klastrup AT it-c.dk

This is the research diary of Lisbeth Klastrup. Here I share some of my thoughts on life, universe, virtual worlds, interactive stories and internet oddities with you.

I'm a ph.d. scholar at DIAC at the IT University at Copenhagen (ITU). I also host & work in a world called StoryMOO. At this ITU homepage you can read more about my research project and miscellaneus activities. List of publications is here.

Current month

Fellow researchers
Jesper Juul
Susana Tosca
Troels Degn Johansson
Estrid Soerensen
Lars Konzack
Kenneth Hansen
Gabriel Hansen
Joergen Callesen
Soeren Pold

Jill Walker's blog
Torill Mortensen's blog
Ragnhild Tronstad
Hilde Corneliussen's blog
Carsten Jopp's blog
Anders Fagerjord's blog

Anna Gunder
Jenny Sunden
Mikael Jacobsson

Aki Jarvinen
Markku Eskelinen
Raine Koskimaa

-The World
Gonzalo Frasca's blog (URU, US)
Anja Rau's blog (DE)
Elin Sjursen's blog (NO, US)
Frank Schaap's blog (NL)
Adrian Miles' Vog blog (AUSTR.)
Mark Bernstein's blog (US.)

Related Reads
Dust from a Distant Sun (DK)
Cykelkokken (DK, in Danish)
Two Years in Denmark (DK,US)
Future Dr. Karlsbjerg (DK)
Laurel.blog (US)
Texturl (US)

©Lisbeth Klastrup 2002

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Lucky-Lucky. Japanese popsong made into english Flash-video. Tsk, tsk.

Netstafet - part of the art-project Omstilling. Write a text, pass it on to next writer who takes his starting point in the previous text, writes a new text, passes that on etc. Nordic collaborative project, texts in Nordic Languages and English.

Poets go pin-up!. The Danish mock-news site thenews.dk run by writers Janus Kodal and Ina Merete Schmidt has organised a pin-up calendar with 12 Danish poets, showing (almost) everything. As they write on their site, haven't you ever wondered whether your favourite poet has a nice butt? Or as Janus said in the article, I read about it: we wanted to show the poets as the ordinary people, they are. Well, it's as most extra-ordinary initiative - I love the idea:) You can view all months so far, and there's a little poem to go with most, of course :). Rumour has it that it might be out in print, too...

Chris Crawford has posted a report from a gamedesigners (?) miniature conference Phrontisterion 3. Here people meet to discuss (tada!) games and interactive storytelling. Sounds as if they had a pretty sound discussion, though - figuring out things out rather than throwing Mud in each other's faces (of the verbal kind, of course...). Neat graphic model - with fuzzy genres ;), though I'm not sure it makes so much sense to operate with a non-interactive vs. highly interactive scale. Would need a proper defintion of interaction to really be useful, and who holds that? Though, from a common sense point of view, I guess I would categorize the genres included much in the same way.

Richard Rouse II (yes, that is his name...) has an interesting looking article in Gamasutra: Game Design Theory and Practice: The Elements of Gameplay. Includes sections on non-linearity (no, we will never get rid of this word, let's face it) & modeling reality.

And as a song I was writing is left undone
I don't know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can't believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme.

Simon/Garfunkel: Kathy's Song

The new issue of the Norwegian zine on contemporary art Localmotives is finally online. I have an article in there The art of being there. Jill and Kevin have come up with the coolest interface/design: this issue works as a kind of community weblog, so you can post comments and mail the writers, start a general discussion. Would be great to have a dialogue with some readers, not just being left with the usual feeling of: Well, now it's out there, wonder what they think about it? without getting any response... Looking forward to reading the other articles and engaging in discussion with their writers too.

The congeniality of smart machines: my Real Jukebox has classified "Ev'ry valley Shall be exalted..." from Händels Messiah as Christian Rap!

Lexia to Perplexia - cybertextual work by Talan Memmott - still haven't read it, but now the link is here to remind me!
And Noah Wardrip-Fruin'sThe Impermanence Agent - to be performed shortly on my screen.
- More links to be found in the interview with Raine and Markku about the Cybertext Yearbook in Dichtung Digital

Refdesk.com - online handbooks of lots of stuff

Mikael Jacobsson is a swedish colleague of mine working with social interaction in virtual worlds. His articles Beyond use and design - The dialectics of being in virtual worlds (2000) & Why Bill was killed - understanding social interaction in virtual worlds (1999) can be found as PDFs on his homepage

Sadly, the journal PC Player is closing down (May issue featured the by far best article on the CGDT conference). Its online brother Gamereactor lives on, though.

Finally came across a list of Danish bloggs, by way of Nanna's blogg, NannaManna. She and I are the only women there so far, Hilda is yet missing.

Off work & off life for a couple of days. I'll be back next week, if not before...

A guy just called me to get more info about the conference, I organised in March - Computer Games & Digital Textualities. Turned out he was organising a Danish Internet Film festival in the fall. Still in it's infancy and much a grass-root project, it seems, but they have a homepage - www.net-film.org with links. It's a bit in the periferi of what I do, but still I think it's interesting to follow the development of filmic dramaturgy on the web. I hope they make it.

Great Feminist Day.
A woman journalist mailed me today and asked me if I wanted to tell her more about my ph.d project. She's affiliated with the webzine Forum - the electronice supplement to the Danish Woman Research Center, Kvinfo. There's an interesting looking article (Danish) in Forum about grrllzines and hot cyberchicks - Seje cyberchicks - a woman is studying the rhetorics of grllzines and there is link to several of them. One not mentioned is Heartless Bitches, which Torill referred to yesterday. It seems to fall pretty much in the category of these grrlzines which uses "aesthetics and irony" as means of putting their "feminist" povs forth. Kewl. - - And a blogg-reader (tak, Jan :)) sent me a link to another woman-site Lmichelle - guess it's kind of an autobiographical site, but there are links to some femi-sites too.

What makes an online game succesfull? Gamespot has asked a number of game designers that question. Everquest, Ultima Online and Counterstrike and the korean game Lineage: The Blood Pledge keep popping up as good examples. Asian game compagny says that Lineage has around 2 mill players - and up to 180.00 players online at the same time. This is truly MASSIVE multiplayer!

A sharp ITU student I know, Sune Børsen, has written a nice (Danish) review of the talks given at Reboot. From what he retells of Justin Hall's presentation, Justin sounds like someone to keep an eye on. Probably I should have known of him already ;) Luckily, by way of Sune's article, I came across Justin's blogg - which seems to be, in fact, a very neat mixture of private and professional observations. He links to an article by Brenda Laurel New Players, New Games, I hadn't come across before. And Sune links to Greg Costikyans webpage too, by way of Justin's talk (he's written an article Why Online Games Suck (And How to Design Ones That Don't) which I used for my class on virtual worlds . Tak, Sune :)

[Cataclysm]: 1a. violent upheaval or disaster. 1b.great change. 2. great flood. (OED).

Well, life goes on - and so does research, for better, for worse. Torill wrote some nice and wise words in her blogg thinking with my fingers today - she writes about how the production of knowledge is a personal thing - and therefore susceptible to what happens in one's life in general. I guess one important reason why I became a scholar was that I love writing. I like giving word to thoughts and using words to think with, I like trying to find the perfect sentence which puts forward a point in the most precise and complex way, I like to fight with an article and finally feel that most of the words have fallen into place, revealing what I wanted them to reveal. I also like being personal in what I write: the reason why I chose to name this log "Klastrup's cataclysms" was that I wanted a place in which I could write about mainly "professional" things, but not in a strictly academic way: allowing myself to be subjective, and just bluntly pissed off when some piece of writing or art or whatever annoyed me - without necessarily having to make all the arguments pro and con before I express my personal opinion. It was naive of me to think that heartache would prevent me from writing; rather I find comfort in words, stringing them on to each other like pearls on a necklace until they are ready to be hung out there in public for people to read - it's almost like that rosary-like kind of thing the greek men like to fiddle with, it's a stress-preventer, it calms me down. Anyway, most likely I will be a little more annoyed, a little more angry with the things I come across in the near future but I still have plenty of words in store...

My intention with this blogg has all the time been to keep a log of my professionel life - since this page is also part of my academic homepage at ITU. However, there are times in your life, when events in your private life cast so long shadows as to make every aspect of your life somewhat darker. This weekend, the man I have been living with for several months now, told me that he no longer sees me as the one he wants to share his life with. He will be leaving for his home country by the end of this week. So dear reader, he didn't marry me, and I'll need some time to cope with that...

Via Squish blogg, this link to a web enabled weather forecasting toaster . This is always something there to remind you: that the inventions of the human brain will never cease to amaze you.

This A.I. game is great - once you get started, you want to keep reading all the in-game sites - such a densely linked and elaborately designed plot. Looking at what the Cloudmakers are doing, it seems that the A.I.game people are just a step ahead of them - updating sites, closing others down and adding new ones as the mystery-solvers draw closer. Cloudmaker-affiliate has made a For-Evan site which they link to in-game too, so everything's blurred in a nice way :). Came across this guide, which promises to tell the story so far, sparing you the brain work (but that's cheating, you know!) - elsewise, one can follow the trail by oneself.

Computerworld online (DK) also has an article on Spielbergs A.I. murdermystery today. I had a post on it in May 23rd with referral to Politiken article. It all starts with the future webpage of Jeanine Salla, credited in the film's trailer as Terapeut for Thinking machines. Too bad, I didn't get on the gamewagon from the beginning.

Politiken mentions Chatfiti - a chat-software that replaces the chat-text-window with a canvas, which allows you to draw and spraypaint and talk. You can log in, and create your own chatroom. Just tried - it's pretty fun - and the drawing seems to be working to, in comparison to other chat-boards, I've tried. However, though they have characters as option, I don't get any result when I try to type ín words. But reckon that's a bug. Could be useful in online teaching, I thing, when used for the right purposes - a new feature under development is the possibility of inserting image, in teaching that might be useful. Wonder if you could integrate it in a MOO?

Tomb Raider, the movie is premiering. This is I-films review of it:
Angelina battles a robot. Pause for lots of talking. Angelina does a bungee ballet and beats up bad guys. Pause for more talking. Shoot out with flying motorcycle machine-gun action. Pause for even more talking. Go to Cambodia to smell a flower. Still more talking. Go to Iceland to meet Daddy Jon Voight. Big finish.
But you know, if someone created a video game with this much nada happening between fights, nobody would play it.

- But will people watch it, nevertheless? After all, they did call the movies the "talkies" in golden, olden days....

In the Association of Internet Researchers mailing list, today someone had posted a message telling about an aledged virus VBS.Noped.a which "searches the target's machine for what it suspects may be child p***graphy and reports the names of files to the police". As the poster writes, it "demonstrates a rare conceptual ingenuity for the potential social dimensions of IT." I guess it is hard to prosecute someone (the virusmakers) for actually doing social good - but on the other side, it's only a virus - and who can tell whether it just happens to come upon someone's digital familyalbum, with pictures of the children playing naked in the garden - I guess, the owners of that would be reported to the police too (which btw, according to the post, has not yet responded to the virus' data). Bottomline is, that you can never depend on a machine being able to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong, since it is not able to (yet) incorporate the knowledge of the social context of the "deed" (here: publishing indecent pictures of children) in it's judgement. But still an intriguing concept...

Down with migraine and at home, so wont be posting anymore today.

Northern Light search engine. Lists searchs both as list and after "themes" in folders - a search on my name produces 31 folders. Most are just domain-names, but one of them is "Literature, poetry & drama of Scandinavia" (!!!!). It contains 1 URL - a link to list of Scandinavian Poetry including a volume of my grandfather's poems. Impressive...

Back at work in Copenhagen. Mailbox contains amongst other things a link to a new HCI-oriented discussion group: user experience of interactive entertainment.The blurb says: This group is interested in how end users can be involved in the design and evaluation of interactive entertainment such as games, gambling, interactive advertising, and electronic toys. It says, it's a “platform independent” forum, discussing user experiences across (and between) Web, mobile, interactive TV, and dedicated appliances. Might sign up for that. After all, whether I like it or not, I am involved with interactive entertainment, since I'm thinking about making "fun" interactive stories in multi-user environments. Perhaps I can learn something here...
Through Learning Lab Denmark (Danish research centre for e-learning), I came across E-læring – en designhåndbog - about designing e-learning environments. It's downloadable from www.ctu.dk (look under Udgivelser). Have to check that one out to.

Stats for the last few days (after the webarticle) of hits on this page: Friday 358, Saturday 91, Sunday 41 and today so far around 60 - and 3 mails from readers!

Spending the weekend at my sister's farm, watching her children while she and husband have a weekend off. Next weekend it's my nephew's 13th birthday. And guess where he will be spending it? 0.00 - 8.00 am on a netcafé (the only one around) playing Counterstrike with friends. I feel old. Whatever happened to hide and seek in the sunshine? (Did I really just write this? Yes, I did).
A puzzling discovery though, is the amount of creativitiy they have put into playing the desktop-relax-"game" Stressrelax. They can spend hours ruining the desktop image in 500 ways I never thought of with the few tools available, like making races with the termites and creating a goal line with the stamps and the saw...etc. It doesn't make me feel old, just limited ;)

Apparently, Computerworld online has a decent amount of readers. The article yesterday about webloggs which includes short interview with me about mine, has given me a lot of visitors. theCounter.com, the service I use to keep track of hits on this page, lists 358 hits yesterday and so far 43 today - way above average! Anyway, whoever you are: welcome to my blogg :).

A group of artists have actually tried to compose a cyberopera...The libretto is composed with the aid of more than 60 net users who shared their experiences of online relationsships in arias and poetry. It has recently (april 2001) been performed RL at the Seventh World Shakespeare Congress in Spain.

404 (file not found) - the Danish version. For those of you who understand Danish, it's highly digestable.

Weblogg as phenomena seems to be hitting the Danish media. Not only the article in Politiken yesterday (see blogg) - and today a journalist from Computerworld online phoned me to hear about my weblogg. He too had interviewed Ewan Williams at Reboot.

Back after a few days out of Copenhagen - it's been the Danish Pinse-holidays. My mailbox is overflowing with newsletters and list-postings. Here is the goodies extracted so far:
There is a Danish article on weblogs in Politiken. They are superb for spreading new ideas, says Evan. And in the Danish web-zine on various aspects of digital cultureSøndag Aften, there is a link to ELO (Electronic Literature Organisation) Digital Literature prizewinners. I've know for a while about the US based ELO prize event, but it is nice to see that things like this get publicity in Denmark, too. And finally had a quick look at lit prize winner Caitlin Fisher's story These waves of girls

A story of net art (open source) - timelime with a lot of links and updated (thank you!) May this year.

Benjamin Weil's "Readme.txt - A Exploration ogf Various Directions in Networked Art Projects" and Net art, web art, online art, net.art by Andreas Brøgger, both available at the brilliant Danish (online) poetry & art site afsnitp.

Seven ways of misunderstanding interactive art, by Erkki Huhtamo.

Digital Illusions - Susan Warshauer recommended it to me at DAC 2001 - and today I suddenly remembered it. It's a game designer and virtual environment designer's manual and handbook, but there are also several interesting looking articles by designer-theoretics.