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May 25, 2013
The ouroboros only eats ouroboroi
Kevin Werbach, who has been teaching a free Coursera MOOC on Gamification, spoke about teaching a free Coursera MOOC on Gamification at the $1k-2k/head GSummit, the gamification conference run by gamification consultant Gabe Zichermann. Now you can pay $15 to watch a video of Werbach talking about teaching a free ...
August 7, 2012
On Big Cats
A dumb, frustrating prediction about OS X and technology reporting
I made this stupid joke on Twitter today: The primary innovation in OSX 10.9 will be the move to canine product names. I was referring to Apple's longstanding tradition of code-naming their OS X releases after "big cats": Cheetah (the original OS X), Tiger, Lion, Leopard, etc.. The thing is, ...
February 17, 2011
Mission Uncritical
Facebook and Software Architecture
I've been thinking about software architecture lately, mostly as a result of continuing to suffer at the hands of Facebook's horrific platform and API. For those who haven't tried to use it, Facebook's platform is notoriously atrocious. It's badly documented and doesn't always do what the documentation says. It breaks ...
January 20, 2011
Anything you can click you can cow click!
Last year, the social gaming phenomenon Cow Clicker captured the world's imoogination, offering players the opportunity to click on a cow every six hours—or even more often. Since July 2010, more than 50,000 people have clicked over 50 breeds of cows over 5 million times, engorging their accownts with over ...
December 29, 2010
More Zynga bullshit
Kyle Orland, co-author of the forthcoming book Farmville for Dummies, writes this introduction to a two-part feature over at Gamasutra, by Tadhg Kelly. The title: "How Zynga's CityVille Has Compelled 70 Million Players." Given today's surprising new interest in Cow Clicker over on Reddit, I thought I'd share some delightful ...
October 28, 2010
Any Questions?
More existential art from my daughter
You may remember my daughter's talent for existential art. Here's her latest offering. Click for a larger version. ...
August 31, 2010
It's This for That
The Inflation of Absurdity
A website has been making the rounds over the past few days, called It's This for That. It's one of those simple, satirical text generators, of which there are dozens by now. This one target's today's technology startups, answering the question, "Wait, what does your startup do?" with a simple ...
August 10, 2010
Top 10 Ways Bartenders Screw Up My Old Fashioneds
Plus, how to make one properly.
The Old Fashioned is one of a few common cocktails for me, both when I'm at home and when I'm out. However, when ordering one at a bar, the likelihood of something going mildly to terribly wrong is disturbingly high. That in mind, I present the Top 10 Ways Bartenders ...
July 12, 2010
Social Games on Trial
NYU Video Game Seminar IV
Jesper Juul has been organizing videogame theory seminars at NYU. This week, I'm going to be participating in the sixth iteration of said series, "social games on trial." Aki Järvinen will take the pro-social games position, and I will fill my court-ordered role as naysayer. The official announcement appears below. ...
July 6, 2010
Thank Galt I've Stockpiled
Let's Laugh at Libertarians
After a few days talking about Marxism here and elsewhere, I figured it would be good to spread my wings and pick on libertarians. Here are two specimens. First, from cartoonist Barry Deutsch comes the 24 Types of Libertarians (or click on the cartoon for a legible version at Deutsch's ...
June 28, 2010
I felt a little like Oppenheimer
Gary Yost on Videogames
Gary Yost, creator of 3D Studio Max, on videogames in San Francisco Magazine: Several years later, Autodesk saw Yost's work and gave him a contract to start developing three-dimensional design software. That got Yost jazzed up; his father was an architect, and he loved the idea of helping to build ...
May 20, 2010
Endless String of Meaningless Buzzwords
The Onion on Foursquare
Leave it to The Onion to say what we're all thinking, or should be, about Web 2.0 "social games" like Foursquare. "Foursquare is a little bit of everything—a friend-finder, a local city guide, an interactive mobile game," said company cofounder Dennis Crowley, as if reading from the same tired script ...
April 30, 2010
To Twee
I'm still using Twitter, for better or worse. But I realized today that I quite frequently abort my tweets before posting them, usually due either to mounting ennui or anticipatory shame. Therefore, I hereby coin the following: "To twee" is to type something into Twitter but then not post it. ...
April 5, 2010
Philosophy Book Guy
I would like to return your quote-unquote Critique
Peter Gratton's letter to a a student, and Graham Harman's response to it, reminded me of an observation I've wanted to share about academic discourse in general. There's a fictional character from The Simpsons known as Comic Book Guy. Offering sarcastic quips about his "favorite" comics and television shows (often ...
January 2, 2010
Please Stand Clear of the Closing Rights
How Disney and Zazzle conspire against me (and you)
I've reported twice on my experience selling things on Zazzle, the custom on-demand online print service for apparel and paper goods. First, just over a year ago, I mentioned the t-shirt designs I had made to riff on the Disney World monorail announcer notice, "Por favor manténgase alejado de las ...
November 25, 2009
Arch-Obscurantist In the House
A note from my critics
I have many critics. Critics are helpful, wonderful creatures who produce as much pleasure as ire, partly because they provide amusement as often as commentary. Normally I don't respond to the more vocally invective ones, but I'm making an exception for "videogames bitch-site" Remedial Waste. They offer the Remedial Lexicon, ...
November 20, 2009
Oh Woe Is Oprah
A Billionaire's Blight
Am I missing something here? Oprah, who has a net worth of roughly $2.5 billion and can do whatever she wants, is crying and soul searching because she is ending her talk show so that she can restart it on her own cable network? ...
October 29, 2009
If You Follow Me...
Twitter and Subtlety
In June 2007, Ian McCarthy and I started performing Wandering Rocks on Twitter each Bloomsday. My original explanation of our project began with the phrase "I do not like Twitter." I hadn't realized it until today, but back in June (almost exactly two years after our first effort), my name ...
October 15, 2009
Art on Spec
Thoughts on Kickstarter
A relatively new service called Kickstarter, which describes itself as a funding platform for artists. Writers, filmmakers, musicians, and other creators can post projects to the site with attached budgets, which visitors can fund via pledges. If the budget is met within the specified time, the project gets funded. Otherwise, ...
October 12, 2009
Disney: We Own the Concept of the Castle
Fun with Infringement
Almost a year ago, I wrote about my modest success selling t-shirt designs on Zazzle.com that artfully depict the Disney World monorail announcer's characteristic Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas. In that piece, I also drew attention to the ways products like this exert fandom by commercially exploiting holes ...