In Pittsburgh, science gets playful

Imagine: sharing a secret with a friend by touching your finger to her ear; rubbing a book’s page to reveal a hidden message; feeling the texture of a mountain range on a flat computer screen; or sensing the fluttering of a digital butterfly’s wings against your skin. These fancies have been made into realities at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, one of six labs in a network. “Science at Play” is the…


Do television and electronic games predict children’s psychosocial adjustment?

Wow… what a drab, unquoteworthy, unsoundbiteable, graphics-free presentation of findings that will be of tremendous interest to the general public. TV but not electronic games predicted a small increase in conduct problems. Screen time did not predict other aspects of psychosocial adjustment. Further work is required to establish causal mechanisms..

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IOC spokesman: Journalists free to Instagram at Sochi Olympics

  Journalists will be allowed to use Instagram, Twitter and other social media to post still photos and news from the Sochi Olympics, International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams confirmed to For The Win in an email on Monday. “Please take as many photos as you like!” he wrote. “Sharing pix on social media positively encouraged,” he added in an additional email. The clarification comes after multiple reports that journalists…


A Book Itself Is a Little Machine: Emily Short’s Interactive Fiction

Words do some things much better than pixels and polys. You can shoot a dozen identical aliens in a first-person shooter and not feel annoyed; but if you read the same identical description of shooting aliens, you would probably feel bored and cheated. In a game of words, there is therefore a pressure either to be very concise, or to keep the story moving forward, to introduce new scenes and…


D&D-Themed movie Zero Charisma pits Nerds vs. Hipsters

My wife usually gives me nerd-themed DVDs as gifts, so I probably won’t make any effort to see this movie on my own. Still, I’m glad to know someone has made a movie that touches on the hipsterization of nerd culture, and I enjoyed reading the well-written review. Like lots of apologists and upholders of D&D (this writer included), Scott infuses D&D with a cultural significance. He trashes modern video…

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Digital Storytelling (EL231: Topics in Creative Writing)

EL231 “Digital Storytelling” (Dec 18-Jan 22) Unit 1 (Dec 18-22) mostly experiencing digital stories (reading, watching, listening, playing, whatever), and reading articles & discussing them online. (We take a break Dec 23-Jan 1: no classes, no homework.) Unit 2 (Jan 2-7) trying out 4-5 tools for creating digital stories, and learning two in a little more detail. Unit 3 (Jan 8-14) planning and creating your own original digital story. Unit…


Teachers finding games give a leg up on learning

Thanks for the link, Dana. Experts say part of the appeal of learning through gaming is that students don’t see failing at the game as the same type of failure as getting an answer wrong in class or on a worksheet. Ms. Joyce has witnessed this. “They are not embarrassed. They are just more determined to get to the next level,” she said. She finds students remember material better when…

Interview: Ben Prunty, Sound Designer For Video Games :

This weekend, independent video game developers and fans gathered for the international IndieCade Festival in Los Angeles. One of the featured speakers Saturday was sound designer Ben Prunty, who integrates audio into some of the most popular independent video games. Prunty composed the soundtrack to the computer game Faster Than Light, which was nominated for IGN’s Best Overall Music and Best PC Sound of 2012. In the spaceship simulator game,…