Results of the 18th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition

 The 18th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition has ended. Congratulations to Marco Innocenti, whose “Andromeda Apocalypse” took first place! The top three games were: Andromeda Apocalypse, by Marco Innocenti Eurydice, by Anonymous Guilded Youth, by Jim Munroe The winners of the Miss Congeniality contest were: Guilded Youth, by Jim Munroe Escape From Summerland, by Joey Jones and Melvin Rangasamy (writing as Jenny Roomy and Jasmine Lavages) Sunday Afternoon, by Christopher Huang…

At Age 11, I Named the Curiosity Rover

Wonderful story! I still remember that chilly December day, sitting in science class. I’d finished a worksheet early and decided to get a TIME for Kids magazine off of Mrs. Estevez’s bookshelf. It was the 2008 Invention Issue, but that wasn’t the only thing that caught my eye. In the magazine, there was an article about a girl who named the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. The article also…

The Myth of the Fake Geek Girl

It’s not surprising, then, that being a woman in geek culture was for a long time a profoundly gender-deviant act. “Girl” and “geek” were a zero-sum dichotomy: to claim space in one, you had to relinquish equivalent claim to the other. Recently, though, there’s been a dramatic change: a sudden surge not only in the visibility of women in geek culture, but of the visibility and popularity of more traditionally…

What Do People Do on Mobile Devices? (Infographic)

A handful of vignettes communicating the point that mobile use of the Web is on the rise. It’s a challenge to teach students everything that will truly benefit them in a changing world, so for now all I can do is touch on how to use CSS to deliver different versions of a website for mobile, tablet, and desktop machines, so they are aware of how it is technically possible…

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What a 21st-Century English Major Can Do: Screencast Demo of an Inform 7 Text-Adventure Journalism Game

Have I mentioned lately that I have some really awesome students? Here’s a narrated screencast, presenting a progress report on a term project that involves programming in Inform 7 to create a text-adventure game designed to teach student journalists how to cover a campus event. This is what a 21st-century English major can do, given the opportunity and a little encouragement. So many rhetorical and technical skills are involved in…