Game Design Program for Education & Training

I haven’t tried GameSalad yet… and won’t even download it until at least after I’ve submitted midterm grades next week, but it looks very promising. (I haven’t yet exhausted the possibilities of Scratch, but since Scratch games don’t work on an iPad, I’m looking at alternatives.) GameSalad Creator is a powerful game design and mobile app creation tool used by professional software developers to launch over 1,000 games per month.…

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Making Interactive Fiction Mainstream: Readers

Jon Ingold describes the gamelike storytelling philosophy of Inklewriter. (I’ll be teaching a “Digital Narrative” creative writing class in J-Term, so I’m on the lookout for resources.) Our stories tend not be about “choosing what happens” – if readers wanted to control a story, they could write one of their own! Instead, the idea is to place readers in a conversation with the narrative: they suggest something, and the story…

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The 19th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition

Welcome to IFComp 2013, the competition for short text adventures! The games are available! You can play them online or download them for offline play. About the Competition For the last eighteen years, the members of the Interactive Fiction community have held a yearly interactive fiction competition. For fans of the old Infocom games as well as for newcomers to the genre, the competition is a chance to enjoy some of the best…

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Tom Bissell writes a letter to Niko Bellic about Grand Theft Auto V

I haven’t played GTAV, and probably never will, but that’s just because I have less time for playing games now. Almost everyone I know who loves video games — myself included — is broken in some fundamental way. With their ceaseless activity and risk-reward compulsion loops, games also soothe broken people. This is not a criticism. Fanatical readers tend to be broken people. The type of person who goes to…

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The Case Against High-School Sports

“I’ve been in hundreds of classrooms,” says Singleton, who has spent 15 years as a principal and helped turn around other struggling schools. “This was the worst I’ve seen in my career. The kids were in control. The language was filthy. The teachers were not prepared.” By suspending sports, Singleton realized, he could save $150,000 in one year. A third of this amount was being paid to teachers as coaching…

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Opinion: Don’t link video games with mass shootings

Contrary to Dr. Bushman’s suggestion, violent video games are not a commonality among mass homicide perpetrators. The impression that a link exists is a classic illusory correlation in which society notes the cases that fit and ignores those that don’t. When a shooter is a young male, the news media make a fuss over violent video games, typically forgetting to inform the public that almost all young males play violent…

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Son Doong Cave in Viet Nam Featurers Skylight, Jungle

As a fan of Colossal Cave Adventure, I’m curious to know whether there’s an active volcano in this cave. Or at least a gold nugget room. Jonathan Sims catches up with me. Between us and the sunlit passage ahead stands a stalagmite that in profile resembles the paw of a dog. “The Hand of God would be just too corny,” he says, pointing at the formation. “But the Hand of…

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Father copes with toddler son’s cancer by creating ‘empathy’ game

Green and Larson both admit that even the most seasoned gamers might be disturbed when they realize they can’t simply “win” this level by battling some final boss or shooting at a group of hungry zombies. But this discomfort is part of the point — by allowing player to fail in a certain sense, they believe they can give a more realistic depiction of what struggling with a chronic illness…

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Don’t Like Hamlet? Now’s Your Chance To Rewrite It

“It’s not really fair to say, ‘Look at this guy who died 400 years before I was born. He certainly had different opinions than me about the value of women.’” North says. “There’s stuff that doesn’t age as well, and what you do is you either adapt it so it works better now, or you ignore it.” For the purists, the original storyline remains in To Be Or Not To…