug one. The Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast calls it “the most secure harbor between Portsmouth and Portland,” and notes that it’s long been a fine hurricane hole. The lands around it have not always been so secure. The Englishfolk who made their homes here had some trouble with the French and Indians. The Candlemas Day Massacre is a notable example — the settlement was nearly obliterated during Indian raids. Good plucky Mainers that they were, the townspeople rebuilt rather than leave, which, as a local historian notes, was forbidden under the law of the day anyway — better these folks get killed, the thinking must have been, than those in Boston. These were the sorts of nasty English laws that ticked off the Colonists, and when separation from England became a hot idea, residents here were largely behind it — they had a tea party even before their brothers in Boston did, raiding a store where British tea was kept while posing as “Pequawket Indians.” When prosperity returned after the war, townspeople turned back to fishing, farming, and shipbuilding, which would keep them employed until the explosion of tourism that hit the community after the Civil War. Turn to page 101 to see where to find it.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780892728060

Do you recognize this hushed hall?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

With the colonnade of ash trees beginning to leaf out in the late spring sun, going to the mall is especially inviting on a June afternoon. The freshly mown lawn is but one of the many clues in this verdant scene. The flag pole in front of the imposing brick edifice is something of a giveaway, suggesting an institution of some sort, a public building. The multiple entrances and inviting steps further that idea. Could it be a town hall, perhaps? Maybe a venerable high school or post office or museum? Possibly a barracks even? It’s too pleasant-looking to be prison-related. Well, here’s what we know: Construction of this impressive structure began in 1941, but it was postponed because of the Second World War and completed in 1947. Funding was provided by a prominent businessman who donated a great deal of money in the area. The population of the town hereabouts is just over 9,000 in the summer, and the community, named for a Penob-scot Indian chief, is known for the pretty National Register homes in its historic district — testaments to the importance of timber in the region — in addition to the goings on in and around this particular building. On warm days, people appear here like dandelions in springtime, enjoying the sun or playing Frisbee on these green grounds. See page 100 if you’d like to educate yourself about this location.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253017154

4. Henry Lowood: Archiving and Games

David S. Heineman Indiana University Press ePub

HENRY LOWOOD IS CURATOR FOR THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE & Technology Collections and Film & Media Collections in the Stanford University Libraries and a leading member of the Preserving Digital Worlds initiative funded by the Library of Congress. He has long been an instigator and an innovator in the emerging area of archiving games for historical analysis and has both produced prominent scholarship and taken part in groundbreaking archiving projects that continue to shape how we understand the historical importance of video games.

In 2011 Barwick, Dearnley, and Muir published an essay in Games and Culture that offered an overview and analysis of the most recent efforts in digital game preservation, wherein they concluded, “The preservation of computer games at present is based on imperfect solutions – the collection, storage, and display of computer games and paraphernalia, with arguably the more important issue of preserving gameplay being beset by legal ramifications” (387). These problems persist, they suggest, despite efforts by academic institutions, private and public museums, and state apparatuses to overcome them. Lowood’s work is largely directed toward proposing solutions for these obstacles, something he has accomplished by modeling preservationist and historical research that productively interrogates and successfully navigates a variety of academic, legal, and material concerns.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253012531

11. Bridging Multiple Realities: Religion, Play, and Alfred Schutz’s Theory of the Life-World · Michael Waltemathe

HEIDI CAMPBELL Indiana University Press ePub

Michael Waltemathe

IN RESISTANCE: FALL OF MAN, A FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER SET IN an alternative history, aliens have attacked earth and enslaved most of humankind and transformed them into supersoldiers. Some of the fighting in the game takes place in what is left of Manchester Cathedral in England, which in the alternative history is now infested by alien forces. As a result of this depiction, in the real world the Church of England took legal action against the publisher of the game, the Sony Corporation. The legal argument was that Sony had not asked permission to use graphic depictions of the cathedral in its product.1 The official reason for the legal action can be seen in the following quote from Church of England officials: “We are shocked to see a place of learning, prayer and heritage being presented to the youth market as a location where guns can be fired. . . . For many young people these games offer a different sort of reality and seeing guns in Manchester Cathedral is not the sort of connection we want to make.”2

See All Chapters
Medium 9780892728060

Can you identify this 1800s church?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

The holidays mean a little something more in this midcoast town. Some historians now believe that the first Thanksgiving in the New World was actually celebrated four hundred years ago not far from the site of this pretty white church. (Sorry, Plymouth. Nice rock, though.) Don’t care much about history? Perhaps beaches and celebrities are more your thing? Then you’ll be glad to know that one of the finest strands in Maine can be found here. This beach town (population 2,100 or so) played host to the 1999 flick Message in a Bottle, starring as the strand on which the very message of the title washes up (Kevin Costner and Paul Newman co-starred). The people who live here tend to associate themselves with several distinct villages — what Maine town isn’t broken into several villages, by the way — and you can bet they’re thankful to call this place home. Have you ever celebrated Thanksgiving here? If you think you recognize this historic hamlet and its 1802 Congregational Church, turn to page 98 and see if you’re correct.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253014993

3. Neoliberal Masculinity: The Government of Play and Masculinity in E-Sports

Thomas P Oates Indiana University Press ePub

Gerald Voorhees

We’re at a point where only about forty people in the U.S. can make a living playing video games. I’d like to get it to a hundred. I think we’re a year or two away from that.

SUNDANCE DIGIOVANNI, quoted in Richard Nieva,
“Video Gaming on the Pro Tour for Glory but Little
Gold,” New York Times, November 28, 2012

While scholars have begun to investigate the professionalization of gaming, I take it on only to the extent that it is an exemplary site for thinking about the sportification of digital games, a broader sociocultural phenomenon that emerges at the juncture of neoliberal rationality and distinct – often competing – constructions of masculinity circulating in contemporary Western culture. Indeed, the sportification of digital games has led to the creation of national leagues, international tournaments, and corporate-sponsored teams of professional cyberathletes, but it is not rooted in these institutions or in the professionalization of players; rather, they are both effects of the hegemony of the sportive mentality. The games are objective things defined by protocological affordances and constrains, but their status as sport and the practices constituting the process of sportification are a result of the meaning attributed to them by player and fan communities.1 In this chapter I examine the cultural implications of the figuration of digital games as sports, often called e-sports, focusing on the production of an intelligible subject position at the nexus of neoliberalism and masculinity.

See All Chapters
Medium 9780253012531

1. Dreidels to Dante’s Inferno: Toward a Typology of Religious Games · Jason Anthony

HEIDI CAMPBELL Indiana University Press ePub

Jason Anthony

ITS HARD TO IMAGINE TWO MORE DIFFERENT ARENAS THAN games and religion. Games strike us as a pleasant distraction, a space where amiable conflicts play out to a conclusion which, tomorrow, won’t matter much. Religious activity is clearly quite different. It calls for utmost seriousness and a minimum of conflict, and our commitment will yield consequences that can last a lifetime – or longer, depending on the views we hold on eternity.

So goes the conventional wisdom. Yet games and religion share a long, rich, and intertwined history, even in the digital age. Consider a brief snapshot of the events at the 2011 Game Developers Conference. The world’s top designers, developers, and game studios have gathered to discuss the state of their art. Design guru and director of the NYU Game Center Frank Lantz steps up to the podium. In a highly anticipated talk, he advocates at length for the “sublime” in games. He explains that the venerable game of Go held a place in Confucian practice, and asks why poker and other complex games could not attain a similar stature: “Why can’t a video game be a spiritual discipline?” And he continues: “I want more video games that give me a space in which to entangle my mind with the mysterious infinite secrets of the universe. And this doesn’t have to be precious. Poker proves that it can have something vulgar and violent and dirty and shameful and dangerous and addictive. And if it’s deep enough, it can slingshot you all the way around to new orbits of insight and higher levels of consciousness.”1

See All Chapters

Load more