I’m back!

Since a few months, I was waiting for an amnesty for ex-PhD students.  Yesterday the law regarding the amnesty passed through the turkish parliament. This means that I’ll be allowed to return to my old PhD program… after a break of almost 10 years!

A lot of things changed meanwhile. Back in 1998 I prepared myself to write a thesis on film. I had an advisor at that time that was an expert on turkish cinema. She wanted me to write a dissertation that revolves around the concept “turkish film” and “democracy”. But that was not exactly what I wanted. I wanted to write a thesis on the “political horizon” that was depicted in popular turkish films of the 1990s and what their discourse tells us about the future of turkish society. I wanted to make a “projective” analyses of contemporary turkish film based on approaches taken from Sigfried Kracauer’s From Caligari to Hitler and D.M. Thomas’ novel The White Hotel. My position would have been somewhere between Marxism, Anarchism and Deconstruction. I planned to build each chapter around a binary opposition: folk-intellectuals, civilian-soldier, man-woman, west-southeast, anatolia-metropolis, decadence-substance etc and wanted to look at films in regard to how they use these binary oppositions to describe the ideal society they envision… from here I wanted to re-draw the general picture of society that popular turkish films idealized and ask myself which social classes and groups are ignored in this picture (or rendered obsolete)? Who were the ones that should fear about their future if our society doesn’t get away from this “hate culture” that marked it so dangerously?

My advisor didn’t like this subject. She found it too complex and wanted me to stick to the topic “the concept of democracy in turkish film”. This her wish, however, took away my last bits of motivation. A year later or so, I resigned from my former position at the Ankara University and did not follow any longer my interest into the PhD program I was part of. Instead I moved to Cyprus and started to work as an instructor. A year later I devoted myself completely to the dream topic of my childhood: video games! I entered a completely new and different learning process. I wrote my last article on turkish film in 2003. After that, I never ever got back to the topic.

Now I’m back!… But not to cinema. I’m back in order to write a PhD on video games! I wanted to do this under an architecture department… but now, after the amnesty, I’ll do it under a communication studies department. But it will not really matter. I’m more than ready to write it. I can’t wait to get it finished!

Oh, and I’ll have a new advisor ;)

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X-Com Revival

X-Com ApocalypseLike for many of the players of my generation, X-Com was a game that shaped my understanding of what a good game is. I was in particular a fan of X-Com Apocalypse and the game remained on my harddisc for years and years. I spent many days and nights battling the aliens, finding myself in tricky situations. It was a game that had simply everything: gameplay, story, strategy, tactics, challenge, fun…

Megaprimus, the futuristic \In 2000 I found a Collectors Edition CD-set with the whole series, and I jumped on it of course. But while moving to Cyprus in 2001, the worst thing happened and I lost no other CD than that with X-Com Apocalypse on it! It really broke my heart. Whenever I looked at the box I remembered that my favorite game was lost. I tried to find the game in Cyprus, but I had no luck with that.

Tactical missionAfter many years without my favorite X-Com game, I finally found it again. I couldn’t wait installation to finish and once the game ran, the rest felt to me like meeting old friends… Within seconds, ‘we’ discovered all the things we used to do. It felt amazing. Megaprimus, The Government, The Cult of Sirius… It was like being back in my old neighborhood, and I was so happy with that, I could have hugged an Andropod!