Peter West, Trying the Dark: Mammoth Cave and the Racial Imagination, 1839-1869

Interesting examination of role-playing, illusion, identity, and power in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave, one small branch of which was the inspiration for the 1976/7 computer game Colossal Cave Adventure. In the middle decades of the nineteenth century, Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave was a popular tourist destination for travelers from around the United States and beyond. The cave also functioned during these years as a dynamic symbol in the national imagination, appearing in…

Typography and Textuality

Zach Whalen is turning his dissertation into a blog-web-thing, in the hopes of developing a book-thing. In whatever form it takes, it’s an interesting approach to a textual study of video games. This study asks how the design and configuration of text in videogames contributes to their textuality. I argue that videogames are texts in the sense that they consist of material artifacts generating meaningful content when engaged by users.…

Social Media and Young Adults — Pew

None of this is a surprise to me, but I’m glad to have statistics to back up my impressions. A very small handful of students whose first introduction to online social networking was the SHU blogosphere, before blogs went really mainstream around 2005, are still blogging here, after they have graduated. In 2003-2005 it was fairly common for students to post jokes, spread memes, and keep up with each other…