Indie video gaming creativity a bit like making literature

“It’s not a game I made for other people,” he says. “I made it for myself.” That might be the creative creed for a new generation of independent video games and game makers that has sprung up in the past five years or so. Unlike the makers of mainstream blockbuster games — slick packages produced by creative teams numbering in the hundreds — indie game makers working alone or within…

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Melissa Terras’ Blog: Male, Mad and Muddleheaded: Academics in Children’s Picture Books

Labcoats, suits (but not if you are female!) or safari suits (but not if you are female!) are the academic uniform du jour. The names given to the academics are telling, with the majority being less than complimentary: Professor Dinglebat, Professor P. Brain, Professor Blabbermouth, Professor Bumblebrain, Professor Muddlehead, Professor Hogwash, Professor Bumble, Professor Dumkopf, Professor Nutter, and two different Professor Potts. There is the odd professor with a name…

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Robots Are Coming for Our Poems

The robots are quickly and surely coming for our jobs, and we’ve comforted ourselves thus far with a palliative that goes something like this: They can’t do our creative work. They won’t do our journalism or make our art or write our poetry. Except that the startup Narrative Science has $6 million to execute its human-free reporting, I’ve seen firsthand an automated 3D printer artistically render the apocalypse, and now,…

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Alice in Quantumland: A Charming Illustrated Allegory of Quantum Mechanics by a CERN Physicist

Alice in Quantumland: An Allegory of Quantum Physics is absolutely fantastic in its entirety, certain to engage the simultaneous states of entertainment and education with unequaled grace. Complement it with scientists’ answers to little kids’ questions about how the world works, then bend your mind by considering what it’s like to live in a universe of ten dimensions. For a look at how physicists’ understanding of the field has evolved…

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Code is not literature

A literate programmer describes his attempts to get fellow programmers to “read” code the way writers read literature. (He concludes that the deep study of code requires a different analogy.) Preparing for the talk I’m going to give to the Girls who Code cohort, I started thinking about what to tell them about code reading and code they should read. And once again it struck me that for all the…