I’m a 12-year-old girl. Why don’t the characters in my apps look like me?

I found that when an app did sell girl characters, it charged on average $7.53, which is a lot in the world of apps. After all, each of the apps I downloaded only cost an average of $0.26. In other words, girl characters cost about 29 times more than the cost of the apps themselves. Disney’s “Temple Run Oz” charges $29.97 to become the only girl character. Sometimes there are…

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Google’s AI could probably beat you at Atari

What’s significant in this story is not that a computer can perform tasks more efficiently than a human, but that the computer in question is not deploying a pre-programmed strategy; it is instead teaching itself how to win. When IBM’s Deep Blue computer defeated chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997, and the artificially intelligent Watson computer won the quiz show “Jeopardy!” in 2011, these were considered impressive technical feats, but…

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You’re Just Gonna Be Nice by A. Lange

In a study, over 1000 gamers were surveyed to see how the average player interacts with a game system that allows the player to choose a “good” or “evil” path through a game story. The finding was that the average gamer prefers to be good or heroic in such games. Gamers are most interested in exploring a character whose moral choices closely match to their own. However, those players that…

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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…


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…