Editorial on Emily Short's Galatea (inter alia)

Jimmy Maher offers a provocative editorial in the latest issue of the Society for the Promotion of Adventure Games newsletter. Galatea excites admiration, interest, even a certain amount of awe, and all of it richly deserved.  However, it seems to excite very little love.  Nor does it seem to inspire its player to grapple with anything more universal than the design of good IF conversation systems. Is this a problem?…

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Death in Cyberspace: A Study in Contrast

When you die, would you rather be remembered as a technology hack who annoyed millions and forced them to waste time by weeding through torrents of junk e-mail, or a brilliant teacher who inspired millions to treasure every moment of the time they have left? According to police, Edward Davidson, the “spam king” whose wife helped him break out of a minimum security prison, has killed himself, his wife, and…

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When Young Teachers Go Wild on the Web: Public Profiles Raise Questions of Propriety and Privacy

Blogging yet another story that reminds young fans of social networking sites that their profiles may be more public than they think. WashPo “I know for a fact that when a superintendent in Missouri was interviewing potential teachers last year, he would ask, ‘Do you have a Facebook or MySpace page?’ ” said Todd Fuller, a spokesman for the Missouri State Teachers Association, which is warning members to clean up…

The Changing Newsroom

Thanks, Becca, for forwarding this link about how the American newspaper has changed in the past three years.  Last semester my journalism students did a unit on community journalism, and they wrote long features that were destined for our new summer-orientation and fall welcome-back issues. So I was aware of some of the changes observed by the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s report on the status of today’s newspaper, though…

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Steampunk'd, Or Humbug by Design

Steampunk is one of my guilty pleasures… I think of it more of an asthetic than a literary movement, and I own neither a pair of aviator goggles nor a wind-up pocketwatch. Nevertheless, it happens that at this moment in another window I’m rendering a 3D view of an brass-and-glass spaceship ethership that features in the steampunk bedtime stories I’ve been telling my kids ever since I saw the last…

Helping the Almost-Journalists Do Journalism

As traditional news organizations face increasing pressure to cut back on investigative reporting and depend more heavily on celebrity and puff pieces (cheap to produce, attractive to advertisers, accessible to a mass audience), Dan Gillmor suggests that advocacy groups such as the ACLU have an opportunity to fill the gap.  If only they were fairer to the opposing view… They’re falling short today in several areas, notably the one that…

The End of Gamers

Does anybody today say — without shame — that their hobby is watching TV? Or listening to the radio? These media are so deeply entrenched in our society that we barely think of them. According to Ian Bogost, a time will come when the concept of “the gamer” is obsolete. Not because games will be obsolete, but because they will become so mainstream that the category will no longer be…