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ink: Inkle’s open source scripting language for writing interactive narrative

Gearing up to teach “Digital Storytelling” this summer. Not sure whether I have time to add this tool to the syllabus, but I’m definitely going to play with it. ink is a scripting language built around the idea of marking up pure-text with flow in order to produce interactive scripts. At its most basic, it can be used to write a Choose Your Own-style story, or a branching dialogue tree.…

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A Video Game About Changing What Happens In Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Elsinore is a game where you play as Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. She’s stuck in a time loop, a la Groundhog Day or Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. Her goal? To prevent Hamlet, a Shakespearean tragedy so tragic that it borders on ludicrous, from ending tragically…. As Ophelia, you gather information and interact with people to change their stories — to, say, stop Hamlet from murdering Polonius and, you know,…

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‘WarGames’ and Cybersecurity’s Debt to a Hollywood Hack

After finishing his synopsis, Reagan turned to Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and asked: “Could something like this really happen?” Could someone break into our most sensitive computers? General Vessey said he would look into it. One week later, the general returned to the White House with his answer. “WarGames,” it turned out, wasn’t far-fetched. “Mr. president,” he said, “the problem is…

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When Robert Pinsky Wrote a Video Game

[F]or a brief time in the mid-nineteen-eighties major literary publishers, including Simon & Schuster and Random House, opened software divisions, and major bookstores stocked works of “interactive fiction.” Popular writers, including Douglas Adams and Thomas M. Disch, turned their capable hands to the burgeoning form. It was in the midst of this excited moment that the future three-term U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky wrote a video game called “Mindwheel,” which,…

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Former NFL receiver Antwaan Randle El regrets ever playing football

“There’s no correcting it. There’s no helmet that’s going to correct it. There’s no teaching that’s going to correct it. It just comes down to it’s a physically violent game. Football players are in a car wreck every week.” […] Randle El is not naive to the profitability of the sport or the impact it has on society, but with the concussion and life-long injury issues getting more attention than ever…