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Richard Scarry unfinished manuscript to be published

Some of my happiest memories of fatherhood include introducing my kids to the Richard Scarry books. Featuring a huge anthropomorphised cast, with recurring characters such as Sergeant Murphy, traffic hound and pursuer of miscreants, and solid, cheerful, lederhosen-wearing Huckle Cat, Scarry’s tales of mishap, derring-do, industry and shopping always feel deeply, richly safe. Some aspects of Busytown and its environs are slightly perturbing – a lot of traffic accidents happen,…

LucasArts’ eulogy reminds us of the inhuman cost of game development

Game development culture often involves 18-hour work days during crunch times that last for months. I remember as a teen or college student enjoying a “lost weekend” of doing nothing but playing the latest game (the X-Wing games, The Dig, and Full Throttle come to mind), but expecting the professionals who produce games to work like that is a different matter. In the wake of Disney’s closure of LucasArts, Ben…

30 Best Text-Adventures/Interactive-Fiction Games Over 5 Decades | Gaming Enthusiast

Nobody has to twist my arm to get me to reblog someone’s interactive fiction post. As gamers, we know perfectly well that the graphics is not everything that counts. The story, the immersion, the memorable characters – those are the things we really dig. So what would we get if we leave those and eliminate the visual side altogether (or almost altogether), relying just on text and our imagination? The…

More U.S. Children Being Diagnosed With Youthful Tendency Disorder

Cameron’s psychological problems run even deeper. He can name every one of his beloved, imaginary Pokemon characters, but the plain realities of the actual world he inhabits are an enigma: Ask Cameron the name of the real-life city councilman sponsoring the referendum to renovate the park just across the street from his house–a park he plays in daily–and he draws a blank. –The Onion.

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New Test for Computers – Grading Essays at College Level

Imagine writing an essay for a college, and, instead of sparking personal feedback from an expert who spends five or ten minutes per page writing personalized reactions and tips for improvement, your work was never actually read by a human being who could recognize, appreciate, and encourage your accomplishments. Imagine that your essay was instead scored by a software program. Imagine a higher-education culture that increases class sizes and gives…

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Have 40 years of mobile phones given literature bad lines?

The X Files did a good job of embracing the mobile phone to advance the plot. One character is sneaking around a warehouse, while another character is in a lab coat, frowning at a test tube. One calls the other, they quickly explain (for the benefit of the audience) what they are doing, and then we move on to the next scene. Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother does a good job…

Pipe Trouble’s government woes highlight gaming illiteracy

Interesting discussion of a political hoopla surrounding a Canadian provincial TV station’s support of a video game on laying an oil pipeline. In a previous job, I was evaluated by people who asked me to submit printouts of my online work; my printouts were then evaluated according to criteria that were developed for print work. A similar dynamic seems to lead to public outcry based on videos and summaries of…

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

Small Business Social Media 101: How To Get Started

Useful skills for anyone hoping to turn social media experience into a valuable job skill. If you fit into the “mom and pop” shop category (let’s say a local restaurant, auto body shop, handy man, coffee shop or car wash) a lot of your social media strategy should be around showing up on Google Maps and gaining positive reviews that show up in Search Engines. The same applies for a local law firm, medical practitioner’s…