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Game with God

“Games that treat religion realistically, weaving it into the game as it is woven into people’s lives, can provide a richer and more realistic simulation,” says Destination Games founder and Ultima creator Richard Garriott. “Spirituality lends the game world credibility and completeness. The search for meaning in life is universal, and a shallower life of conflict and treasure collecting will never match the strength of a game that includes ethical…

Polite computers win users' hearts and minds

Messages such as “HTTP 404 – File not found”, which appears when a web page is unavailable, and “invalid credit card number” on e-commerce sites, make people feel stupid when they have not done anything wrong. This scares them away from exploiting computers to their full potential, he says. But Jonathan Klein, who builds robotic toys at iRobot in Sommerville, Massachusetts, warns that any apology will eventually cease to sound…

An Adviser Without Advice

She graduated a year ago with a major in English and a minor in information systems. Now she works as a cashier. She wore a red smock and a little plastic nametag with the word “Target” on the bottom. Pampers, VeggieTales videos, Harry Potter paperbacks, and kitchen utensils designed by Michael Graves rolled by. My former student scanned and bagged the objects as if she was running on a treadmill.…

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In the Penthouse of the Ivory Tower

A road trip with someone you’ve never met—more specifically, a road trip across a prison-clogged desert with an English professor you’ve never met—is a delicate thing, and we both want this to go well, because he’s about to be my guide and interpreter for four days at the 119th Annual Modern Language Association Convention. Gideon Lewis-Kraus –In the Penthouse of the Ivory Tower (The Believer) It’s a tradition for reporters to…