Recent Comments

Ryan Rogers

I find it fascinating how entangled reality and simulation have become with Madden and the NFL. I also think you have touched on an important idea here: while many games have notions of masculinity and character value, this is placing a number on it.

Bartosz Wieremiej

…and probably makes baseball a bit overwhelming for everyone else. Amount of data; all the stories, numbers – well, everything.

I am still trying to figure out, how to play baseball managers (OOTP etc). It is not going well.

Hannah Green

Really interesting post Amanda! I like that you noted the cultural shift that has taken place within televisual representations of young women. It seems that this shift can be recognized across a range of contemporary television, but when thinking about The Initiation of Sarah, it appears that magic and witchcraft contribute an additional layer to expressions of femininity. I think its great that you recognized the connection between the “glamour” of magic and the feminine identity of the characters. I would love to see how you might unpack this a bit more. I find the connection between magic and gender to be a compelling insight and it would be really interesting to see how you might further think about how this contemporary empowered femininity is impacted by the plot line of magic that is present throughout Sarah. How does magic, as an element of one’s identity, interact with one’s gender expression, especially expressions of femininity? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thanks again for you post.

Ryan Rogers

This reminds me of baseball fans and how they compare or resist comparing things like home run records across generations. I suppose that the rich history of a sport is part of the allure for fans.

Atari RealSports logo
Ryan Rogers

The desire for realism in sports video games is fascinating and it is interesting to see how much that has changed over the years, especially in comparison to other genres where realism is not a priority - or at least takes a different shape.

Ryan Rogers

Agreed. Based on what I have seen, it sounds like the 6 was mistakenly entered as a 1. But I am not sure how that made it through QA. Perhaps this speaks further to the depth of these AAA games.

Stefan Hall

I think EA’s response to this glitch was a great example of how to take something potentially full of derision, especially among the rather boisterous gaming community, and carefully gauge the player reactions to see how to best spin it into something positive. The nature of the glitch was not exactly an offensive one - it is so unlike reality that it veers squarely into the comedic - and it was played for laughs, which is actually a pleasant thing to see given the highly competitive nature of sports and sports video games. This glitch also points to the highly complex nature of code behind AAA video games and how bugs do slip through. It would be interesting to know when this might have actually occurred and how it managed to get through quality assurance.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
William Proctor

Just a follow up. I have been writing about the way in which Twin Peaks has also been described as a reboot. Writer, Mark Frost, however, expressly claimed that this was not the case. X-Files, too, is not a reboot.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
William Proctor

That’s a good point, Martin. But I feel that the term would then need to be fully defined against its ‘correct’ usage. My issue is not that the reboot terminology is being marshalled to explain all under the sun, but that it is treated axiomatically by academics as if there is not a historical context. All reboots, as you say, are about re-monetization, but I strongly believe that one can analyse reboots/ re-launches/ revivals/ adaptations/ re-adaptations/ retcons etc as discrete ‘strategies of regeneration’ without the need to describe everything as a reboot. If, as you say, it is not about the narrative but about the brand, then that certainly doesn’t follow the logic of rebooting historically. Why would ‘rebranding’ not be sufficient to describe the industrial side of things? Re-Launch explains the narrative side of things as it is a continuation but following a period in the cultural wilderness. The reason for the vagueness around reboots/ remakes/ reimaginations etc, is that the term ‘reboot’ has rapidly grown into a buzz word. Prior to 2005, the term was not in popular use. Again, I expect that journalists would misinterpret the phenomenon, but for scholars not to even define how the word is being used in each individual case is problematic. Following the logic of reboots as re-branding/ re-launching, then, one would have to reconsider Star Trek: TNG as a reboot, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Terminator 2, Terminator 3, Terminator Salvation, Terminator Genysis. My own question would be to ask: why the necessity to use the term when others would do? Why does it have to be difficult? To be sure, texts often overlap cross-conceptually so that reboots may also be remakes at the same time — A Nightmare on Elm Street being an example of a remake and an attempted reboot ( attempted because the series did not reboot at all in the end). All reboots remake to some extent, but not all remakes are reboots. All reboots adapt to some extent, but not all adaptations are reboots. Prequels and sequels — and other sequential concepts — do not reboot narratively. I speak about reboots as re-brandings in my book (Reboot Culture: Comics, Film, Transmedia). I am of the view that if one misunderstands the historical context and from where the term emerged and what it means, then that will lead to fallacious outcomes. This has been the trickiest part of my research, to be honest. My perspective is that using the term, reboot, to describe so many media instantiations means that any analysis of the entertainment industrial complex would run the risk of being vague and unclear. Now, just to be clear: I am not claiming that someone shouldn’t define or use reboot terminology against the etymology and historical origins/ meaning of the concept — my chagrin is related to a lack of clear definition/ framing principle across the academy. When the reboot has been defined in academic work, it has not engaged at all with the context, etymology etc at all, and often described rebooting incorrectly. I know this sounds like linguistic essentialism — and it is, to some extent — but prequels, sequels etc are relatively stable concepts. If one was to use sequel to describe texts that do not follow a sequential narrative then I would feel the same. Of course, there will be outlier texts (Romero’s Zombie series is hardly sequential, for instance) and Abrams’ Star Trek is what I term a ‘reflexive reboot,’ that is, it remains within established continuity while also beginning again in an alternative universe for new audiences to have an entry-point. Gilmore Girls may not even be a re-brand or a reboot. It doesn’t actually re-brand does it? It aims to attach itself to an already existing narrative sequence so re-launch works well enough I feel. Let’s continue the discussion, Martin! I’m interested in your thoughts, for sure.

Best Wishes

Billy

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
William Proctor

That’s a good point, Martin. But I feel that the term would then need to be fully defined against its ‘correct’ usage. My issue is not that the reboot terminology is being marshalled to explain all under the sun, but that it is treated axiomatically by academics as if there is not a historical context. All reboots, as you say, are about re-monetization, but I strongly believe that one can analyse reboots/ re-launches/ revivals/ adaptations/ re-adaptations/ retcons etc as discrete ‘strategies of regeneration’ without the need to describe everything as a reboot. If, as you say, it is not about the narrative but about the brand, then that certainly doesn’t follow the logic of rebooting historically. Why would ‘rebranding’ not be sufficient to describe the industrial side of things? Re-Launch explains the narrative side of things as it is a continuation but following a period in the cultural wilderness. The reason for the vagueness around reboots/ remakes/ reimaginations etc, is that the term ‘reboot’ has rapidly grown into a buzz word. Prior to 2005, the term was not in popular use. Again, I expect that journalists would misinterpret the phenomenon, but for scholars not to even define how the word is being used in each individual case is problematic. Following the logic of reboots as re-branding/ re-launching, then, one would have to reconsider Star Trek: TNG as a reboot, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Terminator 2, Terminator 3, Terminator Salvation, Terminator Genysis. My own question would be to ask: why the necessity to use the term when others would do? Why does it have to be difficult? To be sure, texts often overlap cross-conceptually so that reboots may also be remakes at the same time — A Nightmare on Elm Street being an example of a remake and an attempted reboot ( attempted because the series did not reboot at all in the end). All reboots remake to some extent, but not all remakes are reboots. All reboots adapt to some extent, but not all adaptations are reboots. Prequels and sequels — and other sequential concepts — do not reboot narratively. I speak about reboots as re-brandings in my book (Reboot Culture: Comics, Film, Transmedia). I am of the view that if one misunderstands the historical context and from where the term emerged and what it means, then that will lead to fallacious outcomes. This has been the trickiest part of my research, to be honest. My perspective is that using the term, reboot, to describe so many media instantiations means that any analysis of the entertainment industrial complex would run the risk of being vague and unclear. Now, just to be clear: I am not claiming that someone shouldn’t define or use reboot terminology against the etymology and historical origins/ meaning of the concept — my chagrin is related to a lack of clear definition/ framing principle across the academy. When the reboot has been defined in academic work, it has not engaged at all with the context, etymology etc at all, and often described rebooting incorrectly. I know this sounds like linguistic essentialism — and it is, to some extent — but prequels, sequels etc are relatively stable concepts. If one was to use sequel to describe texts that do not follow a sequential narrative then I would feel the same. Of course, there will be outlier texts (Romero’s Zombie series is hardly sequential, for instance) and Abrams’ Star Trek is what I term a ‘reflexive reboot,’ that is, it remains within established continuity while also beginning again in an alternative universe for new audiences to have an entry-point. Gilmore Girls may not even be a re-brand or a reboot. It doesn’t actually re-brand does it? It aims to attach itself to an already existing narrative sequence so re-launch works well enough I feel. Let’s continue the discussion, Martin! I’m interested in your thoughts, for sure.

Best Wishes

Billy