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Twine: the program that’s democratised the video gaming world

Twine games look and feel profoundly different from other games, not just because they’re made with different tools but also because they’re made by different people – including people who don’t have any calcified notions about what video games are supposed to be or how they’re supposed to work. While roughly 75% of developers at traditional video-game companies are male, many of the most prominent Twine developers are women, making…

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New Video Game’s Second-Person Shooter Mode Features Someone Just Describing Game To You

I’m introducing text adventure games to the students in my online “Video Game Culture and Theory” course. A few years ago, when my son was 11, I made a screencast of him encountering a text adventure game for the first time. My students generally like watching this video, since it gives them an idea of how to play a text-only game. The Onion recently posted a great spoof of a…

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I can probably remove that link to Lycos

On a web page that I posted in Nov 2000 (on a confusing presidential election ballot that caused controversy in Palm Beach), I included a link to Lycos, a has-been search engine wanna-be, which at the time must have had a convenient way to track backlinks. I haven’t even thought of Lycos for years. The link was broken anyway. While looking up the company just now, I learned it was…

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Terms of Service

Fascinating example of new media journalism: a graphic novel investigative report. The content is noteworthy, too: our lives have already changed now that we regularly give away our privacy in return for various benefits (lower prices, connection to friends). The corporations who use our data benefit more than we do, and many of us now feel we have no choice. Al Jazeera America.

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The Article is Dead. Long Live the Article

Take the background paragraph. It ill-serves everyone. If you know nothing about an ongoing story, it gives you too little history and explanation — how can you possibly hope to catch up on, say, the war in Syria in five lines of type? If you know a story well, this paragraph merely wastes your time and the paper’s space; readers have had to train themselves to skip over it and find the…

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A Pedestal, A Table, A Love Letter: Archaeologies of Gender in Videogame History

A thoughtful, informative article on the importance of Roberta Williams, co-founder of Sierra Online (an adventure game titan from the 1980s). Drawing from both media archaeology and feminist cultural studies, this contribution first outlines the function Roberta Williams serves as a gendered subject of game history. The remainder of the essay is organized as three short, non-chronological vignettes about specific objects and practices in the biography of Roberta Williams. Attention…