What’s next in game narrative, with Emily Short

Something that I tended to think was unfortunate about certain MMO storytelling… you get these narratives where the NPCs have lots of really emotive things to say to you, and they want to throw you into this narrative. Then on the other hand, your interaction with the characters played by humans — even if theyre inclined to play it in a very role-playing way and theyre not running around shouting…


Omaha schoolgirl dresses as a different historical figure each day

Voilà, she is Billie Holiday, in a black dress with a red tissue-paper flower tucked into her strawberry-blond hair. Behold, she is Grace Kelly in pink satin lace on her wedding day. Poof, she is Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, wearing a hat her aunt got her in Vietnam. The Dundee Elementary School third-grader comes to school dressed as a different historical figure or character — Every. Single.…

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Mathematics and What It Means to Be Human

A humanities faculty member and a math faculty member collaborate on a course about the meaning of math. “Don’t worry;” I told them. “You can’t find this more frightening than I do.” And it was true. Ever since the word problems my father forced on us at dinner, I’ve always been terrified of math. I probably skipped dessert for all of fourth grade in order to escape some design to…


Sad Doggy Says: People Who Confuse Correlation and Causation Are More Likely to Accept Schlocky Science Journalism

Somehow I don’t expect to find this story hyped up on TV news shows… but if a similar study proposed any sort of connection that made video games look bad, that would be another story. Using complex actuarial tables and adjusting for smoking, waist circumference, dietary quality, exercise habits and other variables, the scientists were next able to isolate the specific effect that the hours of sitting seemed to be…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu

Code? Not So Much

I teach my journalism students to write CSS and HTML by hand, to make simple games  in Scratch, and to write text adventure games in Inform 7 not because I expect them to get jobs doing any of those activities, but because a fundamental coding literacy, on top of their liberal arts education, will help them bridge the Morlock-Eloi cultural divide. While a few weeks programming an escape-the-room game won’t…


North Sea cod: Is it true there are only 100 left?

A spokesperson for the Sunday Times told the BBC: “The headline and the first sentence of the article over-simplified a complicated issue, which we regret. However, the rest of the story made clear that we were referring to cod over the age of 13 and the figures cited were accurate.” And what of that other headline – “Just 100 cod left in the North Sea”? Looking at the data, it…


YouTube Now: Why We Focus on Watch Time

YouTube has adjusted its search algorithm to emphasize videos that users watch more. Over the past few months we have made some changes to YouTube to encourage people to spend more time watching, interacting, and sharing with the community. To support this, we’ve updated what we call video discovery features, meaning how our viewers find videos to watch via search and suggested videos. These changes better surface the videos that viewers…

One Child, One Laptop … And Mixed Results In Peru

Because you couldn’t go online, everything had to be done in person. Patzer spent most of his time busing and hiking from village to village, often just to reinstall software with a USB drive. “Imagine you have hundreds of these little villages that take two or three days to travel to. I mean, the logistical nightmare of the whole thing is just bonkers,” Patzer says. But Oscar Becerra, who used…

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Obama vs. Romney D&D Smack-Down at NYC Gallery

This week, if you head to the Allegra LaViola Gallery in New York City to see Fiend in the Void, a solo exhibition of works on paper and sculpture by Casey Jex Smith, you’ll get a chance to see a Dungeons & Dragons clash of the titans between President Obama and Mitt Romney. The winner decides how the artist will cast his real-world vote in the real-world, 2012 presidential election.…