[-empyre-] November 2007 on -empyre- : Memory Errors in theTechnosphere: Art, Accident, Archive

Norie Neumark norie5 at mac.com
Wed Nov 21 11:02:09 EST 2007

hi andrew and all,
On 20/11/2007, at 7:43 PM, andrew burrell wrote:

> hi mickey and all,
> avatar nostalgia is built right into games such as World of Warcraft,
> and i think the clever (and intentional) manipulation of a players
> sense of nostalgia for their own in game experiences (mediated through
> their avatar and user interface) is one of the reasons for the success
> of these games. in many ways WoW is a well structured mnemonic
> environment firmly situated in  the the lineage of the classical Art
> of Memory (as outlined in the rhetorical guides of Cicero, Quintilian
> et.al. and 'externalised' by Camillo in his theatre of memory).
> WoW follows all of the rules for creating an 'artificial' environment
> upon which one can construct - as an active rather than passive
> memorisation - an external and navigable system of memory. every
> 'region' in the game is distinguishable visibly and aurally from one
> another. there are well defined paths that move from major site to
> major site (each distinctive in its own way) and a separate piece of
> music plays in, and represents each, definable area. memories of not
> only in game experience but also 'real life' experience (as in
> emotions or experiences or mind-space etc. that a player comes to the
> game with) are then encoded into areas of the games mnemonic landscape
> that are then triggered, as one revisits these sites at a later time.
wow, fascinating... btw, any other ways they use sound and  
particularly voice?
> in order to test this theory i have recently been playing a mmorpg
> called 'eve online'. the avatar in this game is a faceless spaceship
> and the navigable landscape is the vastness of the universe which is
> astoundingly homogenous and despite the game boasting a universe of
> thousands of star systems to explore, the only real difference
> (besides are nebular here, a gas cloud  there) is the narrative that
> is created through interacting with npc's and  other 'real life'
> players - but i find that this narrative seems to float, aimlessly
> unattached to anything 'physical', until it becomes irretrievable. and
> as if the makers of this game were doing their own experiments in the
> Art of Memory, music plays from a playlist and is not site specific so
> it can never be tied to a memory in space. in opposition to many of
> the other successful mmorpg 'eve online' seems to break every rule of
> the classical Art, and as a consequence i have found that memories are
> NOT encoded in its persistent world and that this game cannot act as
> an environment of 'externalised'  or 'artificial' memory - perhaps its
> persistence breaks down through sameness...
and how does this affect your desire to come back or the way you engage?
> a similar thing could be said of second life. while i have spent many
> many hours building, creating and exploring SL, i find it very
> difficult to maintain a personal history within the SL world itself.
> not only does much of its vast expanse look incredible similar, it is
> also constantly changing, visual landmarks come and go and navigation
> becomes a matter of 'teleporting' from bookmark (co-ordinate based
> landmark) to bookmark. AND this brings me back to the archive and
> documentation. to overcome the constantly shifting and impermanent
> nature of SL many people have began to create blogs, photo albums or
> other such archives of their experiences in SL in order to create
> their own personally defined and navigable
> memory-scapes/theatres/palaces/artifices..... remind anyone of 'real
> life'?
I'm just getting into SL... and agree with what you say! i'm  
wondering, where are these blogs and photo albums available -- linked  
to SL in someway or not? btw, what's your avatar called, when do you  
hang out there? (hope that doesn't go against netiquette to ask... if  
so, apologies,  and see ya offline)

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