Category: Games

  • Learning Games, Apps & Ebooks for Kids on the Ipad

    When I visited the kids’ library at  Houston Public Library last week, I learned 2 amazing things from children’s librarian Sandy Farmer: wii games were available for in-library checkout, and the library   would soon be lending out ipads   stocked with apps and games especially for kids. What a grand idea. I can vouch that kids…

  • Planning to Buy Spore? I will

    After seeing Will Wright’s 2006 demo of Spore at SXSW, I was sold. I plan to pre-order it. I’m sure me and my nephew will have hours of fun playing it. (It will be released in September). Here’s an article by Stephen Berlin Johnson if you want to know what the fuss is about.

  • Owlcon Gaming Event (Rice University, Houston Feb 8-10)

    I don’t have the exact details but I’ll be attending Owlcon Gaming Convention in Houston to play Dungeons and Dragons all weekend. I am excited. I used to play Dungeons and Dragons for about 4 or 5 years. More precisely I used to be the Dungeon Master (I generally sucked as a player). In high…

  • Designing for Children: The Constructivist Approach

    In response to the announcement that SimCity will be ported to the One Laptop per Child platform, Alan Kay writes a long piece wondering whether Sim City is truly an example of constructivist learning. He talks about designing software environments for children and at the end concludes that Sim City might not be the best…

  • Yu Gi Oh for children? (A parents’ guide)

    A shout out to the blogosphere: does anyone have children who play Yu Gi Oh? If yes, do you have advice about how to get started? i have a 7 year old nephew who I’m thinking of buying some cards for. Here’s a parents’ guide. Here are rules about basic gameplay. James Paul Gee has…

  • Chicken for Losers

    I am embarrassed to say that I have never heard of Leroy Jenkins until yesterday. (Here’s the Internet video that made him worldfamous). Joel Warner wrote a great long profile about Leroy Jenkins and his reaction to his unexpected fame. “Alex Trebek said my name,” says Ben. “When I saw that, I realized it had…

  • PS 2 Game Recommendations for Children Under 8? (As of 12/2006)

    Here’s a list of game recommendations for my nephew. Surprisingly, it took a long time to compile a kid-friendly game list. (Or I could have asked someone at a used game store–nah, that would have been too easy). He already owns Harry Potter (so so), Lego Star Wars (super great!), NBA Basketball (great!), Jak &…

  • Mechanics of Sex in Second Life

    This is definitely NOT safe for work (there’s graphic images), but here’s an essay about how to program your avatar to have sex in various video games: First, some terminology. In Second Life, your character can be put into “poses”. Basically, this is an animation created in Poser or some other movement/animation program. You create…

  • Cookies for Sisyphus

    favorite games of Jane MacGonigal View Jane game projects. She writes a lot about gaming and theatre (but alas only in PDF) . Her latest project: the artist will spell out Camus existential essay The Myth of Sisyphus in cookies, one word at a time. each word will be installed in a public location and…

  • Interactive Fiction Games

    Favorite Interactive Fiction/ Games: by Nick Montfort. Another list. More here. Here’s Emily Short’s Catalog of Best Interactive Fiction Games, sorted by genre. Great find, not “short” at all. This (like Edward Picot’s in my previous post) are games in search of a form factor. Playing on PC’s really suck; It would really be nice…

  • Chandler and Commenting your Code

    Chandler, an open source personal information manager (PIM) written in python. Still under development. Mimi Yim on hierarchy systems. Brilliant comparison of different methods of organization. There are hierarchies, facets and tagsonomies. Her conclusion is that facets are the most flexible methods of organization, although they have this flaw: (Facets) fail to go that final…

  • Narrative: Deep Moments, Second Lives

    Critic, San Antonio denizen and old friend Michael Barrett responds to Steven Berlin Johnson’s NYT article about the “density” of contemporary TV narratives: There’s another type of complexity that has nothing to do with processing multiple plots but with what I can call the “deep moment.” This is sometimes described as “atmosphere” vs. plot, and…

  • Blogs I love but haven’t blogged about

    Just added: 3 great weblogs about gaming culture: New World Notes,Cultural Raven, and TerraNova Wagner James Au (Cultural Maven) , a freelance writer keeps a blog about his adventures in Second Life. (See his report about virtual detectives and meeting a so-called Chinese dancer from the cybersweatshop). Richard Bartle, author, game theorist and designer runs…

  • 20 Hours a Week

    Heard an mp3 of Bill Gurley’s speech at Web 2.0 Conference. He talked about the usual stuff (Sims, Second Life, etc), but he dropped this incredible statistic: In the past game companies expected a video game to provide 30 hours of total gameplay for the typical consumer, and they designed accordingly. Nowadays, for massively multiplayer…

  • Ludology v. Narratology

    Clive Thompson on why it is not proper to think of gaming as narratives. I simply don’t think narrative — as it’s traditionally defined — applies. On the other hand, an interactive environment like an evening of improv might have a lot more to tell us! Rather than trying to take the theory of narrative…

  • Shirky’s Nomic World

    I know that slashdot and boingboing will catch this on their radar: Clay Shirky on the nomic world. (Link not available yet, but it will be shortly). In fact what often happens, both online and off, is that structures are created which look like citizen input, but these structures are actually designed to deflect participation…