The Evolution of Adventure: Make Game – Asio City

In the early 1970s William Crowther worked for the high-tech R&D company BBN Technologies as part of a team developing the ARPAnet; a computer network predecessor to the Internet. Crowther has never shown any desire to court celebrity for his achievements. Aside from a couple of interviews from books, Where Wizards Stay Up Late and Genesis II: Creation and Recreation with Computers, and some email exchanges for Dennis Jerz’s Colossal Cave article, there isn’t much…

How and Why to Make Your Digital Publications Matter

My intuition is that, even for the wary, recalcitrant, or skeptical, the ways individuals connect now online and learn from one another’s connections no longer represent the pathological or aberrant (i.e. the shallow, distracted, lonely, asocial, unprofessional digital generation:  you know the litany!), but “the future.”  Since many are worried about “the future,” those who seem to have a firmer grasp on it are now seen not as needing rehab…

Choosing Our Own Adventures, Then and Now

If you were a kid during the ’80s and read any books at all, you probably read at least one Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA), probably by either R.A. Montgomery or Edward Packard. And if you read one, you read more than one. They were addictive, candy for our brains, but also, they empowered us in a way that normal books did not. At key plot points, the reader got…

Ancient life, millions of years old and barely alive, found beneath ocean floor – The Washington Post

Scientists now believe that much of the life on Earth is barely able to fog a mirror, as it were. The deep-sea microbes may be an extreme example of a laid-back norm. Most of Earth life, measured by numbers, is not rambunctious and charismatic like life in the sunshine, nor is it akin to the microbes that grow quickly in a laboratory petri dish. Rather, it’s kind of boring —…

Is it time for a text game revival?

It’s also a cultural climate where audiences are increasingly used to thinking of books as media companions — popular film series like Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games, or TV series like Game of Thrones, all feel richer to fans if they read the books as well as enjoy the films. Designers of text-based games can take advantage of that familiarity to bring audiences into worlds they can read…

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Latrobe Bulletin Covers this Weekend’s Stage Right! Shows

Seton Hill new media journalism graduate Chris Ulicne, who now works for the Latrobe Bulletin, wrote a really nice feature on Stage Right (local theatre company and school for the performing arts). The full text of the article is not online, but this image is from the PDF of the front page (available through the Newseum). My kids are each in one of the shows that opened tonight at the…

Bully: She told her son, ‘hit him hard’ –and she learned a lesson

Powerful story. I didn’t trust the principal to help and my son didn’t trust me; I called the police instead. The officer showed up at the school, but the principal met him at the office. He told the cop it was his school, he would handle it. The principal called my son and the boy down to office over the public address system for the whole school to hear. Everything…

Next Time, Fail Better

Humanities students are not used to failure. They want to get it right the first time. When they are new to the game, they want to get good grades on what are essentially first drafts. Once they learn how much work it is to write and edit a really good essay, their goals shift—from getting A’s on papers written the night before to getting A’s and making the difficult process…

The Case for Breaking Up With Your Parents

I already felt fairly independent from my parents before I went off to college, as my older siblings were both good students who did not get into any trouble, so because I kept bringing home good grades my parents let me be very independent. I had (and still have) a good relationship with my parents, perhaps because it took (and takes) a little effort to contact them. This story of…