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January 19, 2012
What is a Game Bundle?
From my Persuasive Games column at Gamasutra
December 15, 2011
The Curse of Cow Clicker
In this month's Wired Magazine
Jason Tanz wrote a fantastic feature for the January 2012 issue of Wired about me and Cow Clicker. The feature includes, to use Levi's words, a centerfold of me, on a fence, in a pasture, with a cow (see below). The print issue is on newsstands now, with a web ...
November 5, 2011
McObjet a
Lacan and the McRib
Each year, the McRib returns for a brief visit to Earth. Its arrival elicits reactions ranging from horror to awe. No matter the tenor, each response's inspiration is the same: this would-be rib sandwich is really a restructured pork patty pressed into the rough shape of a slab of ...
September 15, 2011
Seeing Things
My talk at the Third Object-Oriented Ontology Symposium
Here's my short talk from the Third Object-Oriented Ontology Symposium (Sept 14, The New School), on the photography of Garry Winogrand. As I've already mentioned here, I had to miss the symposium because I was in China, so I submitted this short video instead of giving a presentation in person. ...
August 25, 2011
Beyond the Elbow-Patched Playground
Part 2: The Digital Humanities
This is the second part of a two-part essay about the humanities. Part 1 discusses some current ideas about the role of the humanities in the university and the world. Part 2 addresses the trend of the "digital humanities" in light of these observations. -ib If we accept the premise ...
August 8, 2011
Gamification is Bullshit
My position statement at the Wharton Gamification Symposium
(Also available in Portuguese, Japanese, and reprinted at The Atlantic and Kotaku) In his short treatise On Bullshit, the moral philosopher Harry Frankfurt gives us a useful theory of bullshit. We normally think of bullshit as a synonym—albeit a somewhat vulgar one—for lies or deceit. But Frankfurt argues that bullshit ...
May 3, 2011
Exploitationware
On the rhetoric of gamification. From my "Persuasive Games" column at Gamasutra.
April 11, 2011
Shit Crayons
My talk at the 2011 Game Developers Conference "rant" panel
March 27, 2011
Aerotropolis
A review of the book by John D. Kasarda and Greg Lindsay
Aerotropolis: The Way We'll Live Next is a book with a stark premise: historically, cities have developed and thrived around transportation technologies. The present age is that of the airplane, and cities will be built for and around them. What seaports were to the eighteenth century, railroads to the nineteenth, ...
January 14, 2011
Reality is Alright
A review of Jane McGonigal's book Reality is Broken
Jane McGonigal's new book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World is destined to be one of the most influential works about videogames ever published. The book is filled with bold new ideas and refinements of old ones. It's targeted at ...
July 29, 2010
Against Aca-Fandom
On Jason Mittell on Mad Men
Television scholar Jason Mittell doesn't like the television show Mad Men, and he's written an article about why. It wasn't news to me; indeed, I'm one of the interlocutors he mentions having argued with about the show on Twitter and elsewhere. I knew Jason was writing this piece and I've ...
July 2, 2010
There are no Blown Calls in Football
On World Cup officiating and the nature of Soccer
The topic of World Cup officiating came up in the comments on my recent Gamasutra column. I offered some thoughts there, but given the fact that the quarter final matches will start up today, it seemed worth rescuing those thoughts from the noise of web page comments. Specifically, I've been ...
May 18, 2010
We Think in Public
Paper presented at "Time Will Tell, But Epistemology Won't: In Memory of Richard Rorty"
January 9, 2010
The Turtlenecked Hairshirt
Fetid and Fragrant Futures for the Humanities
In a reflection on all the recent hubbub about the sordid state of the humanities and the recently proposed possibility of a cure in the form of the "digital humanities," Cathy Davidson offers the following lament: When I think of what the humanties offer...it is astonishing to me (and tragic) ...
January 9, 2010
The Turtlenecked Hairshirt
Fetid and Fragrant Futures for the Humanities
In a reflection on all the recent hubbub about the sordid state of the humanities and the recently proposed possibility of a cure in the form of the "digital humanities," Cathy Davidson offers the following lament: When I think of what the humanties offer...it is astonishing to me (and tragic) ...
December 8, 2009
What is Object-Oriented Ontology?
A definition for ordinary folk
Recently I was speaking to a writer about my recent work. She's doing a feature for a local magazine on creativity research and design practice in the region. I've been fortunate to get a lot of press over the years, and it's become increasingly important to me to find ways ...
July 24, 2009
The Metaphysics Videogame
Part 1: Why a Videogame?
A brief history. Back in the late summer of 2006, a few months after the publication of Unit Operations, I exchanged a few emails with Graham Harman, whose book Tool-Being I had cited in the early pages of mine. We talked about a few things, including Leibniz, Badiou, Heidegger, Meillassoux, ...
June 12, 2009
Cascading Failure
The Unseen Power of Google's Malware Detection
I often worry about the consequences of what Siva Vaidhyanathan calls Googlization, the way Google is changing and disrupting the creation and dissemination of ideas. I've resisted using Google services like Gmail and Google Docs, despite their popularity and, in some cases, their convenience. I've mostly been disinterested in allowing ...
May 4, 2009
Top Ten Reasons I Returned My Kindle
This week has witnessed much talk about Amazon's possible release of a new, larger Kindle eReader designed for newspapers and textbooks, culminating in an article in the New York Times that claims confirmation of such an impending announcement. That's on top of talk from magazine publisher Hearst's announcement that it ...
November 16, 2008
Carrying On Over Carry-Ons
A Review of the Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer
For years now, it has been necessary to remove laptops from carry-on bags for inspection at airport security here in the States. The TSA imposes this requirement to insure a clear view of the internal components of some electronics. Scanning a laptop separately allows security personnel to insure that a ...