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CrimeFictionWriter: Today I'm a crabby editor

Michael Bracken offers practical tips to new writers. Later this week I’ll begin teaching Seton Hill’s “Intro to Literary Study” class again… it’s often the first class in which the English majors get a taste of what it means to write fiction for a college-level class. That means I emphasize basic stuff such as how to punctuate quoted speech, and the difference between “correcting the mistakes your teacher has circled…

'The Aberrant Gamer': Abstinence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Leigh Alexander tries to quit gaming for a week.  How long does she last? What I did learn – and this was the primary aim – was just a little bit more about why I play, and what gaming means to me, does for me. I thought that without games, the world might open up just a little; that I’d divert that gaming energy into learning new things, visiting new…

5 Guys in a Limo

Nick Tate had a rather thankless role in the cult British science-fiction show Space:1999. Note how the cheerful Disney guy, Mark Elliott, is skipping down the sidewalk at the end.

Bobby Fischer, Troubled Genius of Chess, Dies at 64

New York Times:Mr. Fischer was the most powerful American player in history, and the most enigmatic. After scaling the heights of fame, he all but dropped out of chess, losing money and friends and living under self-imposed exile in Budapest, Japan, possibly in the Philippines and Switzerland, and finally in Iceland, moving there in 2005 and becoming a citizen. When he emerged now and then, it was sometimes on the…

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Fatworld Review

On Jan 14, Ian Bogost of Persuasive Games rolled out Fatworld — a digital work that illustrates the complex connections between health, class, economics, and politics, via the rhetoric of the sandbox game. A sandbox game features open-ended play, with no single predetermined “winning” outcome.  A target-shooting game such as Space Invaders forces the player to shoot waves of attacking enemies, because the game ends when the enemies encroach upon…

Video Game Industry Seeks Political Clout

New York Times: (the NYT Peramalink generator seems to be down.) “If I can walk into the office of a member of Congress and tell them we have 20,000 voters in their state who are already signed up to write letters and act based on game-related issues that concern them, that’s powerful,” he said. The industry’s new round of muscle-flexing comes as the political and cultural environment for video games…

MySpace agrees to social-networking safety plan

C|Net: Under the agreement, MySpace has pledged to work with the attorneys general on a set of principles to combat harmful material on social-networking sites (pornography, harassment, cyberbullying, and identity theft, among other issues), better educate parents and schools about online threats, cooperate with law enforcement officials around the country, as well as develop new technology for age and identity verification on social-networking sites.

Oral history: The Monica Lewinsky scandal ten years on

Times Online: On the evening of Saturday January 17, 1998, the internet gossip merchant Matt Drudge posted a story that opened the most sensational scandal season in the history of the American presidency. He reported that Newsweek magazine had killed a story about President Clinton’s sexual relationship with a former intern. The next day he had her name: Monica Lewinsky. The mainstream media were slow to catch up, but by…

FATWORLD – The Game

FATWORLD is a video game about the politics of nutrition. It explores the relationships between obesity, nutrition, and socioeconomics in the contemporary U.S. The game’s goal is not to tell people what to eat or how to exercise, but to demonstrate the complex, interwoven relationships between nutrition and factors like budgets, the physical world, subsidies, and regulations. Existing approaches to nutrition advocacy fail to communicate the aggregate effect of everyday…