November 15, 2007
Around the Consortium: FoE2, Free Game Types, and Gender and Fan Studies

We are on the eve of our second Futures of Entertainment event here at MIT, co-sponsored by the Consortium and Comparative Media Studies, the program in which we are housed in. We're going to be doing a lot of blogging from the scene, and the blog will become dedicated to featuring that content over the next few days, so I thought it might be good to do a round-up of some interesting posts by people around the Consortium in the meantime.

First, Grant McCracken made an interesting post from earlier this evening on the train ride into MIT for the event. Grant, who is a consulting researcher for our group, shares some musing that might get us thinking about some "comparative media" issues from a genre standpoint:

Fr the moment, some things still travel in packs. The Diderot effect still applies. Some categorical distinctions are still relatively inviolate. Our intuition tells us so.

This is one of the challenges that will confront us at the The Futures of Entertainment Conference.

Now that the genres are falling silent, how do we make culture, how do we take culture in? What is entertaining? How does entertainment work?

We used to watch TV with the expectation that the police procedural would be procedural, that comedies would be situated, that late night talk would be surprising only in the most unsurprising of ways, that even the "news" would submit to formula, that, all in all, entertainment would accommodate us like a lovely, warm bath. Ah.

Meanwhile, David Edery provides a rundown of what he sees as the different types of free games, in preparation for a presentation at the Lyon Game Developers Conference next month. He proposes 10 different types of free games, running the gamut from ARGs to user-created games to advergaming to ad-supported games.

Finally, Henry Jenkins continues featuring the Gender and Fan Studies conversation on his blog, with the 22nd round featuring Eden Lee Lackner and Jes Battis. The conversation is featured here and here