Rune Klevjer‘s PhD thesis has been approved, and he’ll be defending it on February 9th! The afternoon before the defence, Rune will hold his “trial lecture”, and the topic is very, well, topical: “Aesthetics and Ideology in Computer Games: An Analysis of Super Columbine Massacre!”

Super Columbine Massacre! is a game about, you guessed it, the Columbine school massacre. It recently caused a controversy when it was pulled from the Slamdance Guerrilla Gamemaker Competition by the festival organisers due to sponsor pressure. And this after the game had made it to the finals. I haven’t played the game, which is available as a free download, but I’m thinking I will. I also plan to read Clive Thompson’s analysis of the game, “I, Columbine”, in last week’s Wired, which Linn Sovig calls “the best artistic critical analysis of a game I have ever read!”

Linn also points out how this controversy actually has people discussing games as art, which is really quite a switch from the usual games as mass entertainment. Should be a really interesting topic for Rune to work on for his trial lecture – and for us to listen to.

Rune’s lecture on the game will be held on February 8th, at 15:15 – in the auditorium at U Pihl, which is over at the Social Sciences faculty at the University of Bergen. His opponents for the defence (and the people who wrote the assignment for his trial lecture!) are Espen Aarseth and William Uricchio.

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  1. […] On Thursday Rune Klevjer is giving a lecture on a topic that’s very relevant to the second focus area in this class, games and society, and so we’ll be taking an excursion and going to that lecture in the second half of the class (from 3 pm till 4). During the first half of the class we’ll discuss Serfaty’s chapters that we read this week, and some of the sociological background to social networks. […]

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