Ermahgerddon: The Untold Story of the Ermahgerd Girl

Deciding against the coonskin cap, Goldenberger put on the vest, hoisted her hair up into intentionally dorky pigtails—she never wore them like that otherwise—brandished the chosen books, and pulled an intentionally hideous face for the camera. Normally, she hardly ever wore her retainer like she was supposed to, but it felt right for the character: she put it on for the shoot. Kaelyn had the resulting Polaroid picture posted on…


Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It)

Someone who thought Twitter was da bomb, and who apparently has very little historical awareness of previous forms of social media, now realizes that, human nature being what it is, this is why we can’t have nice things. We once glorified Twitter as a great global town square, a shining agora where everyone could come together to converse. But I’ve never been to a town square where people can shove,…

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80 Days review

80 Days was my go-to game over the summer, though lately I have switched back to Faster Than Light. I haven’t had the chance to play the updated game, though I have installed it on my iOS devices. This paragraph, from Christian Donian’s review on, really impressed me. Great writing, and a great explanation of what kind of game 80 Days is. It’s interactive fiction at heart, each moment…

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Architecture in Video Games: Designing for Impact

Deanna Van Buren writes: I wonder why do we not see more collaboration between experienced architects, landscape architects, and video game developers. From the architect’s side, I know that we like to make stuff in the real world, and perhaps don’t think it will be rewarding. Architects often don’t play games or see how they can be of service. Many think it’s all about coding and that we need to…


So Long Blogging. Hello—Yep, We’re Going to Say It—Plogging

I still blog, because I want control over my own archives, so that I can link back to my own posts to provide context (such as this 2004 post on the emerging SHU blogging community, or this 2011 post on the switch from MovableType to WordPress). Your past pretty much doesn’t exist if you post it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, because those communities are built around the now.   Facebook…


Cave Gave Game: Subterranean Space as Videogame Place | Electronic Book Review

Electronic Book Review just published an article I wrote with Dave Thomas, on cave space in video game ecology. Parts of this article are a companion to my 2007 Digital Humanities Quarterly article on the 1970s text computer game Colossal Cave Adventure. Crowther’s translation of real world caving experience into the digital medium provides a precise bridge between the cave as environment and the cave as game design metaphor. The…

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Male Microsoft Leaders Ignored Women Who Really Hated Clippy

I hated Clippy, not because it looked like it was leering at me, but because it was so intrusive. [T]he engineers in the room were willing to throw out the focus-group-provided data—data which they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for—because it didn’t cohere to their expectations. The software shipped with 10 male assistants and two female assistants, she adds.It turned out to be one of the most unpopular features…