Is The Game Industry A Happy Place?

No, the awesome mascot-based space platformer you cheerily sketched on graph paper when you were supposed to be focused on math homework is not going straight to production. No, in fact, there are not a million page views at the ready for your exhaustive essay on the themes of Silent Hill 2. You will probably enter the biz doing, as the grim adage goes, bug testing for a Dora the…

The art of slow reading

Still reading? You’re probably in a dwindling minority. But no matter: a literary revolution is at hand. First we had slow food, then slow travel. Now, those campaigns are joined by a slow-reading movement – a disparate bunch of academics and intellectuals who want us to take our time while reading, and re-reading. They ask us to switch off our computers every so often and rediscover both the joy of…

The 'Mystery And Manners' Of Flannery O'Connor : NPR

Like all of O’Connor’s work, the meaning of a sentence like that expands over time like a sponge. Mystery and Manners is packed with them. It contains talks about the act of writing, about teaching, about the art of raising peacocks, about the South, and Catholicism. But what I value most when I read these essays is how unbelievably deeply she takes on the task of being human. The shimmer…

What's Really Going on Behind Murdoch's Paywall?

In a desperate attempt to preserve the financial integrity of journalism size of his revenue stream, media mogul Rupert Murdoch recently put content at the UK TImes and Sunday Times behind a pay firewall. The information-wants-to-be-free crowd can’t wait to see this experiment fail. A Murdoch and Fleet Street veteran with whom I’ve been corresponding about the paywall reported to me on his recent conversation with an A-list entertainment publicist:…

Installing iMT, a Movable Type interface for hand-held computers

I’m trying out iMT, a slimmed-down blogging interface designed for the iPhone. It works with the iPad, though the design does not take advantage of the iPad’s screen size. This interface only permits plain-text editing (so you have to code the HTML by hand if you want bold or photos and such). There is no access to template design or other complex features. You can only assign an entry to…

Updating my "Writing About Interactive Fiction" page

Creating interactive fiction (a genre also know as “text adventures”) means writing computer code that represents objects and behaviors, while also creating interesting characters, a compelling plot, and maybe a few narrative surprises, all of which can be assembled for a reader to experience in multiple different ways. The resources that follow are intended to provide some sense of the challenges and rewards of writing interactive fiction. A particularly exciting…

A Writer's Guide to Interactive Fiction

The call-and-response form of IF — “TAKE LAMP”, “I don’t know how to take the lamp” — has been a familiar gag for thirty years now. And somewhere, in the basement of the computer game world, a few people are still writing text adventures. A few people… a few games… Actually, lots of games. Over a hundred last year, with rapidly-advancing development tools. This is a more active fandom than…