Take our survey

I’m saving this for the next time I talk to my journalism students about surveys. Language Log. Do you think surveys asking for people’s opinions about the way things are, rather than verifiable things they have done, are an even more extreme form of stupidity, resulting in nonsense like “43% of employees believe managers may be snooping on them” being passed off as news or even social science? __ strongly agree __ sort of agree…

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Paper and pencil, not computer, boosts creativity

In a Ph.D. thesis called “The Paradox of the Guided User,” a dutch researcher examined the productivity of users who were dependent on computers, and users who had a pen-and-paper alternative. The article doesn’t link to the full dissertation, so it’s risky to extrapolate beyond the quotes in the article, so I’ll just repeat a few here: “Present-day software must be user-friendly. Indeed, train ticket machines at railway stations should…

Tell Me What Art Is, and I'll Tell You What Games Are

That’s the story that’s been set up for the player to experience, and he travels along that path like a tourist on a Disneyland ride. However much choice the player seems to have in between these story checkpoints, the overall path of the game is geometrically equivalent to those of film or theater or books. We choose to ignore the fundamental quality that makes games different and so compelling– their…

The Future of Reading – Using Video Games as Bait to Hook Readers

My provost just sent some of my colleagues a link to this article on games and literacy: But doubtful teachers and literacy experts question how effective it is to use an overwhelmingly visual medium to connect youngsters to the written word. They suggest that while a handful of players might be motivated to pick up a book, many more will skip the text and go straight to the game. Others…