792 research outputs found

    Becoming Halfling

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    Livestreamed play of tabletop games affords a new medium for analysis of racialization for game studies. For Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (Multiple authors, 2014) actual plays, audiences can engage with racialized narratives in underappreciated ways. The actual play Critical Role (Critical Role, 2012-present) employs players’ knowledge of the genre of high fantasy to create collaborative, improvisational narratives which delve into themes of racism and bigotry. This dynamic often leads players to draw on real world political narratives and discourses in order to engage audiences’ prior knowledge and examine pertinent themes. This paper analyses one such example in the case of Nott the Brave, a character in Critical Role’s popular second campaign. Nott’s narrative arc, taking place over several hundred hours of gameplay, is a site of racialized play, problematizing simple narratives of representation and identity. This article employs textual analysis and semiotics in examining Nott’s racialization as a Goblin character. I draw heavily on Jenkins’s (2004) notion of gameplay as narrative architecture in considering the limits that racialized play allows the cast of Critical Role. In doing so, I offer insights into how tabletop roleplaying games actual plays might add nuance to debates surrounding narrative and gameplay in roleplaying games, especially as it relates to narratives of White supremacy and domination

    FANTASIES OF RACE AND PLACE: WHITE NATIONALIST AND ALT-RIGHT UNDERCURRENTS IN FANTASY ROLEPLAYING GAMES

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    Representations of fantasy settings in roleplaying games often draw upon understandings of the medieval and early Renaissance world. This dynamic often extends to racial politics in such worlds. For the contemporary roleplaying game, this often means that game mechanics are built around race, species, or gender. Often, players interpret such mechanics as a means of bioessentializing race or practicing stereotypes rooted in Eurocentric morality and values. This thesis examines the underlying rhetoric and implicit stakes by which race in fantasy worlds overlaps with the rhetoric and proposed stakes of White Nationalist and Alt-right actors. As fantasy roleplaying games, and especially analog games, have evaded scholarly attention, little has been said about the burgeoning, identitarian movements in such communities and the ways in which these communities interpret popular gaming artifacts. This work reveals ongoing issues in representing race, medievalisms, and the genre of fantasy

    An effective genetic algorithm for network coding

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    The network coding problem (NCP), which aims to minimize network coding resources such as nodes and links, is a relatively new application of genetic algorithms (GAs) and hence little work has so far been reported in this area. Most of the existing literature on NCP has concentrated primarily on the static network coding problem (SNCP). There is a common assumption in work to date that a target rate is always achievable at every sink as long as coding is allowed at all nodes. In most real-world networks, such as wireless networks, any link could be disconnected at any time. This implies that every time a change occurs in the network topology, a new target rate must be determined. The SNCP software implementation then has to be re-run to try to optimize the coding based on the new target rate. In contrast, the GA proposed in this paper is designed with the dynamic network coding problem (DNCP) as the major concern. To this end, a more general formulation of the NCP is described. The new NCP model considers not only the minimization of network coding resources but also the maximization of the rate actually achieved at sinks. This is particularly important to the DNCP, where the target rate may become unachievable due to network topology changes. Based on the new NCP model, an effective GA is designed by integrating selected new problem-specific heuristic rules into the evolutionary process in order to better diversify chromosomes. In dynamic environments, the new GA does not need to recalculate target rate and also exhibits some degree of robustness against network topology changes. Comparative experiments on both SNCP and DNCP illustrate the effectiveness of our new model and algorithm

    SEASONAL BIOCHEMISTRY IN THE SEDIMENTS OF THE GREAT BAY ESTUARINE COMPLEX, NEW HAMPSHIRE

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    The upper 12 cm of sediment from two shallow water locations were sampled for 13 months to examine the interactions among bacterial activity, geochemistry and bioturbation. The upper 8-10 cm of sediments near the Jackson Estuarine Laboratory (JEL) were bioturbated actively from June to December. Sediments at the mouth of the Lamprey and Squamscott rivers (SQUAM) were not bioturbated actively. Microbial activity was monitored radiometrically as glucose turnover and sulfate reduction rates. Analyses of pore water concentrations of sulfate, chloride, iron and organic carbon, sedimentary concentrations of acid-volatile sulfides, and the abundance of sulfate-reducing bacteria were also made. Average annual sulfate reduction at JEL was 5 times more rapid than at SQAUM (140 vs 30 nmoles(.)ml(\u27-1)(.)d(\u27-1)) and influenced by bioturbation-mediated transport of organic matter. JEL sediments accumulated a larger concentration of acid-volatile sulfides than at SQUAM (47.4 vs. 8.3 (mu)moles(.)ml(\u27-1)). The oxidation of these sulfides during winter maintained greater anoxia at JEL. The distribution of glucose decomposition products varied vertically, horizontally and temporally. Most notable was a temperature controlled decrease in the glucose respiration percentage from summer to winter at JEL. Comparisons of dissolved iron concentrations with the percentage of (\u2735)S precipitated as acid-volatile sulfides demonstrated that factors other than sulfide precipitation were important in controlling the concentrations of dissolved iron in the winter and spring. Increased sediment temperature caused a rapid chain of events. In early spring heterotrophic activity increased, DOC was consumed, iron dissolved while sulfate reduction remained slow. The onset of sulfate reduction in May produced an increase in DOC and the removal of iron as a sulfide precipitate. Rapid bioturbation commenced in early June and was accompanied by a three-fold increase in sulfate reduction, a two-fold increase in glucose turnover, a 5-fold increase in dissolved iron and a decrease in DOC. The combined effects of changes in microbial activity and bioturbation resulted in an oscillation in pore water chemistry. Bioturbation influences were demonstrated by a comparison of sulfate reduction rates calculated from (\u2735)S, jar experiments, and diagenetic models. A comparison also was made between theoretical nutrient regeneration rates and actual nutrient concentrations. Nutrient pools in bioturbated sediments were turned over 7 times faster than in non-bioturbated sediments

    Multi-user indoor optical wireless communication system channel control using a genetic algorithm

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    A genetic algorithm controlled multispot transmitter is demonstrated that is capable of optimising the received power distribution for randomly aligned single element receivers in multiple fully diffuse optical wireless communications systems with multiple mobile users. Using a genetic algorithm to control the intensity of individual diffusion spots, system deployment environment changes, user movement and user alignment can be compensating for, with negligible impact on the bandwidth and root mean square delay spread. It is shown that the dynamic range, referenced against the peak received power, can be reduced up to 27% for empty environments and up to 26% when the users are moving. Furthermore, the effect of user movement, that can perturb the channel up to 8%, can be reduced to within 5% of the optimised case. Compared to alternative bespoke designs that are capable of mitigating optical wireless channel drawbacks, this method provides the possibility of cost-effectiveness for mass-produced receivers in applications where end-user friendliness and mobility are paramount

    The role of certain infauna and vascular plants in the mediation of redox reactions in marine sediments

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    The mechanisms by which certain animals and plants affect redox processes in sediments was examined by studying three environments: (1) subtidal sediments dominated by the deposit-feeding polychaete Heteromastus filiformis; (2) a saltmarsh inhabited by the tall form of Spartina alterniflora; and (3) tropical carbonate sediments inhabited by three species of seagrasses. S-35-sulfide production rates were compared to pool sizes of dissolved sulfide and dissolved iron. In all of the sediments studied, rates of sulfide reduction were enhanced by macroorganisms while the rate of turnover of dissolved sulfide increased. The polychaete enhanced microbial activity and redox cycling primarily by subducting particles of organic matter and oxidized iron during sediment reworking. The Spartina species enhanced anaerobic activity by transporting primarily dissolved organic matter and oxidants. Although the final result of both animal and plant activities was the enhancement of sub-surface cycling of sulfur and iron, decreased dissolved sulfide and increased dissolved iron concentrations, the mechanisms which produced these results differed dramatically

    Terminal Decomposition and Gaseous Sulfur Release from Tidal Wetlands

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    A summary of the results of a multi-year project which studied the release of biogenic sulfur gases from wetland habitats is reported. This project also included an initial study of factors that control terminal decomposition in temperate salt marsh sediments. This preliminary research was used as a biogeochemical foundation for the interpretation of data collected during other aspects of the work. As time progressed the research moved greatly into freshwaters since it became clear that these habitats had a greater influence on regional and global processes and these habitats were grossly understudied with respect to their role as producers and consumers of atmospheric S compounds. More detailed information is provided as appendices

    Gas exchange in wetlands: Controls and remote sensing

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    This project was directed toward the quantification of fluxes of gaseous biogenic sulfur compounds from freshwater wetlands. These compounds (primarily hydrogen sulfide (H2S), dimethyl sulfide (DMS), and carbonyl sulfide (OCS)) have been implicated in the regulation of planetary albedo by the formation of microscopic atmospheric aerosols when they oxidize, and the further role of these aerosols as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). The role of continental sources and sinks for these compounds is poorly understood. The present study was undertaken to quantify the source and sink strength of high latitude wetlands, and to delineate factors that regulate this flux

    Emissions of sulfur gases from wetlands

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    Data on the emissions of sulfur gases from marine and freshwater wetlands are summarized with respect to wetland vegetation type and possible formation mechanisms. The current data base is largest for salt marshes inhabited by Spartina alterniflora. Both dimethyl sulfide (DMS) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) dominate emissions from salt marshes, with lesser quantities of methyl mercaptan (MeSH), carbonyl sulfide (COS), carbon disulfide (CS2) and dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) being emitted. High emission rates of DMS are associated with vegetation that produces the DMS precursor dimethylsulfonionpropionate (DMSP). Although large quantities of H2S are produced in marshes, only a small percentage escapes to the atmosphere. High latitude marshes emit less sulfur gases than temperate ones, but DMS still dominates. Mangrove-inhabited wetlands also emit less sulfur than temperate S. alterniflora marshes. Few data are available on sulfur gas emissions from freshwater wetlands. In most instances, sulfur emissions from temperate freshwater sites are low. However, some temperate and subtropical freshwater sites are similar in magnitude to those from marine wetlands which do not contain vegetation that produces DMSP. Emissions are low in Alaskan tundra but may be considerably higher in some bogs and fens
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