Polluting the Blogosphere

Murphy is launching PayPerPost.com, which will automate such hookups between advertisers and bloggers and thus codify a new frontier of product placement. Advertisers pay to post details about their “opportunity,” specifying, among other things, how they want bloggers to write about, say, a new shoe, if they want photos to be included, and whether they’ll pay only for positive mentions. Bloggers who abide by the rules get paid; heavily trafficked…

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Ephemeral games: Is it barbaric to design videogames after Auschwitz?

Adorno once wrote “it would be barbaric to write poetry after Auschwitz”. Based on what we previously described, it seems that it would definitively be barbaric to create videogames about Auschwitz. However, if we could find a kind of environment where actions are irreversible, some of the main obstacles for designing “serious” videogames would disappear. — Gonzalo Frasca –Ephemeral games: Is it barbaric to design videogames after Auschwitz? (Ludology.org) In this…

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Scientists OK Gore's movie for accuracy

The former vice president’s movie — replete with the prospect of a flooded New York City, an inundated Florida, more and nastier hurricanes, worsening droughts, retreating glaciers and disappearing ice sheets — mostly got the science right, said all 19 climate scientists who had seen the movie or read the book and answered questions from The Associated Press. The AP contacted more than 100 top climate researchers by e-mail and…

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Teenage Girls Rob Man they Met on MySpace

A Jacksonville man says he was duped and robbed by two girls after attempting to meet with a woman he met on the internet. –Teenage Girls Rob Man they Met on MySpace (WOAI.com) I’m uncomfortable with the hype that presents the internet as dangerous (as opposed to the predictablity and passivity of TV). Even this “man bites dog” story, which is newsworthy because it reverses the expected formula, still invokes and…

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Evaluations are serious business

This semester, I presented my undergraduates with a challenging course. I expected them to participate in class and keep up with assignments. I told them straight out that if they were not to come prepared, stay home. I did not coddle them. The best students thrived on the regimen. The lazy students of course hated it. Naturally, I just got whacked on evaluations this semester by my darling undergraduates. The…

Down with blogs… so here's another

If you believe the hype, blogs are as significant as the invention of the printing press for their ability to change the way the world will be seen. If on the other hand you believe the counter-hype, blogs are a self-indulgence which pander to dull people’s misguided beliefs that they have something interesting to say. Journalists have their own takes on blogs – broadcaster Mark Lawson, for one, says that…

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Jimmy the Greek Made Oblivion

Complete with the Bernie Mac perfect afro the redguardsman stared back at me in 1080i. His racial description? The most naturally talented warriors in Tamriel, the dark-skinned, wiry-haired Redguards of Hammerfell seem born to battle, though their pride and fierce independence of spirit makes them more suitable as scouts or skirmishers, or as free-ranging heroes and adventurers, than as rank-and-file soldiers. In addition to their cultural affinities for many weapon…

Teaching with Technology: Using Interactive Fiction to Teach English Students

This class is unique in many ways, the most prominent is that students learn how to create new media resources for education. As Gee noted, “When people learn to play video games, they are learning a new literacy” (2003, p. 16). In this course students must develop an instructional game where all game elements are integrated with stated learning objectives. This theory of “alignment” is both a design requirement and…

Reflections on Keys for Writers

Reflections on Keys for Writers (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) I’m paging through Ann Raimes’s Keys for Writers, which I used to use when I taught freshman comp at my previous job, and which I’m coming back to in the fall as Seton Hill offers a new “Basic Composition” course for the first time. (Our freshman writing offering used to be a two-semester course that included content on cultural identities.) While we are…