A collage of screenshots from the Unity3D game design engine shows a character in a natural-looking pose, with her feet at different levels.

Detailed Articulation of Feet in Unity3D

I’m following a lot of tutorials, and continue to make progress in Unity3D. My character’s feet now react better with the environment. Here she is standing casually with each foot at different levels. With the right code attached to each foot, she will adjust her stance automatically, according to the height and angle of whatever surface is beneath her, including slopes, boulders, etc. The last image shows the person-sized capsule…

Video-Game Violence Is Now a Partisan Issue

Scholar and essayist Ian Bogost traces the history of video game scapegoating, noting that while the panic used to be bi-partisan, and then-senator Hilary Clinton targeted video games in 2005, now it’s mostly GOP voices who blame video games for violent actions such as mass shootings. (Incidentally, the Va Tech shooter preferred Sonic the Hedgehog, and the Sandy Hook shooter liked Dance Dance Revolution.) In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court…

Steampunk Ex Machina

In the steampunk bedtime stories I used to tell my kids, the characters would embark on Earthbound adventures or welcome a visitor arriving via “the gondola.” Serving the same function as the transporter or shuttlecraft in Star Trek, it could conveniently break down when I needed the characters to be isolated, and it could miraculously start working again when I needed to wrap up the plot. Modeled in Blender3D.  

Medieval illustration of two people in curtained, barrel-like baths.

Addressing Our Biases: Medieval Bathing

Did medieval people bathe? If you already believe that the middle ages was “The Dark Ages” (a bit of very successful propaganda created by Protestant intellectuals in order to distance their own accomplishments from the Catholic roots of the Renaissance) then you are likely to perpetuate the myth that everything about life “back in the day” was nasty and alien, rather than seeing all of human culture — especially our…

Greebles make me happy.

Before CGI, filming a science-fiction story typically involved constructing a physical model of a spaceship or planetscape. In order to trick the eye in to thinking you were looking at something huge, model-makers added tiny random bits of detail, often re-purposing off-the-shelf commercial model kits or using any kind of junk they could get their hands on. The Star Wars modelers nicknamed these non-functioning technological bits of eye candy “greebles.”…