This blog is no longer maintained

I’ve moved on to other pursuits, including my PhD and writing work. Follow me on twitter @dangolding, find my portfolio site at dangolding.com, or read my Crikey blog.

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Another update

For those of you who are sick of Subject Navigator simply being about boring updates these days, I apologise. The good news is that I’ve started writing about games again. Over at RedKingsDream, I’ve started a collaboration with three other Australian videogames writers. We all know each other well and know we can feed off each other nicely, thanks to our previous work at PALGN and the podcast there. I’m really looking forward to what we’re going to create there, and I hope you pop on over. My first article can be found here.

Does this spell the end for Subject Navigator?

Well, no. Not at all. I actually have some really big plans for Subject Navigator to hopefully be implemented before the end of the year, but you’ll have to wait on that one. But know that before you know it, Subject Navigator will be back at full steam.

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The great space question

Welcome back to Subject Navigator, returning to action after a five-month travel induced hiatus. I have a hell of a lot of blog ideas from my travels, but first of all, I wanted to start with you. Before I start haranguing the internet with my own ideas about videogames and space, I want to ask you all a collective question that hopefully will yield some very interesting discussions and debates for this blog.

What are the most interesting physical spaces you’ve ever been to, and what makes them interesting?

It’s the second part of this question that is important, of course, and I have a few ideas of my own. But I want to really try and quantify this thing; to eventually get some sort of semi hard-and-fast definition going. Of course, it is a subjective criteria, but as a result of my travels and videogame playing I firmly believe that there are certain ways space can be rendered more interesting to the human mind.

I eagerly await your responses. It’s good to be back.

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Addendum

Two quick updates. This will be the last you’ll hear from Subject Navigator for a while.

  • A colleague and I have started up a new website: Empty Pocket Media. I think it’s got a lot of promise, though we are still building content. It’s a cross-media website, dealing with music, film, as well as videogames. All feedback is greatly appreciated.
  • I’m heading overseas for over four months tomorrow. This means three months of travel in Europe, and one month in North America. To keep in contact, I’ve started a travel blog here with one of the lamest puns for a title I could think of. So if you’re curious as to where I am, or what I’m up to, check it out and I’ll try and keep it up-to-date.

When I return I start my new thesis and degree more-or-less immediately, so expect Subject Navigator to return with full force and renewed energy. In the meantime, I’ll try and write the occasional article for Empty Pocket Media, and the other contributors will keep it flowing nicely, so please check it out.

I can’t thank each and every one of my Subject Navigator readers enough – over the past few months you’ve really made blogging a great experience for me. So thanks, and I hope to reward your patience with renewed content when I return.

Thanks again,

Dan Golding.

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An update

You might wondering where all the Subject Navigator posts have gone. To an extent, I am too. Unfortunately, it’s a matter of time, and free time, which I have none of at the moment – I’m in the middle of moving house and preparing for a big year. So I thought I’d update you all on some goings on to justify my absence.

First, I’m no longer working for PALGN. This was a tough decision, as I believe it’s a great website that has given me a number of opportunities. But it was time to move on.

Second, I’m working on two new websites, one videogame dedicated, and one cross media focussed. Both are going to be great, and hopefully allow me to really expand as a writer. I can’t deal out the URLs yet, but needless to say, if you are reading this, you’ll be the first to know when they go live.

Third, you can now access my thesis in a new way (other than clicking the link to your right – hint, hint). It’s now been uploaded and is available at Game Career Guide, a sister site of Gamasutra et al, here. Which, if nothing else, meant I went all squirmy inside as something I’d written was (is?) temporarily on the first page of Gamasutra, if way down the bottom! I hope this opens up a new audience of readers for it, and I get even better feedback than some of the amazingly insightful and thoughtful words I’ve received so far.

Anyway, Subject Navigator should return to normal programming shortly, when I’m not living in boxes and assembling beds. Thanks for your patience, and I hope you stick around for my future projects.

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Brothers in Arms, the strategic desensitizer

war games

There are few games that have struck me as wanting to be a film as Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway. Or rather, wanting to be a TV series. The first ten minutes of Hell’s Highway had me seriously tossing up asking its creators if they shouldn’t just have just applied to work on The Pacific instead. The cutscenes – in the beginning, interminably long – have perfected that Band of Brothers tone and feel, and even the musical theme appears to share the same first few intervals. Now, I like Band of Brothers. But I’d rather watch the real thing than play an imitator. My patience was wearing thin, however, I knew several people who swore by the series, so I stuck with it. And I’m glad I did: Brothers in Arms presents a compelling take on World War Two that I don’t think could be achieved in any other medium.

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Call of Duty 2 and the World War Two theme park

theme park

There is definitely a place for theory and lofty concepts. A blog is one such place. However, I very much admire L.B. Jefferies’ sentiment when he suggests that there comes a point when theorising is useless without practical implementation: “Talk is cheap and in abundance on the internet, it’s actually doing something that’s in such short supply. If you want things to change, just act that change out yourself.”

In that spirit, then, I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is, and instead of presenting Subject Navigator readers with another post on how one concept from one medium is like a different concept from another, I’d like to analyse a game or two. I want to look at some World War Two videogames, overpopulated as the genre may be, and think about what their gamespace says about their approach to the period. I’m starting today with Call of Duty 2, and I’ll be continuing later on in the week with Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway.

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