The History of Computer Role-Playing Games Part III: The Platinum and Modern Ages (1994-2004)

Although the CRPG has certainly suffered its share of ups and downs over the decades, history shows that when things are at their bleakest, there is always a new company poised to spring onto the scene with an amazing new title that brings every true CRPG fan back to the table. Perhaps we’re at such a point now; major CRPG titles have slowed to a trickle, and some critics seem…

City Council

CITY COUNCIL is based on an actual city council meeting I covered while working for a small twice-a-week newspaper early in my career. Some of the items here have been fictionally enhanced for educational purposes. And, of course, some names have been changed to protect the foolish. Even as an assistant editor at this small paper I knew that someday I wanted to teach journalism and I had the feeling…

Producer for Katie Couric Fired — For Lifting from 'Wall St Journal'

A CBS News producer was fired and the network apologized after a Katie Couric video essay on libraries was found to be plagiarized from The Wall Street Journal. –Producer for Katie Couric Fired — For Lifting from ‘Wall St Journal’  (AP | Editor & Publisher) Here’s a copy of Jeffrey Zaslow’s “Of the Places You’ll Go, Is the Library Still One of Them?” Update: Rosemary Frezza says this is the…

A Dish Best Served Cold

“It’s almost always the first play I teach,” she said. “I do that because very often students have only encountered Shakespeare in high school and have a misunderstanding of him as safe, moral, and dull. This one really dislodges the idea that Shakespeare is full of eternal moral truths. It takes place in a different world from what they expect.” And how does Titus go over with her students? “Many…

Inside Interactive Fiction: An Interview with Emily Short

The first issue was providing enough fun. Every puzzle should have some reward, and a complicated or multi-stage puzzle should provide some minor rewards for partial solutions. So once I had the puzzle structure in mind (more about that later), I could see which puzzles were going to open a lot of new game-play and which were only going to bring the player up against another puzzle — the structural…

MySpace vs. Facebook

MySpace vs. Facebook (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) I just searched Google News for MySpace and Facebook, and was surprised at the difference in what I found. Of the first seven MySpace hits, five emphasized criminal acts, and two were PR-driven pieces. Of the first seven hits on Facebook, only one involved legal worries (in an item that also included MySpace in the title), two items seemed PR-driven, and the other four were…

Pearls Before Breakfast

Each passerby had a quick choice to make, one familiar to commuters in any urban area where the occasional street performer is part of the cityscape: Do you stop and listen? Do you hurry past with a blend of guilt and irritation, aware of your cupidity but annoyed by the unbidden demand on your time and your wallet? Do you throw in a buck, just to be polite? Does your…

4

Coffee Table Books Meme

Got to Dance (autographed by the author, M. C. Helldorfer; illustrated by Hiroe Nakata) Has a Heart (Magic School Bus (Turtleback)) (Annie Capecki; illustrated by Carolyn Bracken) Zathura The Movie Deluxe Storybook (Zathura: The Movie) (adapted by David Seidman) Frederick (Leo Lionni) –Coffee Table Books Meme (CultureCat) My coffee table is deep in kid territory. If you asked me what was on my desk or by my bedside, I’d give very…

The blogs that ate cyberspace

The News Limited story suggested that net-savvy types were giving up on blogging and turning their attention to MySpace. The owner of Myspace is, of course, News Limited. Also conveniently not disclosed was the fact that, according to the Gartner report, use of MySpace has been falling steadily during the past year. [...] Jorn Barger says “lazy and sensational” journalists have dismissed blogs as mere diaries, neglecting the social benefit…

300 spears reviewer's attention

Perhaps the only thing that could have made this movie better would have been if Xerces, the God-king of the Persian army, had been played by John Stamos, the actor who played Uncle Jesse on Full House. Even the Spartans would have cowered beneath his seductive gaze and shining, well-combed hair. [...] Not only did I leave the theater feeling like I had gotten my $8 worth, I left wanting…