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Soldat_Louis's picture
Joined: 2006-11-08

I'm gonna do a bit of advertising for a friend, who is Director of the Centre Culturel Français de Milan (note that he didn't ask me anything, I do it for him because I think the video game conference he's organizing is worth of it).

The Centres Culturel Français ("French Culture Centers") are a network of institutions placed under the authority of French Minister of Foreign Affairs. They are located in several countries all over the world (Italy, Germany, Finland, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Russia, China, Cambodia, Algeria, Tchad, Togo, Mauretania, etc...). Their goal is to promote French culture in foreign countries, with series of conferences (on art, music, cinema, theatre, etc...), cooperations and sponsoring with local cultural events, and courses available to local students.

Since last october, the Centre Culturel Français de Milan is directed by [URL=http://site.combaz.free.fr/english.html]Christian Combaz[/URL], writer, novelist, journalist and painter. Some books he wrote deal with harmful effects of media violence, including video games. But he's not an "anti-violence activist". Although critical of video game violence, he's always been very interested in, and familiar with, computer science, computer graphics and computer games, that he considers as the beginning of a new art.

That's what made me contact him by email in the beginning of last year. He had just written a manifesto against ultra-violence in entertainment, and I wanted to inform him on the [URL=http://www.ukresistance.co.uk/2005/11/blue-sky-in-games-campaign-launched.html]Blue Sky in Games Campaign[/URL] initiated by UK Resistance. At that time, I didn't know much about him and I wanted to know whether his attack against video game violence targeted ultra-violence or video games [I]per se[/I]. Much to my surprise, he replied me the day I sent my email to him, he was very grateful, and he explained his opinion on video games and video game violence. It appeared that he knew them a little bit and saw their great potential, but at the same time he was sometimes badly informed. So I started a dialogue with him in order to explain him the sense of violence in video games, give him the informations he missed, and receive his own arguments about it. We finally became friends, and although we don't always agree on the subject, I really appreciated that he was open-minded, agreeing to receive better information, and sincerely open to dialogue. At the same time, I realized I didn't know much myself about critics of video game violence, and I started to read tons and tons of work, papers and books about it (I haven't finished yet).

And since he's been named director of the Centre Culturel Français de Milan, he prepared a serie of conferences about computer graphics, 3D, virtual worlds and video games. [B]Indeed, tonight, there will be a conference in Milan about the border between virtual worlds and real one.[/B] It includes thoughts about depiction of urban environments, inhabitants and violence in video games such as [I]Grand Theft Auto : Vice City[/I] and massively online games such as [I]Second Life[/I].

Participants include :
- Fanny Georges, president of the [URL=http://www.omnsh.org/]OMNSH[/URL], the Observatoire des Mondes Numériques en Sciences Humaines (an approximative translation is : "Virtual Worlds Observatory in - Human ? Social ? - Sciences").
- Olivier Mauco, PhD student in political science and member of OMNSH.
- [URL=http://mariogerosa.blogspot.com/]Mario Gerosa[/URL], Italian gamer, journalist, senior editor (redattore capo) of [I]Architectural Digest Italy[/I] and writer of books, including [I]Second Life[/I]. He is also member of OMNSH.

The conference is called [B]Réel ou Illusion : Etat des frontières ("Reality or Illusion ? State of Borders")[/B]. You can watch a preview of the conference [URL=http://culturemilan.com/fr/node/233/play]here[/URL].

I'm glad that this conference happens, and I'm especially glad that it happens in Italy, considering the horrible [I]Rule of the Rose[/I] moral panic.


- Gaming Since 198X : http://gamingsince198x.fr/
By crazy old men, for crazy old men (in French)
- If you want to know more about the real Soldat Louis (which I'm not affiliated with : I'm just a devoted fan), go there : http://www.soldatlouis.com/

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