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Star Trek: Voyager Premiered 20 Years Ago

I remember wanting to like Voyager a lot more than I did. The first episode showed some promise, but I remember being disappointed with the first season. Looking back, I can see I was equally disappointed by the first Star Trek movie and the first few seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Some moments from the show have stuck with me, but not many. I was frustrated by contradictions in Janeway’s character.…

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Writing School Papers: Does Your First Version Say It All?

My colleague Mike Arnzen talked about the writing process with the Voice of America. Michael Arnzen teaches English and heads humanities studies at Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. Mr. Arnzen is also an award-winning author. He says he understands the desire to write something and be done with it. “We’ve all been there. We feel we’ve done (something) good enough, and can’t we move on with our lives?” But he…

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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…

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Kirby Delauter Saga

Let’s hope many, many more journalism stories end as happily as the Kirby Delauter saga. Local official Kirby Delauter posts Facebook rant, threatening legal action against a reporter for “unauthorized” use of his name. Newspaper editorial mocks the threats, in an editorial titled “Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter.” The internet loves the story. Kirby Delauter issues an apology.  

Third French Officer Killed As Terror Suspects Reportedly Spotted

This breaking news story confuses “honing” and “homing.” I make mistakes too, and would certainly make even more if I were writing up breaking news on a story that is deeply personal to everyone in the world who values the freedom of speech. The manhunt for two men suspected in the massacre at a satirical newspaper’s Paris headquarters appeared to be honing in on its targets northeast of the French capital…

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Battle of New Orleans Ended 200 Years Ago Today

The Battle of New Orleans was a series of engagements fought between December 23, 1814 through January 8, 1815 and was the final major battle of the War of 1812.[5][6] American combatants,[7] commanded by Major General Andrew Jackson, prevented an invading British Army, commanded by General Edward Pakenham, and Royal Navy, commanded by Admiral Alexander Cochrane, from seizing New Orleans as a strategic tool to end the war.[8][9][10][11] The Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814 (but was not ratified by the US Government until February…