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Two Steps Down the Interactive Fiction Road

Wonderfully detailed analysis of two ground-breaking works of interactive fiction. I regularly assign “Photopia” and “Galatea,” but in our media projects course we never have time to analyze the works in this detail. I never did use a walkthrough for “Galatea,” so I am sure I missed lots of it. Last time I looked at two examples of contemporary interactive fiction that were iterations of the classic text adventure genre.…

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My Ouya arrived.

My Ouya arrived — a Kickstarter-funded gaming console. I have never been a console gamer. Lately, I haven’t even been a PC gamer — when I have the time I would much rather create in Blender 3D or, in the past year or so, make a video. But the principle behind the Ouya — that all games should have at least some free content, and that developers should have easy…

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We Need to Talk about the Burgeoning Robot Middle Class

Maybe it’s not the super-robots we need to fear, but the ones just good enough to displace one worker’s salary. Consider the automated checkout line at your local grocery store. It makes more mistakes than a human clerk, it is harder to use, and it is slower because of the rotating error light that loves to interrupt the whole process every few minutes. Is it better than a human? Of…

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The new marshmallow test: Resisting the temptations of the web

The Stanford marshmallow experiment is a famous study that linked the willingness to delay gratification (children were told they could have one treat now, or two if they waited about 15 min) to a range of positive life outcomes. Many of my students who can’t resist checking their phone in class or during one-on-one office visits are also the same students who have difficulty following instructions, meeting deadlines, managing a…

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What Modern Humans Can Learn From The Neanderthals’ Extinction

“You don’t like to think about a holocaust, but it’s quite possible,” he said. He referred to the long-standing belief among many anthropologists that H. sapiens exterminated Neanderthals with superior weapons and intellect. For a long time, there seemed to be no other explanation for the rapid disappearance of Neanderthals after H. sapiens arrived in their territories. Today, however, there is a growing body of evidence from the field of…

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Why Can’t Millennials Find Jobs?

Half of hiring managers say wearing attire ill-suited for an interview was one of the biggest mistakes they saw. Others include lack of eye contact (33%), checking phone or texting (30%), fidgeting (26%) and bad posture (22%). Other interview horror stories? Nearly half of hiring managers (44%) said showing up late or on the wrong date was a mistake they witnessed in job seekers. [...] One online privacy company wants…

11 Compound Word Errors that Might Make You Look like a Numbskull

You might wonder why we flip out over stress the importance of accurate grammar and usage. Well, there are a couple of reasons … You look silly or unprofessional when you don’t get it right. Don’t think the proofreading police aren’t watching. They are. And they never sleep. Great writers not only struggle with their words and getting ideas down on paper accurately, but with fine tuning everything — including…

Sam Shepard Giggles, Doesn’t Google

I wrote my undergraduate honors thesis on the plays of Sam Shepard. I took my first-ever date (hi, Maria) to see Shepard in The Right Stuff. He’s dressed in country clothes – a checked shirt and a nondescript jacket – and, unlike most writers, he has an outdoors complexion; a lived-in face. But what’s most noticeable is his sense of humour. It’s a lovely, gentle thing; he pokes fun at…