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‘Broken Age’ Review

This will be my self-reward when I finish all my obligations for the term. For the uninitiated, here’s the rundown. In Broken Age, players control two characters: Vella, a young girl who’s about to be sacrificed to an ancient monster called Mog Chothra, and Shay, a teenage boy who was raised in a spaceship by a coddling artificial intelligence called “Mom.” At first, the connection between the two characters is…

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We are cruel. We always have been. The Internet did not make us so

We didn’t start the flame war. Scandalous satirical pamphlets were once cranked out by writers and sold at train stations, like so many primordial blog posts. Political cartoons have a long and vicious history. Incivility is our legacy, not our invention. It is part, but only part, of who we are. And have always been. –Tabatha Southey, The Globe and Mail.

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Wander (1974) — a lost mainframe game is found!

Interesting news for historians of digital culture. I had no direct knowledge of this game. I want to learn more about it. Wander was probably the first computer game that is recognisable as what came to be known as a “text adventure” (or “interactive fiction“) – pre-dating even ADVENT (a.k.a. Colossal Cave) by Crowther and Woods! But Wander was more than that because it seems to have been designed to be a tool to allow users…

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Adventure | T.M. Camp

Great story of nerdiness and discovery and friendship, focusing on the author’s adult memories of his love for a particular text adventure game at a crucial phase of his youth. I’ve collected several such stories in “Interactive Fiction Reflection and Nostalgia.” He knew the game, practically had it memorized. He would be the computer. I would be the player.

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All of Your Co-Workers are Gone: Story, Substance, and the Empathic Puzzler

However, running parallel to the evolution of these [graphic] games was a family of explicitly, un- ashamedly narrative titles. Colossal Cave Adventure (Crowther & Woods, 1977), Zork I (1980), and Adventureland (Andventure International, 1978) have equal importance in the evolution of video games, but rarely receive the same kind of general, mainstream popular cultural appreciation as their graphical rivals. These games focused almost entirely on the story and the characters…

I expect that before long Google and Twitter and the other major players will come up with ways to extract and use the texts contained in screenshots. I imagine the technology would need to be scaled up to deal with screenshots in real time. Nevertheless, if screenshorting causes a problem, I expect it to be a short-term problem.

R.I.P. Blogging, Killed By Screenshorts

Are screenshorts slowly killing blogging as we know it? For some things, I think so, because it’s an easier and more authentic way to reach your fans, friends or followers directly on social media than it is to spend time setting up a blog and then sharing out the link. Sharing text as an image has other benefits too: it helps increase shareability on social media because we respond better…

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Apple’s new diverse emoji are even more problematic than before

This author did a great job articulating the unease I felt when I learned about Apple’s racially diverse emoji. I don’t like it when interfaces translate my textual emoticons ;-) into graphic symbols. Now I feel like I’ll have to think deliberately about whatever color the autocorrect chooses for those graphics. Because I’m black, should I now feel compelled to use the “appropriate” brown-skinned nail-painting emoji? Why would I use the…