81 Slices
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Have you been to this historic garrison?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

This diminutive outpost doesn’t seem quite sturdy enough to stop rampaging French and Indians, does it? Luckily, this blockhouse was only one small part of a much larger fort, which was built in 1754 to protect the locals from just such an attack. The structure was sufficiently stout to survive for centuries — it was the oldest of its kind in the nation — until the great flood of April 1, 1987. That’s when one of Maine’s larger rivers broke its bounds and flushed the blockhouse and a lot of other stuff downstream. By that time the fort was part of a popular state park and the focal point of the community, which had literally sprung up around it. So the good people rebuilt it, using as many of the original timbers as they could collect. (Some had floated forty miles.) Have you been to this historic garrison? Turn to page 101 if you think you can identify this riverside spot.

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Do you know how this town got its name?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Welcome to New Milford. That’s not what this midcoast village is called these days, of course, and it’s a good thing, too, because that sounds like some place in Connecticut or Massachusetts. No, this cluster of more than a dozen eighteenth- and nineteenth-century buildings is one of two fine, white-clapboard hamlets in a town named for the prevalence of its alder trees. (Most people are more familiar with these two picturesque villages than they are with the town that contains them.) One of the state’s mightiest rivers runs through the community — right under this bridge — and it’s the reason for the town’s being. The forests along its banks were a pre-Colonial and early-American source of masts for ships. Legendary pirate Captain Kidd is said to have buried Spanish doubloons and diamonds in town when he paid a visit in search of spars, and the white pine masts of the USS Constitution spent the winter of 1796–97 here. The heyday of mast production was followed by a lively local shipbuilding industry, an economic mainstay of the community for most of the nineteenth century. Mills of just about every type — saw, grist, stave, shingle, plane, carding, and fulling — were set up in this particular village, and worked away from the late 1700s through the first half of the twentieth century. A freshet flushed out those on the north side of the river in 1896, though, and fire took care of those on the other bank in 1924. When the mills and yards were booming, the town was jumping, like the alewives in the river. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edwin Arlington Robinson was born in a house on the bank of the river here in 1869, and he rose to fame penning poems about places like Tilbury Town. (But not New Milford.) To see if you’ve ever passed through here, turn to page 98.

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9. The Importance of Playing in Earnest · Rachel Wagner

HEIDI CAMPBELL Indiana University Press ePub

Rachel Wagner

THE ERROR PEOPLE TEND TO MAKE THE MOST IN THINKING about games and religion is to assume that the primary opposition at work is the idea that religion is “serious” whereas games are “fun.” I propose that a more accurate distinction is between being earnest as opposed to being insincere in one’s engagement with the ordered world views that religions and games can evoke. The importance of constructing systems or worlds of order into which people may willingly enter is a key feature of both religions and games. The greatest offense in both experiences is to break the rules, that is, to become an apostate, an infidel, a cheater, or a trifler, to fail to uphold the principal expectations about how to inhabit that particular experience’s world view. To fail in being earnest in following the rules is to cause a disruption of order, a breach in the cosmos-crafting activity that both games and religion can provide. Of course, not all experiences of religious practice and gameplay will fit this definition, but many of them do. This, I propose, is a fundamental similarity between religion and games, generally speaking: both are, at root, order-making activities that offer a mode of escape from the vicissitudes of contemporary life, and both demand, at least temporarily, that practitioners give themselves over to a predetermined set of rules that shape a world view and offer a system of order and structure that is comforting for its very predictability. While it is true that games offer such ordered worlds on a temporary basis and religion attempts to make universal claims to such rule-based systems, the root impulse of entering into ordered space reveals a deep kinship between religion and games that is startling and evocative.

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The answers. And more…

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Orrs, Bailey Island pages 6–7

Population: 500.

Population density: 216 people per square mile.

Median household income: $40,611.

ZIP Code: 04003.

Best place to grab lunch: Cook’s Lobster House.

Best place to lay your head: you have your pick, but the Log Cabin may be the most fun.

Local landmarks: the bridge, Land’s End, Giant Steps, Mackerel Cove.

Renowned residents: freed slave William Black, Jungian psychoanalysts Eleanor Bertine, Esther Harding, and Kristine Mann.

Getting there from here: Take Route 24.

Head Tide, Alna pages 8–9

Population: 675.

Population density: 32 people per square mile.

Median household income: $43,125.

ZIP Code: 04535.

Best place to grab lunch: the only place is the local general store.

Best place to lay your head: the next town over.

Local landmarks: this village.

Renowned residents: poet Edwin Arlington Robinson, famous Maine writer Andrew Vietze.

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Medium 9780253017154

11. Ian Bogost: Anxieties, Procedures, and Game Studies

David S. Heineman Indiana University Press ePub

IN LATE 2012, IAN BOGOST PRESENTED A PUBLIC LECTURE AND exhibited some of his work at the University of North Florida’s Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum’s director, Marcelle Polednik, in a press release advertising the event, described Bogost as “one of the foremost scholars and designers of games and game theory. . . . [His work is used to] both reflect on and deploy the media of today to highlight timely topics and issues to a wider audience.” Most who have had occasion to read Bogost’s writing or listen to him speak would probably recognize that, in Polednik’s description, there is a lot of truth. Bogost’s work is widely read and cited both inside and outside academic circles, he is a coeditor of an influential series in game studies (MIT Press’s Platform Studies series), and he has produced thought-provoking video games that model how we might think about design itself as a kind of critical practice.

Bogost often discusses the subjects he critiques – games, academia, business, and so on – with a pervasive cynicism and a seemingly entrenched skepticism. His work tends to favor clarity and directness over hyperbole and obfuscation, a characteristic that makes it hard to believe he would be comfortable accepting the kinds of accolades that Polednik’s statement ascribes to him. In the interview in this chapter, for example, he is somewhat blasé about the success he has had in a relatively short period of time, suggesting that “someone would have made similar observations at that time if it hadn’t been me.”

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3. Eugene Jarvis: Games and Design

David S. Heineman Indiana University Press ePub

AS LONG AS VIDEO GAMES HAVE BEEN A COMMERCIAL MEDIUM, they have appeared in arcades. Their success there has waxed and waned over the decades, and for much of the past fifteen years the arcade business has seen most game studios ceasing production of coin-op games, have witnessed more arcades shuttering their doors than opening them, and have seen their historical role as a primary driver of industry trends shifted toward a contemporary role as a niche part of the video game landscape.

Eugene Jarvis, for all intents and purposes, is the “last man standing” in the arcade business in the United States. Jarvis cut his teeth programming classic Williams arcade games like Defender and Robotron 2084 before working on popular titles like Smash TV and the Cruis’n series for Midway in the 1990s. The company he founded in 2001, Raw Thrills, Inc., is the only U.S. game developer regularly producing new arcade titles. In recent years they have produced arcade cabinets related to the Fast and Furious film franchise, the Terminator franchise, and the Batman films and have developed several original properties such as the Big Buck Hunter series. They have found success in placing their machines in Wal-Marts and truck stops and in bars and restaurants, as well as in many other locations outside of the traditional arcade space.

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Do you know the name of this central Maine mill town?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

It’s very clear from this autumnal photograph that Milburn is a mill town. Milburn? That’s the name this county seat used before it decided to assume the Abenaki name for “place to fish.” The surging Kennebec, which wraps its arms around the little island pictured here, provided the power for grist- and saw- and woolen mills in years past. The 12 ½ acre isle is literally the heart of town, and its steep sides posed many problems for Benedict Arnold and his men during their Revolutionary march to Quebec — they had to heave their bateaux over its steep walls to get upriver. Many years later, in 1920, the rectangular building in the center of the image was built as a power station, its inners generating 16,000 horsepower in its heyday under Central Maine Power. Today, though, the central Maine town of ten thousand that grew up around the river is not known so much for electricity as for paper — it shares a mill with the burgh immediately to the south, the border running right through the factory’s compound. The municipality is also home to one of the largest of the state’s fairs, a massive agricultural festival claiming to be the oldest annual fair of its kind in the nation, and also the country’s tallest cigar-store Indian. A sixty-foot wooden sculpture, it was created by an artist affiliated with the respected school of art named after the town. It’s also where the HBO movie of Richard Russo’s excellent Empire Falls was shot. To learn more about this central Maine mill town, see page 99.

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Do you recognize this great lake?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

If it weren’t for a small change in the wording, we might be calling all the people who live near this great lake the Flintstones. The original name of the community here was Flintstown — it was part of a grant given to a Revolutionary captain whose surname was Flint. Of course, many Maine villages were swallowed up when towns incorporated or joined with other municipalities, and that’s just what happened along the shores of this massive waterbody. At forty-seven square miles, this isn’t the state’s largest lake — that would be Moosehead — but it is the deepest. Even before the Flints moved in (the lake’s name is an Abenaki word for “large open water”), everyone has wanted a piece of this basin. In 1877 there were even armed clashes here between corporations interested in the flow of water to their downstream mills, a conflict — the Basin Dam War — that spun into the courts for years. In the following decades, the mills quarreled with the nascent tourism industry. The new hotels needed water levels high enough to move their cargo — affluent summer guests — while the mills were more concerned about letting enough water get downstream. Now the challenges facing the lake are issues like Jet Skis and the invasive effects of milfoil. Makes one long for the simple times of Fred and Barney, Wilma and Betty. See page 101 if you recognize this great lake.

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5. Ed Fries: The Economics and Politics of a Launch

David S. Heineman Indiana University Press ePub

THE YEARS BRIDGING THE VERY END OF THE TWENTIETH century and the very beginning of the twenty-first were an interesting time in the history of video games. A few years prior to the millennium, the video game industry experienced a gold rush the likes of which had not been seen since before the infamous crash of 1983. In the six years between the initial sale of the Atari Video Computer System and the year when millions of unsold Atari cartridges were buried in a desert landfill, no fewer than ten game consoles were put on the market, many backed by major tech-industry companies like General Electric and Magnavox or toy companies like Mattel and Milton Bradley. By comparison, between October 1992 and September 1996 at least twenty video game consoles or video game console add-ons were placed on the market. These included the Sega CD, Atari Jaguar, Sega 32X, 3DO, Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Nintendo Virtual Boy, NEC PC-FX, Amiga CD32, FM Towns Marty, Apple Bandai Pippin, Atari Jaguar CD, Casio Loopy, Tiger R-Zone, Pioneer Laser Active, Playdia, Neo Geo CD and CDZ, Supervision, Mega Duck and Cougar Boy, and Nintendo Stellaview (among others). This was a staggering amount of new technology flooding the game market in a very short time, and as was the case when a similar phenomenon occurred in the early 1980s, the vast majority of these systems failed to find an audience. In fact, the millennial transition period is probably more notable for the number of companies that found themselves forced out of the game console industry (including household names like Sega and Atari) than those that got their start in the period.

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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.

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Have you enjoyed spending time at this preserve?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Under the October sun, this stretch of shorefront looks like Anyplace, Maine. The rocks push out into water that might be a river, might be a bay. The trees glow pleasantly against the blue, the air is clear, and the light is bright. This photo could have been taken anywhere. But these 500 acres are actually quite unique, making for a piece of rarefied real estate with so many fine features that not one, not two, but four different state and local agencies banded together in 1989 to preserve it in perpetuity. This is, in fact, a headland on one of the midcoast’s more important (and multisyllabic) rivers, and it attracted the attention of preservationists for a number of reasons. There is more than eight thousand feet of river frontage here, with pocket sand and pebble beaches; there are old-growth trees along with several notable plant communities; there are native shell middens; and the remains of a brickyard that turned out building blocks in the late nineteenth century. These days the local economy runs on oyster farming, commuting (to the larger Route 1 towns), retirement communities, health care, and tourism. The Bureau of Parks and Lands manages this park for “hiking, clamming, worming, skiing, swimming, nature study, habitat management, and forestry demonstration.” Which is a long-winded way of saying that people like to recreate here. On days like the one pictured here, it’s foliage that provides the draw, and there is plenty of it in this former State of Maine Tree Farm of the Year (1978). See page 101 to learn its location.

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Do you know where to find this coastal park?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

This little lighthouse looks out across the “finest bay in North America,” if we’re to believe the governor of Massachusetts in 1759. Stand on the shore here, with your eyes wide to the bay — said to have an island for every day of the year — and it’s hard to argue with the old man who ordered a fort built on this site to protect these important waters from the French and Indians. It was a wise move, since the major river that runs through the region was a fault line of sorts between the English to the west and the French Down East. The same year the fort was being constructed here, Quebec fell to the English, and the French were effectively given the boot from the region. During the Revolutionary War, British troops snuck into the fort in 1775 to remove its guns. Fast forward to the 1880s, and this was a very fashionable spot to be, red coat or no — that’s when a hotel was built here in 1872 with the hopes of making the point a rival to bustling Bar Harbor. Well-heeled Bostonians made the trip up by steamboat and stayed in the enormous place, luxuriating amid its running water, gas lights, stables, bowling alley, and dancing pavilions. Unfortunately for the resort, the tony types never found the finest bay in North America as much to their liking as the bays and mountains of Mount Desert. Rather than become a fancy national park visited by millions, this spot turned into a 120-acre state park that all too often gets lost in the great waves of summer tourists that sweep over the region. The square sentinel does its best to attract visitors, but they largely speed by. Those who do visit here know there’s some nice fishing to be done on the park’s pier, and that there is some exceptional cross-country skiing when the snow’s right. Whatever the time of year, the scenery is stunning. Turn to page 98 to see its location.

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3. The Global Mediatization of Hinduism through Digital Games: Representation versus Simulation in Hanuman: Boy Warrior Xenia Zeiler

HEIDI CAMPBELL Indiana University Press ePub

Xenia Zeiler

RESEARCH ON DIGITAL GAMES AND RELIGION HAS PRIMARILY concentrated on European and U.S. settings. Asian developments, except the Muslim Middle Eastern contexts of Syria and Palestine, have long been nearly completely overlooked.1 This is even truer when it comes to digital games that are related to Hindu and Buddhist traditions, regions, and audiences. Though in the first decade of the twenty-first century, several aspects of Hindu and Buddhist religions and digital media, namely the internet, began to be increasingly researched, so far this research has not extended to digital games.2 This is surprising since surveys, statistics, and projections on the role and importance of digital games in Asia or for audiences with Asian Hindu or Buddhist backgrounds regularly describe an ever larger percentage of users, as well as rapidly growing markets in the near future.

In this chapter I analyze Hindu deities and narratives in Indian-produced digital games and focus on disclosing negotiations of Hindu authority and identity in gaming contexts. I do so by discussing the first entirely India-developed digital game based on Hindu mythology, Hanuman: Boy Warrior (Aurona Technologies Hyderbad for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, 2009), a console game produced for PlayStation 2. This game has caused heated debate on the appropriateness of incorporating Hindu deities in gaming environments. The debate surrounding the game has focused on the concepts of simulation and performance as opposed to the (pure) representation of Hindu deities, such as Hanuman, who is a major character in the Indian epic Ramayana and is mentioned in other important Hindu scriptures.

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Can you recognize this mountain resort?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Not many ski areas have views like this. Sel Hannah, the world-famous designer who laid out these runs, even calls this particular skyway “by far the most scenic” of the one thousand trails and three hundred ski areas he’s created. And there’s no better time to see it than when the hillsides are hung with gold and crimson and the many ponds and lakes in this area at the gateway to the North Woods are reflecting oranges and reds. Beautiful as it is, this resort has always had more potential customers than actual ones. But the owners have a controversial plan to change things. They’ve been hoping to get the okay from the Land Use Regulation Commission to put in two hundred condominiums, two new hotels and conference centers, an eighteen-hole golf course, a neighborhood of single-family homes, and even a train station. Ideas for putting stuff atop this mountain have been floating around since the nation’s first fire tower was installed at the 3,196-foot peak in 1905. Have you ever ascended these slopes? If you think you recognize this mountain resort, turn to page 98.

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Are you familiar with this western Maine community?

Andrew Vietze Down East Books ePub

Perhaps we should really be asking “Where in New Hampshire?” Motorists driving through this western corner of Maine are often unsure which state they’re in. This church is indeed in the Pine Tree State — but just barely. It sits about a mile from the border in a very quiet section of town on a road that slides in and out of the Granite State on its way north. The real question, though, is where is the rest of the village and, why is this sweet, white Unitarian church by itself on a corner with nothing else around but a cornfield? Meetinghouses, as all who have been to New England know, are usually at the very heart of a community. Someone who might have known why this church was built here was Admiral Robert Peary, famed explorer of the Arctic. He was once a surveyor in town. Orator and politician Daniel Webster could have had an explanation, too, or at least would have convinced you that he did — he once wrote deeds here to supplement the income he made as a teacher at the local academy. Hopa-long Cassidy, legendary Western hero, is another proud son of the town, created by resident Clarence Mulford in the early part of the twentieth century. And art great Eastman Johnson once painted landscapes here. But on this pretty late summer day no one seems to be around to ask. It just might be that everyone has gone for a paddle down the state’s most popular canoeing river, which is nearby. Or they could all be at home getting their prize produce together for the local fair — the state’s largest county fair turns this picturesque riverside town into a big carnival at the beginning of October each year. See page 100.

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