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The magic of words opens a whole new world of fun

Emily Short’s work is always worth seeking out and exploring; she’s been a visionary in the world of text-based games for years and her personal blog is a masterclass in both reading and writing interactive fiction. I’d recommend starting with her short game, made with Liza Daly, The First Draft of the Revolution, in which your choices about how you edit letters between a husband and wife drive how the…

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On Death and iPods: A Requiem

I never owned a classic iPod, though I did have a B&W PalmPilot and a color successor. They day SHU gave me an iPad, I carefully collected all the cords and manuals and put my Palm away in its original box. I still feel a little guilty that I didn’t even bother to synch it one last time. Less dramatic was the decline of my relationship with digital voice recorders. I…

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Report: Many U.S. Schools Can’t Afford Mannequins, Human Urine For Art Classes

“It’s sad, but my students don’t even have the supplies they need for an exercise as simple as depicting patriarchal oppression with a mannequin that has been painted orange, set on fire, and then doused with a bucket of warm urine,” said Robert Kessler, a sixth-grade art teacher in Cleveland, noting that his supply closet also lacks the old doll heads, used syringes, and Virgin Mary statuettes his pupils require.…

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Apple Watch is ugly and boring (and Steve Jobs would have agreed)

I am not feeling the love for Apple’s iWristBrick. What do most contemporary smartwatches have in common? They’re mostly squarish, clunky, bulky, flat things with a screen that go on your wrist. They mostly do things your phone does, and they mostly rely heavily on your phone for a good portion of their functionality. They’re fairly expensive, and it’s not really clear that they do anything amazing that your other…

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News Feed FYI: Click-baiting

It’s hard for me to think of Facebook as the “good guy” in any situation, but I am pleased to learn that FB is adjusting its algorithm to penalize click-bait headlines. A small set of publishers who are frequently posting links with click-bait headlines that many people don’t spend time reading after they click through may see their distribution decrease in the next few months. We’re making these changes to…

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Editorial: Video Games and The Great Train Robbery

Through the development of crosscutting and other continuity editing techniques, many filmmakers (perhaps unwittingly) found “that the development of systematic narration and continuous action could also deliver a sense of shock, of percussive action that is broken and picked up again continually.” (Gunning, 311, 2006) The once disjointed forces, attraction and narrative, came together to function symbiotically in films. The same cannot yet be said for most video games. Many…